By Will Ashton
The OU Quidditch Team, in their third year since their inception, are trying to make their leap to the big leagues: the Quidditch World Cup VIII in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. But before they can get there, they are going to need some funds, as bringing a ragtag group of college students across the country to run around on brooms, tackle people and throw some balls around doesn’t come without a fair price.
So, in their first fundraising effort, it is fitting that the team showcases the documentary Mudbloods, centered on a fellow group of up-minded college students from UCLA trekking their way to the Quidditch World Cup IV in 2011. On a rainy night on November 5, the team gathered inside Morton, room 201, hoping people would come baring donations for their cause. Even if it was a couple bucks or a few coins, they wanted to have whatever they could get in their hands, so that covering gas, hotel lodging and other expenses along the way wouldn’t be a burden.
“We are mostly just hoping that people come knowing that we are doing this for a humble cause, and just help us on our way to the tournament,” said Brandon Lutz, a founding member of the OU Quidditch Team who served as their coach for two years before passing those duties over this year to focus on school work and his job as an RA. “We are all dedicated to this, and we hope people come out and see what our group is about.”
As the night would progress, however, the team would find that they didn’t quite pick the best night for their event. Not even taking into account the poor weather, they were indirectly competing with a hockey game, a football game, Karaoke night at the Smiling Skull Saloon and, of course, class work pressures, just to name a few. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best option for their event, and they feel that is what hurt their attendance.
“In the end, we had a good time and I enjoyed my time, but I do wish we had more people,” said Brittany Follett, one of the founding members of the OU Quidditch team. “Hopefully with our next event, we will plan better and get more attention for the team.”
In the end, the Harry Potter-inspired group earned about $18.13. Not as much as they would have liked, of course, but any donations were appreciated. Throughout the night, there were a couple hiccups. The event, set to start at 9:30 p.m., didn’t get started until at least 9:45 p.m. Promised in the original Facebook event was popcorn and pop for attendees/donators, but neither were able to be gathered in time. Still, as the group gathered around and explored the Farzad Sangari-directed documentary, there was a greater appreciation and sympathy gained for the central subjects and their trails and tribulations as the night progressed.
“It was honestly inspiring,” said Clay Shannon, a first year chaser/seeker for the team. “It made me want to seek out the OU Quidditch team more I am already, and it is definitely going to help my outlook on what I can for the group.”
As the team gears up for their first round of traveling this weekend for the tournament, working their way towards the finals, they will have the documentary firmly in their memory banks as they holler, run and pounce out on the field.
“To me, this movie was a solid teaser of motivation,” Shannon continued. “It made be appreciate how much hard work we do as a group, and made me feel more passionate about what we strive to do as a group and bond.”
At the moment, they are working on trying to gear up their next group activity. Of course, their main focus is on their weekend travels at the moment. Above all, however, they know that when their next event comes around, they are going to pick a better night to host it. That much is for sure.
To see video of the event, check out the link below.
*Note: Both AJ Davis, president of the OU Quidditch team, and Ryan Altenbach, founder of the group, are members of the class which this article is assigned for.