MARGEAUX ERASMUS

Congratulations, if you’re reading this you survived RAG weekend. Or what was left of it at least.

The year started off with quite a bit of confusion. Especially for seniors who are used to starting the year with UP Beats on Friday and the procession on the Saturday of RAG weekend. This year, however, things were different.

For the past two years we’ve run articles about the future of RAG, and time and again we were assured that no sudden changes will take place and that RAG’s existence is not at stake. This year things seem to have changed.

We were warned that UP Beats might be moved to March last year, but when UP told us last week that it is cancelled, and the RAG chairperson insisted that the date was just changed, we started to smell a rat. Facts have been hard to get to, with the RAG chairperson initially telling us that they didn’t want to bombard students with activities in the beginning of the year. Quite the excuse, isn’t it?

I stand under correction, but I thought the point of moving RAG to before classes began, which is what happened a few years ago, was so that students could party RAG week away without fear of missing class or tests? And how is having two events bombarding students? My suspicions were that RAG’s money monster had reared its ugly head again, or that there might have been a problem with a liquor licence. Remember 2011? Spring Day was cancelled on account of that.

The only in-depth answer we received from RAG was that attendance for the event had decreased the past couple of years and that they hoped that changing the date would allow more students to go to the event.

I battle to see the logic behind either of those reasons. Can someone explain it to me please? And RAG should really speak to university management. Even they thought UP Beats was cancelled at a stage.

Communication in general is something RAG should try to improve on actually. They are leaving too many people (read: students who support your events) out of the loop when it comes to their decision making. Take the procession for example. I didn’t know about the new SMS system that was being used this year instead of blikskud until I was watching on Saturday, and if I didn’t know I’m pretty sure there are other students who didn’t know either.

This change to RAG was disappointing. It just didn’t feel the same without hordes of first years trying to rip the small change out of my hands. Blikskud is to RAG like Watson is to Sherlock. They need each other, and without the combination of the two Tuks has lost a tradition that has been here for years. The floats also moved a lot quicker than last year, which not only made it difficult to see details on the floats, but caused some of the res students to run after them while they were on South Street. Not to mention how quiet the students were this year. Except for the few diehards, the first years seemed to fall into silence once you took their blikkies away. To read about RAG and the changes to UP Beats go to page 4 and 6 respectively.

Controversy of the week aside, Hatfield Carnival was amazeballs, but that is probably because RAG didn’t organise it. Read our interviews with some of the best bands who were there on page 8 and 9. This week’s edition also has sport coverage of the Varsity Cup and an interesting take on lesbianism.

Take some time to read this week’s edition. There aren’t any nasty surprises waiting for you here.

Until next time.

Margeaux

PS: Let me know what you thought about RAG this year via email at perdeby@up.ac.za or tweet me @MargeauxErasmus.

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