University College Dublin Students’ Union Vice President for Entertainments, Eoin Heffernan has announced that R.A.G (Raise and Give) will once more occur in UCD. This year, however, the fundraiser will run more as a concept rather than a traditional series of events.
All students are encouraged to take part; with RAG starting before the two week summer exams’ process. This year, money will be raised for a yet to be determined charity through students donating old clothes which will then be sold for €7 a bag, therefore generating funds for the chosen charity. The event will be promoted through all of the usual UCD Ents channels such as posters and social media outlets.
University RAG weeks have had a notable trend of pushing the social aspect to the forefront, often to the detriment of the original meaning of charity. NUI Galway for example has had its RAG week banned, with a yearly unofficial event often making headlines.
Heffernan noted this as one of the reasons for stripping the event back to its basics: “I chose to do it this way for a number of different reasons. RAG week has a poor tradition in Dublin and so we are trying to bring the focus back to the charity rather than an alcohol fuelled session”.
Heffernan also noted that his “main focus over the past few months has been securing a ball as well which meant a move in focus”. The UCD Ball will be held on Friday April 26th, the last day of term, at an off-campus location, Heffernan confirmed last week.
Last year’s RAG event involved a single day of activities in week eight, which had trimmed from a week long ‘Raise a Grand’ format in 2011, and when asked about the new structure, Heffernan stated that his: “main focus over the last few months has been placed on the (UCD) Ball. I had to priorities what students wanted and the feedback I received was that the Ball means more to students”.
In recent years, a popular week-long event run by the UCD Societies Council, simply titled Charity Week has seen a marked improvement in charitable work where each society on campus must run at least one event for the chosen charity which this year was the UCD Welfare Fund.
Heffernan believes that students will be interested in donating, despite the fact that the event falls in the lead up to the exams. He says that it’s “pretty simple to take part in. When you’re clearing out your room at the end of the year or are at home on study week just donate any old clothes you have. They can be dropped down to the Students’ Union or handed into the SU desk at the exam centre”.