Unless you are a Karni Rep, the reality of what they do remains a bit of an urban myth. How is it possible that a bunch of rowdy students are able to raise over £1.7 million for charity a year, without robbing a bank? We spoke to Guy Seaward, the Director of Karni, to find out what they really get up to in their exclusive red polos…
You’re Director of Karni – what does that mean?
I co-ordinate my exec team, who all have different roles and responsibilities within Karni and I am the representative of Karni.
Is it all rag raids?
No! Rag raids are how most students get involved into Karnival, but that’s just the icing on the cake. We do challenges, volunteering and so much more that anyone can get involved with.
How do you raise so much money?
Challenges make the most. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trek, London to Paris cycle and the Barcelona Marathon to name a few. They can raise anything from £1,000 to £3,000 per person.
What would you say is the most interesting Karni fact?
I would say the most interesting fact about Karnival is that we aren’t funded. We don’t get any money from the Students’ Union, we make it all ourselves.
What is your favourite thing about Karni?
Wow… My girlfriend? No don’t put that in! Rags. Definitely Rags.
What is your least favourite thing about Karni?
The stigma against Karnival.
So why do you think there are such haters of the student run service?
Because some people, after they’ve become a fresher and if they haven’t become reps, may feel as though the doors are closed just because there are no more Rag Raids. It needs to be made clear that they can still get involved!
What would you suggest to a student who wanted to get involved not on a Rag?
Do a challenge. You could do something like climb Kilimanjaro and raise £3k, or raise £1k and do a marathon. There are so many different options and that’s just one of the ways you can get involved.
Have you made any big changes to Karni this year?
Yes. So in the past, volunteer hours were counted towards the overall money total, as it reflected the effort put in by those involved. However, this year we are going to have two different totals; one total of volunteering hours, and one hard cash total.
What is the best part of being director?
The fact I’m in a team with all the execs, who are now my closest friends.
What benefits do people get from being a Karni Rep?
The fun – you make so many new friends from being on Karni. As well as being able to put that you have done over 1,000 hours of volunteering on your CV.
Karni’s socials in the past have had a reputation for getting a bit out of hand, how do you think this has changed recently?
Because at some point Karnival decided to improve its image which is reflected by the reps and the way they present themselves.
What is the Snowflake Ball? Does Santa make an appearance?
At the very end of the Karni year we have the Snowflake Ball which is where we announce our total for the year, individual halls totals and give out other awards, and yes Santa does make an appearance, but you won’t realise he’s there… This years one is on the 8th December!