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EXCLUSIVE | Mother reveals daughter’s horrific hazing experience

Article image for EXCLUSIVE | Mother reveals daughter’s horrific hazing experience

The mother of a young woman who was a victim of an alleged university hazing ritual has vowed to fight back.

Suzi Bryden’s 19-year-old daughter was reportedly subject to a hazing ritual last year at a university college in Sydney’s west.

Suzi tells Ben Fordham her daughter witnessed a young man being pushed off a building and was also woken by groups of men bashing on her bedroom door.

Suzi and her husband Robert Bryden got a terrifying call from their daughter at 1am.

“It’s your worst nightmare. Absolutely terrifying. That half an hour, forty minute trip felt like days. I didn’t know what to expect when we got to the other end.

“She was a victim of hazing.

“I would have to say to you, every student and parent has a fundamental right to expect their kids are going to be safe at universities and colleges.”

Robert and Suzi are now taking action and will be the voice of young people who are subject to these rituals which can involve criminal behaviour.

Suzi has taken aim at the university in question, saying they only offered to return the bond.

Suzi says the catalyst for wanting to take action was when the Red Zone report was released earlier this year.

“I said to Rob, right, we’ve got to make some noise… we’ve got to help these young kids.”

Click PLAY for the full story

Kylie-Marie called in after hearing about Suzi’s daughter’s experience.

A mature-age student at the same university, she tells Ben the university is well aware of what’s going on.

“The university is more than aware of what goes on and sweeps it under the carpet,” she says.

“No punishment is given.”

Listen to the full call below

The university in question, Western Sydney University, has since responded with the following statement:

Western Sydney University takes a zero tolerance approach to any behaviours and practices associated with hazing, and has several policies in place to identify and deal with this type of conduct. Any allegations are taken extremely seriously, and the University works closely with the police as and when required.

There was an incident on the Hawkesbury Campus in March 2017, where students were reportedly jumping from a building.  This incident was investigated by Campus Living Villages, who manage student residences on behalf of the University, and the students involved were disciplined.  There were no reported incidents of any student being pushed from a building and no reports of any injuries.

Campus Living Villages received an email complaint from the mother interviewed on 2GB, in May 2016, saying her daughter was a victim of bullying and harassment from her female roommates, but there was no discussion of physical abuse or hazing as described on 2GB.

Campus Living Villages immediately launched an investigation but despite their efforts the family did not provide them with any additional details or the opportunity to speak directly to their daughter.  The other students named were interviewed but denied the allegations.

The University is committed to ensuring a safe, healthy and welcoming learning environment for its students and staff, where students and staff treat each other with dignity and respect.


Ben Fordham