As RAG week kicked off across the country this week, numerous institutions have distanced themselves from the event.
RAG (Raise and Give) week has not been an official college event for NUI Galway or the Galway-Mayo institute of technology for several years, while University College Cork has clamped down on anti-social student behaviour by introducing new fines and restrictions.
The week tends to have a negative reputation as it is often associated with anti-social and drunk and disorderly behaviour from students.
However, DCU aims to dispel the myths and negativity associated with the week. “Our RAG Week revolves around a completely different set of values than what other colleges have,” said Seanie Germaine, Chairperson of DCU’s Raising and Giving society.
“RAG Society in DCU doesn’t promote alcohol at the centre of any of our events, ever. This is due to the fact that we work with vulnerable adults and children in the local area who may be affected by alcohol abuse,” Germaine added.
“These guidelines around alcohol were in place from day one and is very much central to how we at RAG differentiate ourselves,” he said.
However, due to so many colleges disassociating themselves from the week, many students disregard the charitable aspect of RAG week.
“Ours has nothing to do with charity. We don’t have anything like what you guys have, there’s no events in college or anything, it is very much about drink,” said a biochemistry student from NUI Galway.
DCU’s RAG week is very much focused more on the charitable side of things. This year all money raised will go to the Respond Housing Association which provides housing to homeless women and children, and Inner City helping Homeless which aims to combat the homeless crisis in Ireland.
“I think RAG week absolutely conjures up negative stereotypes due to RAG week antics of other colleges. However our approach is part of who we are as a society and the only way we can fix this negative image is to continue to do things our way and hope more people come round to a charitably centred RAG Week,” said Germaine.
Image Credit: Alison Clair