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Harry Potter Club: Sorting, Sorcery, and Slytherins

While many students dream about going to Penn State, for some, it’s only second best — a mere default after not receiving their Hogwarts acceptance letters by owl years earlier.

These students gather in what is fondly known as The Three Broomsticks (quite simply, the Harry Potter club). Not to be confused with Penn State’s International Quiditch Team, the Three Broomsticks meet weekly to bask in the Harry Potter fandom by watching clips, playing games, and re-reading the books. They also travel to magical places, like Hershey’s Chocolate World, on their own Hogsmeade field trips, and host annual Yule Balls. Each year they even partake in a Triwizard Tournament, a competition that pits all four houses against each other for prizes, eternal glory, and bragging rights.

But before the fun can begin the new students must be sorted into their respective houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. To complete this task in the muggle world, new club members take a survey that determines which house best suits their personality. With questions like “What would you like to do after you graduate Hogwarts?” and “How would you handle some 5th year bullies?” all bases are covered. The final question on the survey asks what house you would most like to be in, which keeps true to the books. The Sorting Hat always takes your own choice into consideration.

I showed up to the ceremony, not exactly sure what to expect, only to find a lavishly decorated classroom, fit to serve as a muggle-world Great Hall. A roll-y chair served in place of a stool, streamers instead of floating candles. The tiny room was abuzz of nervous new club members speculating what house they might be sorted into, just like their first year counterparts at Hogwarts. I spoke with a few girls and asked if they had any guesses as to what house they might get. Taylor Stauss, a freshman, told me she wasn’t sure, but she knew she was “definitely not in Gryffindor”. On the other hand Jocelyn Juvinall, another freshman, had no clue as to where the Sorting Hat would place her.

As for myself, I was making my own little prop bets and guessed where each person would be sorted before the Sorting Hat shouted out their placement. Taylor, I figured, would be in Slytherin. Jocelyn? Ravenclaw. For sure.

A hush fell over the room and suddenly it was time to start. For those of you who don’t have it memorized by heart, here’s the Sorting Hat’s song:

Oh you may not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.

You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.

There’s nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can’t see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;

Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.

So put me on! Don’t be afraid!
And don’t get in a flap!
You’re in safe hands (though I have none)
For I’m a Thinking Cap!

Emily Szabo, club president, manned the Sorting Hat *cough* computer *cough* and played a particular noise for the Sorting Hat depending on what house that person was in (sorry to ruin the magic for y’all).  The hat was placed on the first girl’s head and a loud screech echoed around the room — “RAVENCLAW!” Syltherins heard a snake hiss, Gryffindors a lions roar, and Hufflepuffs an excerpt from The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger video.

The ceremony continued in this manner until all new members had been sorted. Here are the stats:

Gryffindor: 9 new members

Slytherin: 9 new members

Hufflepuff: 8 new members

Ravenclaw: 10 new members

Catie’s Prop Bet: Taylor — Syltherin; Jocelyn — Hufflepuff

After the ceremony I was 1-1 on my prop bet, but I had also witnessed all readheads be sorted into Gryffindor (as predicted #WeasleyPride).

Overall I would have to say that this years sorting ceremony was a success. Everyone seemed to be satisfied with their houses, and not even one person cried after being sorted into Hufflepuff.

If you’d like to get in on the Harry Potter action the Three Broomsticks has a Facebook page and is soon to be teaming up with the Penn State Quidditch team to form a THON group.

And don’t forget…


About the Author

Catie Simpson

Catie is a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She's also the resident townie and culinary enthusiast due to a brief stint at the CIA (the culinary school not the secret government agency). She currently works at a Baby Temperament Lab on campus where she tries to get babies to do dangerous things. She's also on the twitter.


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