The presidents of the GMIT and NUIG have come together to hit out at special offers on alcohol as well as extended drinking hours during rag week.
A letter - co-signed by Dr James J Browne, NUI Galway president, Ms Marian Coy, GMIT president, James Hope, NUIG student union’s president, and Padraic Flesk, GMIT student union’s president - went as far as to ask outlets not to provide special rag week offers next year.
It read: “Both NUI Galway and GMIT have alcohol policies which aim to promote sensible drinking by the student population. Every year we communicate the dangers of excessive drinking to our students. However, the easy availability of cheap alcohol to students near to NUI Galway and GMIT does not help the University and the Institute in their endeavours to encourage moderate and sensible drinking.
“In particular the availability of special offers and extended drinking hours during rag week is seen by both NUI Galway and GMIT as something which encourages the consumption of excessive alcohol in an undesirable way. We would ask for your co-operation in this matter and request that you do not provide special rag week offers for rag week 2009.”
The letter was sent as students prepare to return for the new academic year.
It added: “Rag week is seen by the University, the Institute and the relevant student unions as an opportunity for the student community to raise funds for worthy charitable causes through a series of events.
“Unfortunately, in recent years 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. Neither the authorities in NUI Galway or GMIT, nor the student unions of these institutions condone such behaviour, and treat such breaches of conduct very seriously.”