NUIG Rag Week cancellation to cost University €60,000 a year.

By Ruth Ní Mhaonghaile
The Students’ Union in NUI Galway recently cancelled the infamous “RAG Week”, in a move that costs the university an extra €60,000 a year.

This is due to an agreement between the SU and the university, that the latter will increase their contribution to the Student Assistance Fund from €33,000 to €93,000 per year. This fund is in place to assist students who face financial problems, allowing them to continue their education in a third level institute.

The President of the SU, Emmett Connolly, told the Independent that “the deal is good for the university, good for the students and good for the people of Galway, who haven’t been happy with RAG Week in the past.”

This unhappiness was not unwarranted. Reports of students starting fires, causing criminal damage to bars, and throwing bottles at innocent passers-by are only a few of the complaints that surfaced in recent years.

Connolly commented to Flirt FM, NUIG’s student radio station, that even the employability of NUIG graduates was beginning to be affected by the events of “RAG Week”. The president of the university was prompted to call for the banning of the festival after two students allegedly went on a “naked rampage” through a Galway housing estate last year.

The decision of the SU to cancel “RAG Week” won by an overwhelming majority of 107 to seven of the class representatives. The result is unsurprising, as an additional €60,000 going towards the students is more beneficial than a week of binge drinking which yielded, on average, around two thirds less than this amount per year.

A noble idea in theory, it seems the original concept of “Raise and Give Week” has been long forgotten. Only €20,000 was raised for charity by students last year, less than €2 per person in the college.

Other concessions from the university made in this deal include a one day concert for the students, the abolition of a €2 charge for the student gym, a guarantee not to introduce charges for the doctor and nurse at the Student Health Unit, and extra notice boards around the campus.

One NUIG student, Conor Nolan, commented “it’s a good deal for the students of NUIG. I think most students would agree that the guarantee not to bring in charges to use the health centre along with the extra €60,000 to the Student Assistantance Fund is worth giving up a week of drinking for.”

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