STUDENTS AT NUI GALWAY have voted to scrap their college’s notorious Rag Week – as part of a deal which will see the university increase its funding for student initiatives.
A motion replacing the week was voted through by the Students’ Union council last night, by 107 votes to 7 – meaning an end to the controversial festivities which had become increasingly raucous this year.
In exchange for scrapping the Rag Week, students will now be given university support for a one-day concert or festival, thought to be similar to the college balls run elsewhere.
NUI Galway president Dr James Browne has also agreed to contribute an extra €60,000 to the Student Assistance Fund, which is used to help students whose financial circumstances put them at risk of having to leave college.
Students have also secured a guarantee not to introduce charges at the Student Health Unit and the abolition of membership fees for the campus gym, for students who are already members of college sports clubs.
SU president Emmet Connolly said it was a “a sad day” when students had to consider scrapping the flagship event, but noted that charity donations during the week had fallen while anti-social behaviour had risen.
“It’s true to say that a lot of the damage is caused by non-NUI Galway students, but the fact remains that the SU cannot go on officially sanctioning a week-long binge drinking session in which the costs in damage to property are a multiple of the amounts raised for charity,” he said.
37 students were arrested over the course of the 2011 Rag Week, despite Students’ Union moves to make all events non-alcoholic.