'If SCAN is negative about people doing good things, they will never happen...'
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Week 6 of this term saw Lancaster’s RAG Society breaking out their collection tins and hitting the Carleton in fancy dress in the hope of raising money for three charities –North West Air Ambulance, Kids for Kids, and The GEM Appeal. Kids for Kids raises money for village children in Darfur, in the Sudan, and The GEM Appeal is a national charity that researches genetic and metabolic disorders in children. The North West Air Ambulance costs £4 million per year to run. The amount of money collected in RAG Week 2011 has not yet been confirmed, however, £5261 was raised during the 2010 event. Views aired by SCAN’s Comment editor Emily Robertson last week however, which questioned the success of Lancaster’s RAG Week in comparison to academic and sporting rival York University, has caused a storm of debate. Robertson called Lancaster’s efforts ‘pitiful’, pointing out that lack of publicity left many students unaware that RAG Week was even happening. She went on to suggest that she felt unable to involve herself in the activities, and that they didn’t inspire interest in students. RAG’s former President Leah Smith, who held the position in 2009/2010, believes that the view published in SCAN was unreasonable. She voiced her views to TNS, pointing out that statistics quoted by Robertson were incorrect and that the article failed to consider the limitations put on charity events by LUSU. Robertson’s article stated that £3500 had been raised in RAG Week 2010 –almost £2000 short of the actual amount collected. Also omitted was the fact that over £8000 was raised by Lancaster RAG throughout the whole year. Current President Catherine Byrne points out that, ‘The money meant a lot to the charities that received it and I firmly believe that raising money for charity isn’t a competition. The total given for the University of Cumbria also seems a little inaccurate since an article posted on their website around this time last year says that their RAG society has raised ‘over £4000 for charity since their formation in Spring 2008’. This figure appears to include both the Lancaster and Carlisle campuses over two years, not just the Lancaster campus over one week as was suggested in SCAN.’
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