Dumbledore’s Army of New Paltz, a chapter of the national organization The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA), has branched out to talk about other fandoms besides “Harry Potter.”
According to the club’s website, members also work with HPA campaigns and put together “Harry Potter” events to bring fans closer together and to fight “the real world evils” using themes from the book.
The club has a mission each year where they provide aid to a charity. This year the club has chosen to support Marriage Equality USA, a national grass roots organization. This organization’s goal is to secure civil marriage, regardless of sexual orientation.
Many of the members who were part of the club last year were big fans of the TV show “Doctor Who,” and this sparked an interest in other fandoms, said club founder Beverly Schreiber. Schreiber also said the “Harry Potter”era is beginning to come to an end, which gives the club a chance to explore club members’ other interests.
HPA launched a project called “Imagine Better” over the summer and its purpose is to bring different kinds of fans together to fight for social and human rights and to create a better future. The climate crisis was one of the issues this project decided to tackle this summer, which Schreiber said is an issue Dumbledore’s Army focuses on.
As a way to educate members about other fandoms, the club decided to hold a “Fandom Variety Month.” One of the fandoms presented was “Star Wars” where club members participated in sword fighting. Some other fandoms celebrated were “Doctor Who,” “The Hunger Games” and Nerdfighteria.
“It’s a unique experience each week that gets people involved in the club,” said secretary Julia Fell.
On Nov. 10, the club hosted a “Lord of the Rings” themed riddle competition. It was the last “fandom” night of the month and attendees solved riddles in order to find the ring.
Chapter organizer, Liz Pinto felt the event was very successful.
“Getting into Houses and competing for points amped everyone up and made the whole thing a bit more exciting,” Pinto said. “Everyone who came seemed to really enjoy themselves even if they couldn’t solve the riddles.”
Although it was the last fandom night of the month, in the next few weeks the club will be discussing fandoms such as Glee, Merlin and Torchwood, to support LGBTQ rights.