Prepare to be “gnomed”: RAG week returns

Week nine of this term marks the return of “Rag Week”, the annual period of intense charity fund-raising by the Raising and Giving (RAG) society.

RAG, the student society organising the week’s events, works throughout the year to raise money for a number of charitable causes; RAG Week is a significant event in the fundraising calendar, as well as for the broader student body.

The week is well known amongst most students as a rare opportunity to have pints of beer, chocolate, and other objects of gratification delivered during lectures – the proceeds of which go to the charities supported by the day’s actions. Last year, in addition to the deliveries of more ordinary items, a “gummy ring wedding” was held, in which a RAG exec member was presented with a fellow student dressed in an elephant costume. As in previous years, this service is available to students between Monday 30th November and Friday 4th December, from 9am to 6pm.

Aside from the ongoing deliveries throughout the week, the Warwick traditions of “gnoming” and “king gnoming” are expected to take place.

According to Megan Fortune, a member of the RAG exec, a “gnoming” constitutes someone being taken outside after a lecture and being covered in water, flour, and baked beans; a “king gnoming” additionally involves being tied to a tree, covered in shaving foam and wrapped in cling film. Joe Kirby, Students’ Union President of ’07-’08 was notoriously subjected to a “king gnoming” during RAG Week of 2007.

Other events during the week will include an “auction” of sabbatical officers at Top Banana, in which the highest bidder can “buy” a sabb for the day, then a scavenger hunt on Tuesday followed by a sleep-out on campus to highlight the issue of homelessness. There will also be a traffic light disco at Pop; Insomnia – a UV Rave in the Copper Rooms on Thursday hosted in partnership with RaveSoc; and finishing off the week is a fundraising “raid” in Bristol on Saturday.

Whilst not all the charities had been confirmed by the time of going to print, a number of both national and local causes had been assigned a day in the week, including Shelter, Anthony Nolan Trust, and the Bath Place Community Centre, which burned down in September, and has subsequently struggled with funding for its rebuild.

Speaking to the Boar about the importance of student involvement in campus-based fundraising, Stuart Stanley, RAG Week’s coordinator, said, “It’s really important for all students to get involved in RAG Week, as it partly focuses on community projects, such as Bath Place, which really do affect students and the communities that they live in.”

Commenting further on why students should enter into the spirit of the week whilst supporting the fundraising, Stanley added that, “On a national level, we raise money for charities that will affect either students or someone they know at some point in their lives.”


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