Susan is a smart, direct and very passionate woman, who works as the editor of The Condor at California University in the gang's junior year. Susan is also a feminist who bumps heads with Brandon. Susan is chiefly driven by her career aspirations and ultimately chooses to further her career over staying in Los Angeles for her relationship with Brandon.
Despite having a war of words with Brandon during their first meeting, she agreed to accompany Brandon to the Peach Pit After Dark, where she was hit on by a guy with bad lines. She ended up sharing a table with Brandon, Dylan McKay, and Antonia Marchette while the latter two were on their first date. Afterwards, Susan hired Brandon and despite their antagonistic banter, found herself attracted to him. She turned Brandon down on several occasions, despite ending up going out with him anyway each time.
On Halloween, Brandon and Susan went to the Peach Pit After Dark, where they met with a psychic, Madame Raven, who told Brandon that old feelings of Susan would threaten the relationship. Susan finally admitted to Brandon that she dated the editor, Jonathan Casten, from the previous year. Brandon was happy that Susan admitted the truth to him. During an earthquake, Brandon and Susan got trapped in an elevator and had to deliver the baby of a woman trapped with them. After the murder of Antonia Marchette, Dylan left town and told Brandon to "lock the place up", referring to his house. Brandon, feeling depressed about the whole situation, spent time there taking care of Dylan's affairs.
Susan, trying to cheer him up, kept stopping by, but nothing seemed to snap him out of it. However, Susan later caught Brandon and Kelly Taylor having fun playing a fighting robot game and it was clear Susan was a little insecure about their relationship. Things got more heated when Susan went away for Thanksgiving and Kelly stayed over at the Walsh house. Despite nothing physical happening, Susan became even more insecure where it concerned Kelly. To make matters more difficult, Susan's ex-boyfriend, Jonathan Casten returned to Beverly Hills on New Year's Eve and declared that he was still in love with Susan. When Brandon and Jonathan began competing for Susan, it was brought out that Susan had gotten pregnant by Jonathan and had chosen to have an abortion, which led to Jonathan breaking up with her. After repeated attempts to cause trouble for Brandon and Susan, Susan finally reached her limit and decked Jonathan in the jaw. Jonathan left town and was not seen on the show again.
Susan had an older sister, Kathryn Keats, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident while jogging. This deeply affected her and was the reason she chose to go into journalism. On a trip home to see Susan's parents, Susan and her mother, Ruth Keats, battle it out about Kathryn's death. Susan admitted to having trouble living up to Kathryn's memory. She and her mother made amends. At the end of Season 6, She moved to Washington, D.C., to work on the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign. Brandon broke up with her because she insisted he pass up a prestigious internship in Boston to travel for the summer with her, while she accepted the campaign job.
- Main article: Susan and Brandon
Brandon and Susan meet when Brandon takes an interest in joining The Condor and meets its editor-in-chief: Susan. They get off to a bad start as Susan's a feminist and Brandon's being misogynist, yet Susan reluctantly accepts him on the newspaper staff. Eventually their mutual hate turns into sex and they start dating, seemingly being a very good fit. Susan does get jealous of Kelly on occasion, as the ex-girlfriend casting a long shadow, while Brandon gets jealous and perplexed by the arrival of Susan's ex-boyfriend, with whom she's also still very close. When Susan gets offered a job in D.C. she takes it, despite Brandon having turned down a D.C. offer to stay in California with her. This hurts him and they break up.
Jonathan was the editor of the paper in his senior year, following Josh Richland's bid for Student Body President in Autumn 1994. Susan worked at the paper and they fell in love and started dating. Susan eventually got pregnant and decided to have an abortion, after which their relationship ended. This harrowing experience bonded them to each other and they still cared about each other deeply following their break-up.