Billikens and Basilisks: SLUpefy Recreates the Hogwarts Experience at SLU
They may not have a Quidditch field, but the members of Saint Louis University’s Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor and Slytherin houses are bringing their love of all things Potterverse to life as they pursue a Jesuit education – even if potion making, summoning a patronus or braving a basilisk’s stare aren’t listed in SLU’s course catalog yet.
For the members of SLUpefy, the University’s Harry Potter fan club, that means holding their own Sorting Hat Ceremony, making wands and teaming up with another student organization, Billikens for Clean Water, to channel their passion for all things Potter into raising money for charity organizations at the upcoming “Yule Ball.”
All of the activities are part of the club’s ongoing House Tournament, a participation-based race to see which SLU House – Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin – will win this year’s House Cup in April, and with it a banquet celebrating their devotion to J.K. Rowling’s world of wizarding. The club has about 60 active members.
Creating Community Through Re-Creating Hogwarts
“Our goal is to create a supportive community for all, and a space for our members to share their enthusiasm for the Harry Potter series, while also reaching out to the community around us,” sophomore Abigail Delbridge, SLUpefy president, said. “The community we have created within SLUpefy is unlike any other on campus.”
“Our club is a place to bond over a timeless series and SLUpefy has provided an opportunity to befriend such a diverse group of people from all different majors and backgrounds – people that I probably would not have met if not for the club,” she continued.
Since its founding in 2018, SLUpefy has hosted potion-making classes in conjunction with SLU’s Chemistry Club, movie showings and Potter-themed gatherings including a birthday celebration for series hero Ron Weasley.
Channeling a Magical World to Benefit Charity
The Yule Ball on Saturday, April 27, will benefit Lumos, a charity organized by the J.K. Rowling that provides educational, emotional and familial assistance to millions of orphans and at-risk children around the globe, and Billikens for Clean Water in their work educating others about the ongoing water crisis that occur internationally.
The ball will be held in the St. Louis Room of Busch Student will be a semi-formal affair featuring a DJ, food and live band. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased here.
The community we have created within SLUpefy is unlike any other on campus.”Abigail Delbridge, president of SLUpefy
Finding Jesuit Values in a Fantasy Realm
Spending time with Harry, Hagrid, Professor Snape, and other series characters also helps its members think more deeply about how fantasy can help them think through new ways to be women and men for others.
“The use of fantasy worlds such as Harry Potter allow for the exploration of topics and ideas relating to Jesuit values such as social justice,” Delbridge said. A Potter fan since childhood, Delbridge connected to Harry and his friends by seeing pieces of herself in the struggles they faced as the series evolved. “It allows people to view these ideas and values in a different light, and allows for experimentation and an exchange of ideas.”
As the year draws to a close, the club is planning for its fall 2019 activities, including more wand-making, quidditch and a fresh Sorting Hat Ceremony to welcome new members from the Class of 2023 who may embark on their own quest for the House Cup next year.
Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 13,000 students on campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of now more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.
Story by Amelia Flood, University Marketing and Communications