Harry Potter fans gather at a ‘magical’ late night event
Walking into the Viking Union sixth floor restrooms, signs are posted reading “This Way to the Ministry of Magic,” tipping off any Harry Potter fan that they’re headed in the right direction.
Instead of reading “VU MARKET,” there was a paper brick wall taped up with “Platform 9 ¾,” covering the entrance to what, on any other night, would be the cafeteria. The scene was complete with hundreds of students in robes, ties and scarves, flooding the VU in the hopes of finding something magical.
On Friday, Sep. 29, AS Productions hosted a Harry Potter themed late night event, as a conclusion to Welcome Week, to introduce both new and returning students to what school sponsored events Western has to offer.
The event had performances by magician Nash Fung, Western Magician Society and student improv troupe Dead Parrots Society. The event also included a DJ with a makeshift dance floor, Rebel Whiteboard Art creating Harry Potter themed pointillist art, as well as information booths for many student clubs and organizations.
“It’s something to do the first week of school late at night and give [students] the opportunity to have safe, enjoyable fun,” Courtney Manz, AS Special Events Coordinator, said.
The WWU Wyverns, the official Western Quidditch team, showcased their team by demonstrating how those without magical ability play: without the use of flying brooms.
“We’ve been a team at Western for six years now and we’re an official team recognized by United States Quidditch,” Megan Boice, president of the Western Wyverns said. “We compete in the U.S. nationally and against Canadian teams in Vancouver and around Alberta as well. This year we’re competing in regionals in California which is going to be awesome. We really try to build sportsmanship and community within the team at Western and we don’t have tryouts so we let everyone play.”
Being a part of the team is not limited to fans of the series, but accepts anyone who is looking to be a part of something.
“Right now, we’re actually just demo-ing Quidditch. So we’re playing some mini games and giving them the real basics of what we do. But we are also trying to advertise to people coming out for our Sunday practices,” Caneida Andrews, keeper of the Wyverns, said.
For those surveying the event it was an opportunity to meet people with similar interests and experiences while also learning more about their school and community.
“I want to experience all that Western has to offer and I really love Harry Potter,” Cora Shields, freshman, said. “The biggest thing for me is that my dad used to work all the time and my first experience with Harry Potter was him reading it to me. So that was one of the few times I got to see him so it was a really awesome bonding moment; it means a lot to me so it has a really special place in my heart. And it’s also a really great book series.”