Drunken and unruly students have led the senior management of a Galway university to withdraw their support for the annual charity rag week.
The event “will no longer form part of the university calendar”, NUI Galway (NUIG) senior management said in a statement, according to the Irish Times.
“Unfortunately this week of charitable events has been overshadowed by a minority of students using this time as an opportunity for excessive drinking, leading ultimately to unsafe, unruly and anti-social behaviour,” NUIG management said.
“NUIG does not condone this behaviour and treats such breaches of conduct very seriously,” it said, and it apologised to Galway city residents who had experienced “disruption or distress” this week. It is understood there have been 42 arrests related to rag week events in Galway city since Monday.
The college said it had conveyed its decision to the NUIG students’ union president Muireann O’Dwyer, and it would continue to support students fundraising for charity.
Fundraising events include a fire walk, shave-off, triathlon and swimathon, and nominated charities this year are the children’s cancer-support group CD’s Helping Hands, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, L’Arche, which supports people with intellectual disabilities, and the Belarus Orphanage Project.
Students’ Union president Muireann O’Dwyer said she regretted the college’s decision, but rag week would continue this week and in future years.
Many non-alcoholic events had been held, and she said she did not believe the college’s move was justified. Over €20,000 had been raised for charity to date this week, she said.
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