Students of Swansea… RAG week is on its way! Beginning on Monday, Swansea’s Raising and Giving Society will be hosting some fun Valentine’s themed events to get you in the mood for luuuurve… or not. Either way, raising money is the name of the game, so Sammy Siddique takes a look at what’ll be going down at RAG week and how we’re getting involved…

It’s Valentine’s day on Monday (as if you didn’t know!) and it wouldn’t be right if there weren’t a charity event based around selling of the usual egg + flour + sugar + butter goodies, so the cake sale in Fulton House on Monday is a perfect way to kick things off, but it doesn’t stop there, oh no.  Got a Valentine in mind?  There will be a special delivery service available where you can buy a rose from the RAG team and have it delivered to your special someone in their lecture.  In true student fashion for any charity event, there’s Cupid Gnoming.  Don’t know what that is? Put simply : it’s either the best day of your life for having stitched up your mate or your worst fear realised.

If that doesn’t sound like fun then there is also an Anti-Gnoming Insurance fee of £3 to ensure a Gnome-free day.  If you weren’t smart enough to pay the Anti-Gnoming fee and had a Gnome sit next to you in lectures or bug you in the library and maybe even follow you to the toilets, Tuesday is your chance to get your (ex)friend back with the second bout of Gnoming.  You know what to do.  There will also be the lecturer and students pub quiz, so pick your teams carefully if you want to go head to head!

But it’s not all bake sales and bugging your pals… following from The Hitch Society’s previous success with the Date Auction and Speed Dating, both will be returning during RAG week. There’s no doubt which event Elena Cresci is looking forward to the most, “I’m unbelievably excited for RAG Speed Dating – I have a feeling it’ll be hilarious, especially if I bring the bottle of rose I’d planned on drinking in ‘celebration’ of Valentine’s Day…” and expect to see The Siren at the Date Auction on Thursday, an insanely popular event.  “Buy yourself a RAG committee member for a date or if you’re lucky a SABB or an Exec Officer but better still it could even be a member of the A.U!” promises the event page.  Excited?  We are!

Friday is the day for those who want to contribute a little extra, whether showing off your talents at the Open Mic Night or your neon clothing and glowsticks at Rave and Give in the name of do-gooding. So go on, show off, throw some shapes… who said charity wasn’t fun?

Saturday will be the RAG Fest held in Fulton House Canteen from 12pm till late featuring local bands including Kerrang! winners Reaper in Sicily, a comedy and hypnosis set by Chris Beard and Nation Radio’s Michelle Owen.  The alcohol will be provided by and in association with the Real Ale and Cider Society.  It’s just £2 for the whole day, so make sure you get yourself down there!

We mustn’t forget that RAG really does stand for Raising and Giving.  The academic term 2009-2010 saw the team raise over £28,000 for all sorts of fantastic charities.  Becca Taylor tells me that, We have 16 charities that we raise money for, some local like The Mumbles Lifeguard and Eye to Eye Counselling Service, as well as some international, like Water Aid and SOS Africa. We’d love to break the £1000 mark for RAG Fest, and a few hundred over the week.”

So what can you do to help?  Get involved, Gnome a friend, send someone a rose, outbid at the Auction or even a small thing like buying a fairy cake that you can sneakily eat in a lecture.  Remember that every penny counts!  The Siren will see you there!