Creative activities in RAG Week aimed at combating corona fatigue
On 8 April, RAG Week opens, the week in which all Nijmegen students do their best for a good cause. This year's good causes are assistance and guide dogs and children in war zones. Corona measures mean that the activities are different this year than in other years. ‘Everyone just has to be a bit more creative.’
Every year, the Nijmegen campus is given over to RAG Week. The Cultuurcafé gains a bar, the RAGbar, the Refter has a special RAG Week sandwich and people flock to Erasmusplein for the RAG opening market. And all for one reason: to raise money for good causes.
Elsze van den Wittenboer (21) is the third-year student of International Business Communication who is chairing this edition of the RAG Week. She loved the idea. ‘An awful lot of people in Nijmegen commit to the good causes and I didn’t want to use this year only to graduate.’
Just as in other years, many Nijmegen study, student and sports associations are involved in the fundraising, ranging from Carolus Magnus to Christian student association, Ichtus. ‘Each club comes up with an activity to raise money and the proceeds all end up here,’ Elsze says. ‘Normally, a lot of associations organise parties or drinks but this year, everyone has had to be a bit more creative.’
Online auctions are popular. ‘The associations of Social Sciences have moved to the Maria Montessori building and weren’t allowed to take anything from the old association room with them,’ Elsze explains. ‘So a lot of the items were auctioned for RAG Week.’ Other associations are selling beer, cook or picnic hampers.
Night at the Museum
The task facing Elsze and her committee is above all the supervision of the associations that want to take part in RAG Week, although the team is also organising a few of its own activities. The high-profile RAG cantus is unfortunately cancelled this year, due to COVID-19.
However, the traditional lottery in which local restaurants and businesses donate prizes, such as a gift voucher, will be taking place as usual. ‘We’re also organising a Night at the Museum, in collaboration with Het Valkhof Museum which will then be open to the public in the evening. Due to corona measures, we don’t yet know for certain whether this can go ahead.’ A pop-up take-away coffee bar at the RAG committee room in the Elinor Ostrom building and a reading by brain researcher Dick Swaab are also planned.
Elsze hopes that with such creative activities, students will become enthusiastic about the RAG Week, despite the corona fatigue. ‘We’re seeing that many students are kind of sick of all the online association activities.’ She doesn’t dare to take a guess at the proceeds expected.
But she can tell us that they will go to two good causes. ‘We’ve chosen one national and one international good cause again this year, which is more or less the norm for RAG Week.’ The national good cause is Stichting De Hond Kan De Was Doen, which funds training of assistance dogs and their owners. The international good cause is Right to Play, which organises sports and play elements for children in war zones.