Thursday 23 November 2017

Student safety is paramount, as Sligo RAG week kicks off

Jessica Farry

As IT Sligo's RAG week gets underway, the Students' Union (SU) has a number of measures in place to ensure students are safe at all times.

While the purpose of RAG week initially was to raise money for charity, it has long been associated with heavy drinking.

But the SU at IT Sligo is conscious of the disruption such a week can often cause, and have arrangements in place to ensure housing estates and student areas are well tidied up each morning and at the end of the week.

"The SU like to meet with the college and make sure it's at a time where there's not too many assignments for students. We also meet with residents and local garda to discuss the week," said Cillian Folan, SU President.

"We work very closely with the local residents associations. We also meet with the licensed premises for the week, although only two turned up this year which was a bit disappointing," he added.

Each morning, two groups of four volunteers will go out and clean up the remnants of the night before.

Groups will also do a major clean up of the student areas at the conclusion of the week.

Cillian says this is crucial to a successful RAG week: "We have eight people cleaning up every morning from 8am until 11am in consultation with the Residents Associations, from the Mall up as far as Yeats Heights, Glencarrig, Ashbury and Mulberry.

"We really do want to have a good relationship with residents so this is important."

Money raised from this year's instalment will go towards the Ronan Sweeney Rehabilitation Fund - a student who was injured in an accidental fall last year.

Throughout the course of RAG week, two cars full of volunteers will be patrolling student areas from 8pm - 6am each night to ensure students are safe, and everyone gets home safely. The emergency contact numbers 087 096 8742 or 071 91 41887 can be used should students be concerned for their safety or that of their friends.

The emergency lines will be open 24/7 throughout the course of RAG week.

"It takes a good bit of preparation. But safety is the main thing for us," added Mr. Folan.

"We want everyone to have a great time and it's an opportunity for students to unwind after finishing their exams," he said.

Last year RAG week at IT Sligo raised €6,000 for charity.

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