This year’s edition of Rag Day, the University’s annual tradition of contributing towards the welfare of the less privileged, took place on 12 August at NUS University Town and saw the exciting announcement that more than $400,000 had been raised from Flag Day 2017.
Gracing the occasion was Guest-of Honour Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, with NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan; NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost Professor Tan Eng Chye; NUS Deputy President (Research & Technology) Professor Ho Teck Hua; Associate Professor Peter Pang, Dean of Students, NUS Student Affairs; and Ms Priscilla Gan, Director, Relations & Engagement at Community Chest in attendance.
In his speech, Prof Tan Chorh Chuan exhorted the freshmen, saying, “While you develop yourselves intellectually in NUS, I hope you also take the opportunity to grow as well-rounded individuals, taking advantage of all the opportunities in the University.” He noted that they had been very active in raising money for the less advantaged in Singapore and encouraged them to continue contributing to society.
Speaking of the freshmen’s participation in Rag and Flag, Mr Ong said, “This experience is the start of making great friends, and no matter what you study, whatever you do in future, remember we all need great friends.”
Helmed by NUS Students’ Union (NUSSU) and themed “Reminisce and Flourish”, Rag Day 2017 aimed to remind freshmen of Rag and Flag’s initial altruistic purpose, urging them to continue the legacy of generosity and excellence. “Know that there are people around you who are not as fortunate as you to be enrolled in this world class institution. And as you move on to the different stages of your lives, stay grounded and continue giving back to the society,” said NUSSU President Tan Wee Bian, soon to start Year 4 in NUS Engineering.
At Rag, students from faculties, halls and residential colleges took to the stage to put on a series of spectacular and vibrant enactments for the appreciative audience, performing against a backdrop of colourful floats imaginatively fabricated from recycled materials over the past few weeks.
NUS performance groups got into the act as well, wowing the audience with their slick dance moves, magnificent vocal chords and heart-stopping cheerleading routines.
Freshman Liew Kai Lin from NUS Business School, who spent around two months preparing for Rag Day, found it to be a very fulfilling “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. “I forged valuable bonds with a group of people, which I would not have if I had not joined Rag,” she added.
Rag Day this year featured two new awards — Mighty Mouse Award and NUSSAVE (Green Award). Named after the cartoon character which has great strength in spite of its small size, the Mighty Mouse Award rewards the student body which has brought in the highest per capita contribution per participant. The inaugural Mighty Mouse Award was presented to University Scholars Programme.
The NUSSAVE (Green Award), which rewards the participating body which has most creatively demonstrated environmentally friendly solutions in their floats, was presented to NUS Dentistry.
In addition to the 12 dazzling performances by the students, spectators were also treated to a carnival featuring fun games and apparel booths.
The proceeds from Flag Day 2017 will go towards 21 charity programmes supported by Community Chest, including Fei Yue Community Services, Lighthouse School and St. Andrew’s Autism Centre. Donations can still be made at this link.
Since 2000, NUS students have raised more than $7 million in donations for Singapore beneficiaries through the annual NUSSU Flag and Rag events. For their efforts, they have been receiving the Community Chest Special Events Gold or Platinum Awards annually since 2003.
Winners of Rag Day 2017
- Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
- Faculty of Dentistry
- Faculty of Engineering
- Business School
- Department of Pharmacy
- Halls of NUS
- School of Computing
- School of Design and Environment
- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Science
- University Scholars Programme