The Harry Potter club, though not yet registered through Student Activities, aims to continue the legacy of the novels and movies for younger generations in the city.
With more than 100 students now interested, Main Campus’ first Harry Potter club–based on the seven-part book and movie series is in the process of becoming a registered organization through the university.
The Harry Potter club held its first general meeting on Sept. 26, at the Bell Tower. Students gathered around Hined Rafeh, a sophomore pre-medical major wearing her wizard hat and batting her wand, talking of her ideas for the year.
Rafeh, the brains behind the new organization, said, “We have a lot of plans, [and] we want to see how this works out.”
Rafeh began talking about the club last year with friends she met in her science classes. With a mutual love for Harry Potter, they all thought it sounded like a great idea, but never thought they would actually follow through with it.
“We were laughing our butts off because we were thinking, ‘No way this would never happen, it’s way too nerdy,’” Rafeh said.
But as word got out, the idea became more popular, and Rafeh decided to progress with the Harry Potter club.
After bringing up Harry Potter in chemistry class, Dr. Andrew Price agreed to be the group’s advisor.
During the Spring 2011 semester, Rafeh made a Facebook page to attract members. The group began with approximately 10 members, but when Rafeh returned from summer vacation, the group had expanded to more than 100 members.
“We couldn’t believe it,” Rafeh said.
The group has not yet been approved through Student Activities, but if it isn’t, it wouldn’t be because of the level of student interest.
There were approximately 40 attendees at Monday’s meeting within the first hour.
“I honestly think if we can have this many people at every meeting, this group is definitely going to be a success,” Rafeh said.[The Harry Potter club] is taking it to the next level,” sophomore English and Spanish major Jaleh Najafali said. “It’s more than just a book club.”
Some plans for the year include a Halloween party, quidditch team, bake sales and more. Rafeh said she hopes to spread the magic to children in Philadelphia by having the group participate in book charities and toy funds.
“We really want to just give other children the kind of childhood that we had,” Rafeh said.
Sophomore pre-pharmacy major Danielle Demauro was voted secretary of the group because of her strong organizational skills.
“I can definitely keep up with forms, emails and applications. I can probably keep it very organized,” Demauro said.
Demauro, Rafeh and other officers in the club, plan to sort each participant into Hogwarts houses with strategic quizzes, similar to Pottermore, an online Harry Potter experience.
“[The Harry Potter books] bring a group of people that you wouldn’t think could be friends with each other, around each other,” Demauro said.
Demauro assured members they do not have to be die-hard Harry Potter fans to join the club.
“Now that [the series] is over, this is a way for us to kind of relive our childhood, and who doesn’t want to do that?” Demauro said.
“I think this club is good because it’s a great place for nerdy people to get together in a cool setting,” Najafali added.
Lauren Hertzler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.