Students Take the Plunge for Funds
Today is the day. After weeks of planning, of fundraising, of cutting through red tape, UCL RAG Society have finally achieved their wish.
Today is the day. After weeks of planning, of fundraising, of cutting through reams of red tape, UCL RAG Soc have finally achieved their wish.
For the first time in UCL’s history people have bungee jumped over our illustrious quad.
Those who were jumping had to register and then be weighed. There were four weight categories, with a corresponding rope tension for each. The allowed range was from 35 kilos to 120 kilos. We imagine they really hoped their scales were working.
Next they were belted up, bundled into a small cage and lifted slowly to the height of 157ft, where they were instructed to look straight ahead and jump after a count of three. Most managed it straight away, but a few feigned to jump before pulling back at the last minute to the gasps of the baying crowd below.
All who jumped, however, shared the same adrenalin rush at the bottom. Christie Lau, who is a 3rd year Psychologist, put her love of heights down to her home in Hong Kong, which is on the 34th floor. This didn’t stop her from screaming manically as she fell…
Another 3rd year psychologist, Manyui, said that she bungee jumped because she wanted to end her 3rd year on a high. Or low. Although she wasn’t sure if she would pluck up the courage to do it again.
The build up to the day, however, was not without difficulties. There was a problem with the original 60-ton crane they had booked. At the last minute the company providing the bungee service had to draft in a 160-ton crane from Southampton.
The truck upon which the new crane sat was 2.75 metres wide, whilst the only entrance to the quad is a mere 3.10 metre wide. This nearly derailed the entire event as the crane had to be squeezed past the grade two listed building gates with a very small margin for error.
The general consensus was that the worst bit of the jump came during free fall. The horror of leaving the safety of the crane combines with the total lack of feeling that comes from the rope; relaxation only came when the rope is stretched out. For extra piece of mind there was a huge crash mat with ‘Shut up and Jump’ written on top of it!
This event combines with Fire Walking last term and Jailbreak a few weeks ago to make this year RAG’s most successful. This was a fantastic event to finish on, and after their AGM last week we can sure of many more charity events in the future.
In fact, it’s looking likely that Bungee Jumping will return during RAG Week in the first term of next year. Any budding daredevils who missed out this time should take note.
The last bungee jump is from 5-6 today. If you're around, get down to the Quad and support your fellow students!
Photographs by Nicole Gillett.