SU criticised for lack of RAG Week collaboration

A greater collaboration from DCU Students’ Union could have made the DCU SU RAG week an even bigger success, according to co-chairperson of RAG Soc SallyAnn Downes.

The week, which ran from Monday March 11th, was organised by the society in conjunction with the Students’ Union.

Downes said “It was a lot less collaborative than we’d have liked. In future years we’d like the SU just to collaborate much more. We were disappointed in the end results from collaborating with the Students’ Union but have high hopes for future years.”

Events during the week included a school sports day, Shave or Dye and a casino night.

Both Downes and RAG Treasurer Niamh Breathnach thought that the Business and Enterprise Ball pre-pampering session was their most successful event. For this beauticians and hairdressers, some of whom have children that attend RAG volunteering projects in Ballymun, gave up their time to do hair and makeup before the ball for €10 per student.

Breathnach said: “We couldn’t have possibly done any more hair and makeup on the day…we couldn’t have fitted any more girls in that room.”

Both students were also pleased with the Joe Bloggs 21st event on Monday night which took place in the NuBar. For this event, each student attending entered their name into a draw where onelucky studentwas picked out to celebrate their 21st, complete with cake and presents.

Though both RAG Soc and the SU were pleased with the events, they felt the response from students was mixed.

Downes said “We tried our best but if people have it in their heads that they’re not willing to give it a shot. In general students engaging with RAG week is so, so low so I’d love to see a big improvement there anyway.” She added “We were just disappointed that it was all our members at a lot of things.”

Breathnach said: “I think people in DCU think that RAG week should just be tearing up the town and going mad every night but we’re trying to encourage students to see the Raising and Giving side. That’s what we were focusing on.”

When asked if he was happy with attendance, SU President Paul Doherty said: “To be honest, not really. RAG week in DCU is nowhere near the scale of Galway or Carlow IT and places like that…a lot of people just don’t have the spare time.”

For RAG Soc, the main aim of the week was fundraising but also getting more volunteers for their various projects such as Gaga for GAA which teaches children GAA, and Operation Paint Ballymun which is an after school art mentoring project.

Downes said: “Overall, for us, we were astounded by the amount of students who came to us and wanted to contribute to the local community so that was amazing.”

The snowfall on the Monday meant that they had to cancel abseiling down the Helix and cancel the train hired to take students around campus. Doherty said: “We had a horrible start to the week with the weather. It killed any kind of buzz that was on campus so we really struggled to get everything off the ground.”

Breathnach added: “It put us back a bit but it just made sure that the next days were as good as possible to make up for it.”

The SU were hoping to raise between €5,000 and €6,000 from the week while RAG Soc had no fundraising goal. The amount of money raised throughout the week is not yet known.

Aisling Kett

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