UWE accused by family of ‘covering up’ their daughter’s suicide
Raven Hunt was a third year sociology student at UWE
Raven Hunt, a third year sociology student at UWE was found dead in Leigh Woods on the 13th April by a dog walker.
Her family have slammed the university's "incompetence" and claimed authorities tried to "cover up" their daughters death after she took her own life after suffering with withdrawal symptoms from Xanax.
The university did not get in contact with Raven's family for months after the 21 year olds death, and not even after the inquest which had taken place three months after in July.
It was left to her devastated Grandad to contact the University's Vice- Chancellor Steve West three months after the incident before they even received a reply.
This is the first time Raven's family have spoken out about her death after recently hearing the sad news of yet another university death in Bristol.
Her mum Emmy said: “I feel the university are trying to cover up. I feel like that anyway, even when I take myself out of the emotion of losing my daughter.”
Raven’s granddad Richard added: “I think they are incompetent. We’ve had no letter of condolence, nothing from the university until I emailed them.”
The university claimed it “assumed” the family did not want the support during Raven’s inquest and decided not to send anyone as it was not their “normal practice”.
The university's response was from Vice-Chancellor Steve West.
He stated: “We would once again like to express our deepest condolences to Raven’s family and friends at this very difficult time."
“We are extremely sorry to learn the family were disappointed by the level of contact from the University following Raven’s death. Despite systems being in place to facilitate emergency contacts for students, if contact details are not regularly updated issues can arise.
“An internal review concluded that while the University went to great lengths to establish contact with close relatives to offer our sympathies and support, complications arose and we failed to meet the required standards. As a result, changes have been made to our internal processes and these have been shared with the family.
“More recently we have been in contact with Raven’s grandfather and engaged with the family over the award of a posthumous BA degree in Sociology for Raven at a graduation ceremony at Bristol Cathedral attended by the family. We have also offered our support to the family in their proposal to honour Raven’s memory and raise awareness of the risks associated with drugs.
"The University takes a zero tolerance policy on drugs and we take appropriate and measured action which in some cases can lead to expulsion. We are committed to ensuring students understand the dangers of taking drugs and providing support services when they are needed.”
In The Tab's recent mental health rankings, a study to assess UK university's ability to care for students with mental health issues, UWE placed 25th overall and 9th in mental health satisfaction rankings.