I remember RAG week in NUI Galway as being a time of de-stressing, not having to go to some lectures, because the professors themselves didn’t expect students to show up. But from 1988 to 1991 I was a broke student.
After paying for tuition, rent, books, and food there wasn’t a whole lot of money left by RAG week to cause mischief and mayhem. I do remember students being wheeled from pub to pub in a shopping trolley doing a pub crawl, but I didn’t have that kind of cash when I was 19-21 years old.
I wasn’t a saint. Apart from learning more about English literature, Sociology and Political Science, and earning a degree in those subjects, I also learned to drink and smoke at the same time. The last two I had to unlearn eight years ago. But I’ve managed to hold onto most of the knowledge I learned in my degree subjects.
I do hope NUI Galway gets involved in the return to the historical celebration of RAG. They are not on the list of the five universities/colleges in Ireland already taking part in this. The historical meaning to RAG is Raise And Give, a charitable fundraiser initiated by university students.
Here’s an article from the Journal.ie talking about the historical context of RAG week and a new initiative which strives to return to the original idea, giving back to the community by fundraising during RAG week.
Well, it looks like NUI Galway will not be having RAG week this year. And here’s the reason why. If you make it all about drinking and disturbing the peace of course the officials will ban it. 2013 RAG week isn’t going to happen officially but some students are going to make RAG week happen. I’ll bet it causes more mischief, mayhem and disturbance than ever. Maybe the president of the students’ union in NUI Galway should start talking about a more positive RAG week experience.