21st July 2024

RAG LOST introduced as new intermission policy 


The University of Cambridge unveiled its new intermission policy this week, in partnership with RAG.

Intermitting students are set to be loaded onto buses and shipped away from Cambridge. They must then make it back by the start of the next academic year in order to return to their studies.

When asked for comment, Stephen Toope said: “I am personally thrilled by this new policy. The university no longer needs to invest in its mental health system or support students throughout their year out, and we are seen to be supporting RAG at the same time. It’s a win-win. For us, anyway. Not the students so much.”

This controversial strategy is one of several changes to LOST this year. In an effort to shake things up, the Raising and Giving committee has decided to step up the competition by abandoning competitors at a whole host of new locations. It is as yet unclear how the rule changes will affect proceedings.

Our correspondent Marcus Atherton is standing by to bring you live reporting as the action unfolds.

MA: Welcome back to another year of RAG LOST!  It is 12:00am on the first day of the competition, and all participants have just been dropped off.  

Team A must determine their location after being dropped somewhere hostile and unfamiliar. They consist primarily of Phys-Natscis, so set about constructing a compass. Soon they have their answer, and it’s not good. They have been dropped in the South Front of the University Library. This is a location that few of even the most seasoned researchers escape from, and no scientist has ever set foot in this building before.

Team B, the group of intermitting students who attracted so much controversy, have already managed to navigate across the Norfolk broads where they were abandoned and have reached a road. “We’re used to solving problems without any real assistance from the university,” says one competitor. “This whole thing should be easy, really.”

Team C, meanwhile are beginning to realise they have been sent further afield than expected. The air is hot and humid, and a row of palm trees sway above a white beach. After a quick debate over where RAG got the extra funding this year, they realise that they may be in a better position than they thought. Team C happens to include the President of CUCA and, if they are on the Cayman Islands as he suspects, he has plenty of funds stashed away to help them out.

Day Three, and Team B have joined forces with a group of wayward English students. Together they are making excellent progress. “Oh, no, we’re not participating in RAG,” says Tara Lamp, English student and hopeful thesp. “We’re just preparing for life beyond our degree by travelling without the prospect of any real money to help us along.”

Team C, meanwhile, have hit a problem. They are not in the Cayman Islands, as previously thought, but somewhere along the coast of Thailand. Of course, most of them have experience travelling through South East Asia, but making the journey without Daddy’s money will be a very different challenge. 

Team A is still on the same floor of the UL. After several days of searching with their phone torches, they have located a lift, but no one dares use it. They must hurry, for closing time is coming fast, and soon they will be trapped inside with the other lost souls who never quite managed to escape.

Day Five, and the peril grows very real for Team C. They encounter another group participating in the LOST challenge, but it does not look like they will be much help. In less than a week, this team has reverted to constructing a violent community, worshiping a replica of the Corpus clock with a conch shell as their symbol of authority. One member of Team C suggests rowing away, but they are unsure if they will be successful without a coach shouting encouragement from a bike alongside them and without their matching stash. 

Team A also believe they have come across a fellow competitor. It’s hard to tell if she is part of LOST, or simply lost in her own existential crisis as essay deadlines loom and she’s faced with her own innate averageness in the face of repeated internship rejections.

Team B, however, are nowhere to be seen. Our team lost track of them on Parker’s Piece as they passed Reality Checkpoint back into Cambridge. I can’t help but fear the worst: they’ve been lost in the university bubble. 

Day Seven, and all our teams are nearing the end of their journeys.

Team A emerge from the UL, disoriented and blinking in the sudden light. They have climbed forty seven different staircases, avoided the glares of the librarians, and even discovered the secrets hidden inside the phallic tower. They will be too traumatised to speak for several weeks; none of them even managed to find the book they needed whilst in there.

We finally managed to locate Team B, and it’s good news. They have made it back to Cambridge before September, and so will be allowed to return after intermission next year.

Team C are still on the other side of the world. However, they have all bought harem pants, taken a photo with a tranquillised tiger, and gotten their college crest tattooed on their ankles. As such, the judges have ruled that they have truly found themselves, and completed the competition.

What a fantastic showing by all our teams! However, none of them have managed to claim this year’s LOST crown. Yet again, the winner was declared to be the The University of Cambridge’s moral compass. With an underfunded mental health service, accepting research grants from Shell, and the readmission of Peter Hunchinson to Trinity Hall, it’s no surprise that the judges declared the university truly lost. 

That’s all from me, and this year’s RAG LOST. See you in 2020, when we’ll find out if I can relocate any of the sanity lost over my three years of study. 

Fundraising for RAG LOST is still open and donations can be made here.