A University of York student is believed to have had her drink spiked at a James College Halloween Party.
The student, who wishes to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, was told by doctors that she displayed the symptoms associated with the consumption of Rohypnol or a similar substance. The incident comes at a time when there have been growing numbers of suspected drink spikings, both on campus and in the city centre.
YUSU Academic and Welfare Officer Grace Fletcher-Hall said: “I have never known so many reports of drink spiking on campus before.” She added, “I don’t know how many of the recent incidents are actual spikings, but any incident in which students feel something has happened is certainly a cause for concern as far as I’m concerned.”
Speaking to Nouse the victim said: “My drink was definitely spiked. I have real concerns for other potential victims.” She has since returned to full health, but is still disturbed by the event.
The party was hosted by a James College residential block and was widely attended by students from across campus. One attendee claimed that there were roughly a hundred people at the party, most of whom were congregating outside. The student believes her drink was spiked while outside, as she never actually entered the block herself that night.
After leaving the party, the student declined invitations from friends to continue to a nightclub. She was walking to meet her boyfriend when she suddenly felt that she “was losing control of herself. I hadn’t even drunk that much”. She cannot remember any details of the night past this point.
Despite her delirious state, the victim managed to call her boyfriend and ask him to meet her. “If it hadn’t been for my amazing boyfriend and flatmates then it could have turned out very, very differently,” she said.
“When I got her call she seemed ok, but by the time I got to her she looked terrible,” said her boyfriend. When he eventually managed to locate her he found that she was “slipping in and out of consciousness” and was acting “like she had had an obscene amount to drink”. He expressed anger at the probability that a University of York student was responsible: “It really worries me, if they did it once it seems likely that they may do it again and with more serious consequences.”
Concerns were also raised about the effectiveness of the Health Centre in dealing with drink spiking. The student said that visiting the health centre the day after, the staff could not help and advised students to “not bother going”.
Fletcher-Hall stressed the importance of developing a new approach to the issue. She called for a “new coordinated procedure” between the different parties involved in the running of campus events and the emphasised the necessity of creating new “guidlines for how to treat the student and also how to report the incident.”