This year the Wizarding Society won the grand prize of Society of the Year. Brig has spoken to three of the committee’s witches Racheal Kinnaird (President), Claire Wallace (Vice-President) and Jennifer Roach (Treasurer), who told us about their busy journey over the past year.
TELL ME ABOUT THE WIZARDING SOCIETY? WHAT DOES IT DO?
We do quite a range of things, from themed pub crawls to treasure hunts. At our Monday meetings we have done Very Potter Musical showings, game nights, a sorting ceremony and a fanfiction competition, as well as other things. At the start of the year we sorted all of our members into the Hogwarts houses and have been running a house cup competition throughout the year. At our last meeting this term we will announce the winners and award the prize.
We also have a Muggle Quidditch team, Stirling University’s Dumyat Dragons! Our society also held its first big event last semester, The Yule Ball. We had a DJ, performances from SUDS, a candy buffet and an owl handling session.
WHAT MEDIUMS DO YOU USE TO EXPLORE AND DISCUSS WIZARDING FICTION?
We look at a large range of mediums in the society, not just the books. We have just had our fanfiction competition, were we wrote the worst Harry Potter fanfictions we could imagine in tribute to ‘My immortal’ which is known as the worst Harry Potter fanfiction ever.
Also we have Very Potter Musical nights, were we eat pizza and watch the musical in onsies and Pjs. AVPM is a stage musical created by a group of American university students, which parodies Harry Potter and is incredibly funny!
WHAT AREAS OF, “WIZARDING,” DO YOU LOOK AT? AND WHAT QUALIFIES A BOOK/FILM TO BE INCLUDED IN THE SOCIETY?
We keep it mainly to Harry Potter, but we have done a Famous Witch and Wizards pub crawl, which gave the chance for our members to come along as something outside of the Harry Potter world, so we had a few Harry Potter characters, Morgana from Merlin, Gandalf, one of Roald Dahl’s Witches, and Glinda and Elphaba from Wicked.
I HEAR THE SOCIETY IS FAIRLY NEW, HAVE THERE BEEN ANY FUN OR DIFFICULT ASPECTS TO BUILDING AND PROMOTING THE SOCIETY AT THE UNIVERSITY?
We are just over a year old and had a Birthday Party for the society at the start of this semester! Obviously creating the society was a lot of fun, we got to plan a lot of Harry Potter related events and design the clubs logos. However at the same time it was quite a lot of work. As we took over from the Muggle Quidditch Society we started a lot later than most clubs and didn’t get the opportunity to advertise at the Freshers Faire, so we weren’t very well known.
Most of the committee had never been on a committee before, so we had to learn about running a society from scratch and the dos and don’ts. It was a learning curve but I think we have definitely learnt from any mistakes and are improving as a society.
WHAT TYPES OF PROMOTIONS AND ADVERTISING DO YOU USE TO MAKE STUDENTS AWARE OF THE SOCIETY?
We share info about the society through our Facebook and twitter feeds, and we also have an Instagram account which we upload to frequently.
HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO RECEIVE PROMOTION AND INTEREST FROM THE MEDIA SOCIETIES?
We are currently talking to AirTv about making a short film about our Muggle Quidditch team, which we want to show at our freshers stall next semester.
WHAT SORT OF ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS DO YOU DO?
As well as our weekly committee meetings, we do trips to Edinburgh. There’s a tour that takes people all around Edinburgh showing all the places that JK Rowling used as inspiration in creating the Harry Potter series, as well as ghost tours in Edinburgh. We’re also about to go on our first society visit to London to see the Harry Potter Studios, which we are all looking forward to!
WHAT INSPIRED THE YULE BALL? WHAT HAPPENED AND DO YOU FEEL IT WAS A SUCCESS?
Everyone on the committee really wanted to try and create a big event based on Harry Potter. We all thought that the Yule Ball, which happened in the fourth book, would be the most fun and creative to do. It combined Harry Potter and Christmas which in my opinion is a pretty fantastic thing and would have the potential to be a great event.
It was so much fun to do, and the way that everyone engaged with it as well was fantastic! Everyone enjoyed the night so much, and it was such a great event to have done. It was also funny to see everyone change their Facebook pictures to them with owls the next day as well.
WHY DO YOU FEEL STUDENTS WOULD BE INTERESTED IN THE WIZARDING SOCIETY?
If you like Harry Potter, then this is the place to be! It’s also just fun, whether you’re a major fan or not. Even if it’s just for our pub crawls, the meeting are just so different to any other society, and it’s always a laugh.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE WIZARDING SOCIETY TO STUDENTS? AND WHY?
I would completely recommend joining the Wizarding Society, and not just cause I’m on the committee! Harry Potter is such a huge fandom and you can be so creative with events, that there is something for everyone to enjoy. We are a really friendly bunch and always welcome newcomers. It’s a great place to make friends and have a good laugh.