Admit it: It’s your dream to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’d die if a snowy owl dropped off a Hogwarts admission letter for you on midnight of your 11th birthday, and you’re confident of which house you’d be sorted into on your arrival. You’d gladly make Hagrid your #bff and eat his stale rock cakes if it meant you could cuddle with baby Norbert and borrow a few nifflers to dig up spare change. Sadly, most of us stopped entertaining the fantasy that we’d attend Hogwarts when we submitted SIRs to UC Berkeley. Little did we know, however, that our university is like Hogwarts in many ways. Stretch your imagination and see how our university is like the supernatural institution you’re most fond of:
1. UC Berkeley supposedly has secret societies similar to the Order of the Phoenix.
According to one student who’s allegedly spied on UC Berkeley officials rendezvousing in the dead of the night at a nameless campus building, our university’s power figures meet twice every month to discuss policies and politics that affect the entire student body. The secret organization is supposedly called The Order of the Golden Bear, was established in 1901 and inhibits democratic policymaking by pushing agendas of the university’s most prominent authorities. The Order of the Golden Bear is one Order we’d all definitely want to chuck Extendable Ears at and listen in on if the opportunity presented itself.
2. Ghosts have been rumored to haunt faculty halls.
There have been reports of a former history professor, Henry Morse Stephens, haunting UC Berkeley’s Faculty Club for decades. He’s been known to sit in his favorite chair and generate eerie noises, and some even claim that he occasionally recites poetry. If the sightings are true, we may have finally found a ghost cooler than Nearly Headless Nick — we’d choose professor Stephens’ poetry readings over Nick’s whiny complaints about improper decapitation any day.
3. Navigating through Main Stacks is like taking a trip on Hogwarts’ moving staircases.
Like young Hermione, Ron and Harry wandering the halls of Hogwarts, UC Berkeley students can wander Main Stacks for hours and still not unearth all of its secrets. We’ve all gotten lost in Main Stacks more times than we’d like to admit. Looking for the perfect study spot often turns into an hour-long expedition, and by the time we settle into a desk, our sense of direction is so garbled that we wish we’d left a trail of bread crumbs to find our way back. Main Stacks is so difficult to maneuver that if we had a UC Berkeley Marauder’s Map, we swear we’d only use it to snag the best study table during dead week.
4. You still study for classes until the wee hours of the night.
Even though you don’t have to study by wand-light, hide under your covers or read textbooks that try to bite your hand off, you still spend many late nights pouring over class readings as you fight off yawns and Facebook notifications. Your parents would probably be as unhappy as Vernon or Petunia Dursley to see the amount that you study, though more so due to your lack of effort rather than their fear that you’ll learn to obliterate them into tiny pieces.
5. Professor Coward is UC Berkeley’s Dumbledore.
He’s had years of experience fighting the world’s evil forces, he loves to deliver life advice to young pioneers, and he’s quirky and full of interesting quips. Both legends are so likeminded that even their quotes are hard to differentiate: Coward says, “The potential all of you in your generation are going to have for both good and harm is tremendous,” while Dumbledore stresses that “dark and difficult times lie ahead.” As much as we’d love for professor Coward to maintain a shock of white beard to go along with his Dumbledore persona, we nonetheless appreciate the honesty and hospitality he extends toward his students and can’t get enough of his viral emails.
6. Our enthusiasm during Cal vs. Stanford football games could rival that of Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Quidditch matches.
Regardless of our teams’ calibers, we at UC Berkeley always take pride in sport. We stomp up the stands and bully anyone donning red garble, and it’s almost guaranteed that our voices will be hoarse by the end of halftime. When the Big Game against Stanford finally comes around, our entire campus collectively buzzes with school spirit and energy. Hogwarts students, similarly, rally around Quidditch games and enjoy heckling the opposing teams. Jordan Lee’s biased commentary is a testament to that — we’d love to have him on our side at the next Big Game.
7. We have no idea what the hell we’re doing in some of our classes.
Throughout our academic careers, we inevitably take classes we’re not interested in, whether they’re pointless breadths we’re taking for extra units or PE courses we need to fulfill high school requirements. Maybe you’re like Hermione, sighing through divination classes, or like Harry, falling asleep during professor Binns’ history of magic. Regardless, you’ve beautifully practiced and perfected the art of BS. As long as you don’t have any evil professors such as Snape trying to bring you down, you’ll drift along these lesser classes brilliantly. Don’t worry — OWLs are around the corner and then you can happily focus on the same one subject for the rest of your adult life.
8. We’re all good people at heart.
Watching the Harry Potter series, our hearts melted when Harry freed Dobby from enslavement, and we cheered Hermione’s efforts to promote SPEW. We cherished each moment the wizarding world was a more righteous place with less evil and more love. Like most Hogwarts students, UC Berkeley students are eager to positively change the world and passionate about conquering society’s pervading evil forces. Hogwarts is probably the only university that’s matches UC Berkeley’s liberal yet intelligent nature.
Contact Vasudha Doijode at [email protected].