Where will the digital calendar go?
Hopefully it will be posted on the LSU site, because if we have it on the centralised LSU site, everyone knows where to go instead of having a Rag website, or posted on another medium. If it’s on the LSU site, everyone knows where it is and can access it very easily.
Are you not worried that increasing the number of overnight events will mean people engage with rag raids just for the night out?
Yes and no. A lot of people like charity and the idea of being charitable, but won’t get involved unless they know there’s something else they can get out of it. That’s why with the things like the Colour Dash and Apocalypse are very popular and make lots of money for the university in terms of Rag. Raids do well currently, but they could be doing better, it offers the opportunity for students who haven’t travelled the country to visit bigger cities. It’s a suggestion for them to go out if they want to, but a lot of people might just go and see the city, but the next day they will have to get a bucket and stand around. Whether they raise a lot of money or not, we have more people on the raids anyway and the potential to raise a lot more money. It is a concern, but I think on the whole people aren’t going to be that cynical and disappear, because they simply won’t be able to get back on the bus!
College students typically resist getting involved – how will you engage them?
When we had to hand in our manifesto points, I’d actually written 600 words that I had to reduce so I had this covered. The perception of Rag at the moment is ‘this is a charity thing I can get involved with’ lightly. If as a section we start an Instagram page where we post pictures from all the treks, fanciful places and events like Colour Dash/Bierkeller and have a whole social media section. I think at the moment Rag does not do enough with social media and utilising the idea that people want to create the image of themselves where they do loads of cool stuff and are really charitable, I think we need to do more to promote our section in that way. We have loads of pictures of people doing really cool stuff that gets shared a lot by the university and students, and if we push this it may change the perception of Rag and give people a story to tell. It’s not a quick-fix but hopefully it’s something I can change if I get voted on.
Could you elaborate on your feedback plans? Have you thought about how this may work online?
The suggestion form as an idea is something that I’d lean towards more digitally, say if we had a colour dash and everyone handed in a suggestion form it would simply take too long and would be a waste of time for everyone to comb through them all. I think maybe a star system would work better or 1/5 rating, if an event gets loads of ’2s’, then we know that it isn’t a very successful event. If it’s online we could have an ‘About Us’ section or something similar and we could say at the end of every event to let them know where to leave feedback, we could even have a prize, like a free ticket to an event Rag runs like the Freshers’ Colour Dash, for example. People need incentives to do things and it’s quite hard, I understand how hard the current Exec have had it trying to get people to get involved let alone give feedback.
Do you have a practical plan as to how you would ‘upping hall-run events’ as you say in your manifesto?
This one is probably the easiest to implement. Loads of different halls currently run things, there’s the big things like the Royce 500, and Towers’ recent charity shop social, where people bought things from charity shops and brought their receipts, and that then went onto their Rag total, for example. When they run events like that, I want to have a system where they write a report of the event, telling us how well it went, what was successful and what wasn’t and we can share this in meetings that we have every Tuesday. Currently, if a hall runs an event and they need help, they can come to the Rag EO and the committee if they need help and only if. But the difference is and what I want to change is that I want them to come to me when they have an event, so we know what’s happening so we can offer our help and add to it and they can share what they’ve done and we can share with other members and reps with what they’ve done. If we know in advance what plans are happening, we can help them – it’s a very simple process to ‘up’ the events that people run.