An Interview with the President of RAG

The Gryphon interviewed RAG president Sarah Calvert to find out all about RAG and why it’s a society to watch.

  1. What is your role as President?

My role is to look after the long term goals of the society and oversee everything that is going on. I do a bit of everyone’s job so that I can give advice. I also do all the boring things that no one realises needs to happening, like making the RAG mag and sorting out the website.

  1. How many members are there on the committee?

There are 17 members on the committee plus a full time paid coordinator, loads of people involved.

  1. Is there a specific membership for students to sign up to or is membership event specific?

Anyone can sign up to be a member of RAG. At the moment membership is £5 but that’s going up to £10 in a couple of weeks. Once you are a member you can do any of our projects or any of our challenges and hitches.

  1. How would you encourage students to get involved with RAG?

Pop up to the office on level two of the Union. Grab a RAG mag from us and come and chat to us any time. Keep an eye on social media as we put a lot of information up there and there’s our website as well.

  1. What is the largest sum of money you have raised for charity at a single event?

This year the fashion show raised nearly £15,000. They all raise so much money. I know the Bike to Berlin raised over £20,000.

  1. What events have you got planned for the rest of the year?

Bacchanalia round two is definitely happening. The fashion show will run again too. Our cycling events are really popular so we are doing a new one called Peddle to Prague which should be really interesting.

  1. Why do you think RAG is such an important society and the university?

I think it’s because we are all so lucky to be in the position we are in and it makes you realise that you can give back and have loads of fun doing it. Although we are a fundraising society, a lot of our members see our events and want to take the opportunity to do things like hitch hike to Amsterdam. We can facilitate that. It’s really exciting and it’s so big it creates a great way to meet new people. It gives people the chance to do things that they’ll never be able to do again like hitch hike across Europe or help in an African school. It’s amazing.

  1. You mentioned you have won the chance to host the RAG conference

This year, I put together a bid, did a speech and everyone voted for us to host the national RAG conference next year, in August 2015. Delegates from all over the country will come to Leeds. It’s amazing. We have started organising it now and are recruiting for a committee of about 10 people to help with that; so get in touch if anyone wants to be on the committee. It will run for either two nights or three nights. There will be about 300-350 people from RAG coming, we hope. Delegates from loads of other charities should be coming as well. All through the day we will have lectures, seminar and workshops. There will also be a massive RAG awards on the final night – lots of alcohol consumption during that evening. I can’t wait.

It looking to be a very stressful year for RAG but really exciting. I can’t wait.

Maddy Keating

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