Harry Potter ‘order’ sets spell on campus

Members of the Order of the Nose-Biting Teacups met in T-Dubs to discuss ideas and aspirations for the Harry Potter-themed club they are starting on campus. (Tim Lee).
Members of the Order of the Nose-Biting Teacups met in T-Dubs to discuss ideas and aspirations for the Harry Potter-themed club they are starting on campus. (Tim Lee).

Exploring a Harry Potter lexicon for “obscure” wizardly terms, sophomore computer science major Siobhan Sabino and sophomore interactive multimedia major Jennifer Hurler settled upon a name for the club they hoped to introduce to the muggles of the College — the Order of the Nose-Biting Teacups (ONBT).

The club, which is currently working to become official, welcomes enthusiasts of all things Harry Potter-related, including the novels, movies and Potter “culture,” a theme the club will thrive on in an effort to “bring together people with a shared love of Harry Potter,” Sabino, president of ONBT, said.

Though some adjustments will be applied, ONBT will incorporate everything from House points to Quidditch.

Club members will be sorted into one of the four “Houses” — Slytherin, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff — at the beginning of every semester with a ceremony. The different Houses will serve to break the club into groups that share common interests. Though currently members can choose the house they prefer, Sabino said in future “sortings” members will fill out a form to determine where they are placed. Just as in the novels, the groups will be able to earn and compete for “House points.”

Despite gravitational challenges, the club hopes to introduce a Quidditch team to the College. The sport, which is played on flying brooms in the novels, will resemble rugby, but incorporate tackling and, of course, brooms.

“The idea is to have something hindering you. In the books, it isn’t this little campy thing. It’s a rough game,” Hurler, publicist of ONBT, said.

According to Hurler, the club is currently in possession of a Quidditch rulebook and is looking to join the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association, an intramural league that has teams across the country, including colleges and universities such as Emerson College, Harvard University and American University, according to its Web site.

Social activities such as Yule Balls, Deathday parties and Wizard Rock concerts can also be expected to bring members together over a common theme.

“They will be something social so that even if you come here and you feel kind of awkward, and you like Harry Potter, you can go there and there’s a room full of dorks who also like Harry Potter, and at least it’s that one thing you have in common,” Sabino said.

Another objective of the club is to explore British culture, Sabino said. The novels are a playground for mythology, Latin and astrology — all aspects the club plans to discuss, debate and research.

Though the club revolves around magic and myth, it will also work to help charity organizations such as the “Harry Potter Alliance.” The “Harry Potter Alliance” is an activist group that “fight(s) the Dark Arts in the real world” by raising awareness about literacy, poverty, equal rights and disasters such as Haiti, according to its Web site.

“It’s like using the power of Harry Potter to raise awareness of things, and raise money, like literacy, Darfur and Haiti,” Sabino said.

While many members, such as Sabino and Hurler, were disappointed that a Harry Potter club didn’t exist at the College to begin with, its progress is exciting for those involved in its formation.

“I’m a big fan of it. I was like a club, oh, I’m going to be made fun of, but I don’t really care if people make fun of me. Because growing up reading them, they did mean something profound to me. I literally grew up with Harry Potter, ” Hurler said.

Katie Brenzel can be reached at brenzel2@tcnj.edu.