Thousands were enthralled by spectacular performances at NUS University Town on 11 August for Rag Day, an annual NUS tradition dedicated to giving back to the community. The festive atmosphere was made all the more exuberant by the wonderful news that a record high of more than $581,000 had been raised through the NUS Students’ Union (NUSSU) Rag and Flag 2018, thanks to generous donations from the public which will go towards 21 charity programmes supported by the Community Chest.
Gracing the occasion was Guest-of-Honour Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore and NUS Chancellor, who launched the event and visited the games carnival set up by students from various halls, residential colleges, schools and faculties. She was joined by Special Guest Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung; NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye; NUS Vice Provost (Student Life) Professor Florence Ling; and Associate Professor Peter Pang, Dean of Students, NUS Student Affairs.
Themed “Reigniting our Flair”, Rag Day 2018 aimed to inspire incoming freshmen with values of excellence and originality and the spirit of giving back. “Through the hard work put into preparing for both Flag Day and Rag Day, NUS freshmen and seniors have forged new bonds, fostered teamwork and inculcated the spirit of volunteerism. I hope that this rewarding experience of working together to make a positive impact to those around us will continue to inspire our freshmen and seniors to keep up their excellent effort of helping those in need,” said NUSSU President Jeffrey Lee.
Weeks spent building tall, dazzling floats out of recycled materials as well as practising flashy choreography from various genres culminated in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for freshmen like NUS Medicine Rag performer Chloe Ang. “Being part of the magic of Medicine Rag has been an unexpected roller coaster of an experience. I never expected to form such strong bonds with my peers and seniors, to grow as an individual, and to learn what passion, creativity and hard work really means, and I have no regrets taking part in it this year,” she shared.
In total, some 2,000 NUS students helped put together the 11 performances to express their appreciation to the public for the large volume of donations collected.
In recognition of their dedication and outstanding efforts, NUSSU has been receiving the Community Chest Special Events Gold or Platinum Awards on an annual basis since 2003. Last year, NUSSU received the Community Chest Awards 2017 Special Events Platinum Award and the 15-Year Outstanding Special Events Award. To date, NUS students have raised more than $8 million in donations for Singapore beneficiaries through the annual NUSSU Flag and Rag events.
Special mention was given to NUS Business, which bagged several awards for alone raising more than $220,000 on Flag Day 2018, the highest amount raised by Rag and Flag participating bodies since inception. NUS Dentistry, NUS Pharmacy and NUS Arts and Social Sciences were also conferred the Friends of the Community Award, for developing the best long-term engagement plans with their beneficiaries.
Winners of Rag Day 2018
• School of Business
• Faculty of Law
• Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
• School of Computing
• Faculty of Dentistry
• Faculty of Engineering
• Department of Pharmacy
• Faculty of Science
• Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
• School of Design and Environment
• NUS Halls of Residence