Potterheads launch Order of the Phoenix

Maggie Mallon

Villanova fans of the “Harry Potter” series gathered on Sept. 9 for the inaugural meeting of the Villanovan Order of the Phoenix.

For the event, the East Lounge in Dougherty was set up to resemble the Great Hall as featured in the “Harry Potter” films.

Senior Charlie Gillespie performed a dramatic reading and Jamie Green provided Harry Potter trivia.

Included in the meeting was the ratification of the organization’s Constitution and plans for the House Cup Tournament.

“It was so funny – the Houses had barely been together half an hour, but by that time they were answering trivia for House points,” said junior Jacqueline Coleman, the founder of the club. “There was already fierce competition and House pride between all of them.”

Staying true to the novels, each of the four houses created by J.K. Rowling are featured in the club.

Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin will each have members assigned to them and prior to being sorted, members must take a quiz to determine which House best suits their personality.

In addition to organizing the House Cup, Quidditch Captains for the four houses are working together to create House teams. They hope to participate in tournaments with Quidditch teams from other schools.

The four houses, like in the novels, will also have prefects.

The prefects will assist in events planning for the organization.

They are currently working on scheduling a Halloween party, a Special Olympics booth, a movie marathon, and a Yule Ball.

The Villanovan Order of the Phoenix has been several years in the making, and Coleman had intended to start a Harry Potter club her freshman year.

Some of her friends and classmates expressed interest in joining, but the club did not come to fruition until this year.

The group organized a booth for the Activities Forum and over two hundred students signed up.

The Order of the Phoenix hopes to connect Villanova students who share a love of the series.

It is also a means to acknowledge the deep cultural impact the book series has had.

“The thing about Harry Potter is that it isn’t just a book series, it’s a phenomenon,” Coleman said.

Since the first “Harry Potter” novel was published over a decade ago, fans have created their own universe.

Websites, podcasts, music and soon, a Harry Potter theme park within Universal Studios, are all dedicated to the series.

The Villanovan Order of the Phoenix hopes to honor the series and provide a fun, creative outlet for fans at Villanova.

“Because Harry Potter is so huge, it seems as though there are no limits to what our club will do,” Coleman said. “Anything we can dream of, together we can make happen.”