R&G (pronounced RAG) week is chaos. Originally conceived as “raise and give” week, during which UCC students contribute to charity, it seems to have descended in a week of pure decadence. It’s a conflict of morality - although 10,000 euro was raised by mid-week, certain observations led me to question the means to a pretty great (and exhausted?) end.
College Road (the street running parallel to the north side of campus) on day one was already a certified mess. People began the week on Sunday night, heading out to the clubs to dive straight in. The evidence was clear, with a *bit* more litter and, err, puddles of questionable origin lining the sidewalk and surrounding front yards.
Throughout the week, this mess intensified, accompanied by music blasted even during my pre-noon stroll to classes. The state of College Road perfectly demonstrated my own inner conflict. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, the sun decided to make a vibrant appearance and the street’s residents responded in kind, dragging couches and chairs out of their houses to form makeshift patios. I longed to be strangely spontaneous, perhaps to buy cheap ciders and invite myself, sunglasses at the ready, to lounge amongst these beautifully young and decadent strangers.
Then I heard - via YikYak, not the most reliable source - someone’s sad tale: an tearful elderly woman was seen picking up broken bottles and other filth from her front yard as the week came to a close. See, students showing disregard for their own living spaces doesn’t bother me nearly as much as them utterly disrespecting others’ homes.
Other stories heard - students kicking side mirrors off random people’s cars, swarming the streets in drunken masses, and, my particularly least favorite and sadly most numerously heard story, drunk guys trying to reach up girls’ skirts/pull off their underwear as they walked into or back from town. All of these “anti-social behaviors,” as the university deems them, put quite a bad taste in my mouth.
See, the coinciding of R&G week, sunshine, food stalls on campus and fun events to witness around the place all made these days pretty enjoyable. I got a great laugh out of lounging on a bench in the Quad Monday morning in the sun with my friend Morgan - we watched as the campus-wide “zombie” game began and friends chased each other mercilessly across campus. The Students’ Union auctioned off the (probably) worst and dirtiest car known to man, even made up to look like the pile of scrap from The Inbetweeners series. The whole week did make campus feel more exciting and brighter, and all for charity!
But at what price? Ever the goody-two-shoes, I questioned people who skipped all of their classes, especially with midterms and projects in full swing. I’m not a fan of day-drinking and not a huge fan of clubbing in general, though, so maybe the full experience of R&G week just wasn’t for me.
It was nonetheless an undeniably fascinating experience.