Last Wednesday, RMC held a banquet in the Great Hall of Prescott that united students across campus, across grade-levels, and across disciplines in the ultimate nerdy experience. Organized by the Rocktivities Department, the Hogwarts Banquet is a tradition that has brought the best of the Harry Potter universe to the RMC community for years. In years past, the banquet has included Harry Potter-inspired food like Butter Beer, a Hogwarts house-sorting ceremony, and the opportunity to make potions inspired by the hit series. Two years ago, the banquet even included famous characters such as the Sorting Hat, which plays a prominent role in the first two books, and Dobby, a house- elf who seeks personal redemption. is year, the banquet was bigger and nerdier than ever.
There was no end of opportunities for fun, including competition-style games that each offered students a chance to win many Harry Potter-style prizes. These prizes included a complete set of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter movies, and Hogwarts scarves. The Rocktivities team also created magic wands for prizes, and even had an empty table covered in “Invisibility Cloaks” for those who didn’t win. RMC students could have won such prizes by participating in such contests as Magical Broom- sticks (a magical take on the popular game Musical Chairs), a costume contest, and OWL (a trivia quiz based on a formal test taken by students in the books), and “Pin the Nose on He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” For those who didn’t participate in contests, door prizes included candy based o the series, such as chocolate frogs, licorice wands, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.
A night devoted to the world of Harry Potter would not be complete without a tribute to Alan Rickman, a world-famous actor who famously played Severus Snape in the movie franchise. In his memory, the Rocktivities Department set up a photo of him, honoring his work for the series and the acting world in general recently losing a cultural icon that is so attached to people’s childhoods is obviously emotional, but that childhood connection is what makes the Hogwarts Banquet so important to RMC students like Rachel Keever. To Keever, “the best part of the banquet is that sense of wonder when students enter the great hall, which has been transformed into a place that has become such a large part of so many people’s childhoods.” It’s a way to bring a world of fantasy and wonder into the tangible reality of college life, and for nerds across campus, that’s what makes it so great.
Director of Student Activities Cara Lohrenz has expressed lots of excitement for the Hogwarts Banquet. As a self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd herself, she likes bringing her teams together to recreate such a fantasy world. But she doesn’t want to stop there. “Next year, we’re looking to start Comic Cons on campus, where students can get together and dress up as any fantasy character they want,” she said. This would not stop Potterheads from dressing up as their favorite Hogwarts professors, but would also give students the opportunity to dress up as other fictional characters, such as Star Wars characters, superheroes, and other comic book personae. Ultimately, the Hogwarts Banquet and Comic Cons are all in tune with “that sense of wonder” that Rachel Keever identifies with. It’s a way to make the imaginative more tangible, more real, and to bring people together to appreciate it.