Shock new allegations: ‘I was used by UQ’
A NEW alleged complainant has come forward saying they never complained to the University of Queensland about student activist Drew Pavlou about social media comments he made, according to his lawyer.
It comes in the final hours before the University of Queensland Senate meets to discuss student activist Drew Pavlou's suspension last week.
The current student at UQ, who wanted to remain anonymous, wrote to Mr Morris QC this morning informing him that he did not complain about comments made to him by Mr Pavlou.
The student said that UQ had at no point made them aware that they were included in complaints the university was "levelling" at Drew, and was concerned the complaint was "largely manufactured and taken out of context".
"Furthermore, UQ has stated - absolutely incorrectly - on my behalf, and without my knowledge, that I was 'distressed' by these comments. I was not distressed - on the contrary, as a friend, I was worried about Drew's mental health considering he was under significant personal stress at the time."
"I feel I have been misrepresented and used by UQ," the student said.
Writing to the University Mr Morris QC said that "it was impossible any rational human being could have conscientiously alleged that this student was 'harassed, bullied, threatened or abused' without confirming this allegation with the student before instituting disciplinary proceedings.
Mr Morris QC wrote to the university and said, he wondered how many more complaints will need to emerge before the university stopped making what he claimed were "false, misleading, and defamatory claims in UQ's media releases that the allegations against Mr Pavlou were founded on "third party complaints."
"And the University stops pretending that the case against Mr Pavlou was entirely above-board and legitimate, rather than [being] based on confected complaints and outright misrepresentations," he wrote.
It comes after the appeal lodged this week Mr Morris QC claimed an alleged complainant "blew the whistle" on allegations referring to an online spat between the pair, revealing he never complained about Pavlou, slamming the complaint as "laughable".
He referred to an email he was sent by a "new witness" that claims an online "stoush" with Pavlou was used as evidence against Pavlou but the student did not make a formal complaint about him.
The student claimed to have deleted the "sub-thread" without screenshotting the online exchange and while it involved friends who he said could have screenshotted the exchange "who traded colourful insults" with Drew, but said to their knowledge they have not complained.
"Apparently, the complaint mentions that I was "distressed" which is from my point of view laughable. While I think it was characteristically crass of him to write to a female friend the way he did, I feel this complaint has been largely manufactured," the alleged complainant's email said.
Mr Morris argued that the Student Complaints And Grievances resolution Unit should have contacted and interviewed the witness.
"One can only speculate as to how many more of the witnesses named in charges against Mr Pavlou - witnesses who the "Student Complaints and Grievances Resolution Unit" should have contacted and interviewed - would have provided similar comments if they had been contacted and interviewed."
The university has maintained that the disciplinary process was initiated over complaints made to the University.
A UQ spokeswoman previously said Friday's meeting is to brief the Senate on the outcome of Mr Pavlou's disciplinary matter.
The spokeswoman yesterday would be inconsistent with standard conflict of interest procedures if Mr Pavlou or Senate members directly involved in the appeal process were to attend, along with the Vice-Chancellor.
In a previous statement, UQ said the Vice-Chancellor has not been involved in the recent disciplinary process.
The spokeswoman previously said it would be inappropriate to comment further on matters that may be raised in appeal.
Originally published as Shock new allegations: 'I was used by UQ'