History

The origin of the word ‘Rag’ is a murky issue long since lost in the annals of time. The term was first seen officially in the Oxford English Dictionary in the later half of the 19th Century and was used to refer to:

“a programme of satirical revues, frivolous stunts, parades, etc., organized by students to raise money for charity”

Since then it has evolved to encompass the far reaching and diverse set of student groups around the country that throw their time, and energy, into raising (In our best estimates) around £10 million every year.

SUSU RAG is one of the oldest Raise & Give Societies in the country and has had a history of being banned, first in 1930 and later in 1959, for being ‘excessively roudy’. Some of the stunts that have occured in the societies history include:

  • ‘Aquiring’ a 1902 James and Browne vintage car from Imperial College, London in 1958.
  • Breaking into Pankhurst Prison to leave graffiti during Rag week.
  • Running a radio station for 4 weeks called Southampton University Rag FM (which lead to the establishment of SURGE radio) in May 1993.
  • The redecoration of Stonehenge as a part of Rag week in 1955.
  • Driving a £250 Vauxhaul from Southampton to Moscow to raise money for Children in Need in 1990.

Unfortunately this adventurous nature died out in the early 2000’s and membership levels and fundraising totals died down. Thanks to the hard work of several committees and sabbatical officers over the past few years this trend was reversed and we broke through the £100,000 marker in 2014. Now we want you to join use as we look forward to even bigger and better things in the future.