Southeastern Louisiana University offers more than 125 organizations on its campus for those who want to get involved or make long-lasting friendships. Each organization focuses on a different area ranging from honors to religious and of course, fraternities and sororities. Some are fairly new yet their presence hasn’t gone unnoticed by the student body.
The Marauders of Southeastern is among those to recently join the ranks, and while numbers look small, they plan to expand in size and presence in the upcoming semesters. “This society may seem insignificant now, but that’s only because we’ve only been active for a year,” said Breionna Real, president of the organization. “We are learning as we go along, so anything we do will benefit us in the future,” she said.
Real believes the purpose of this society is to reach out to certain students who are fans of the popular series from which the organization is named.
“In the third book, the main character receives a special artifact called the Marauder’s Map, and I thought it would be brilliant for our club to use. Those who are familiar with the novels or films will latch onto it immediately.”
“It’s amazing how some people think celebrities have glamorous lives when, in reality, they’re exactly like us,” Kristin Newman, vice president of the organization. “Jo has a rags-to-riches story, so I think we can all relate to her on a more personal level,” she said.
In October 1998, Warner Brothers Pictures purchased the rights to the first two novels, The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. As the rest hit the shelves, production for the adaptations soon followed. They took note of Rowling’s desires and suggestions such as Coca-Cola donating to the Reading is Fundamental charity and the films are shot in the United Kingdom with an all-British cast.
Also, Rowling maintained creative control throughout the 10 years of filmmaking by reviewing each script by screenwriters Steve Kloves and Michael Goldenberg and producing both parts of The Deathly Hallows. The total profit of all eight films was $7.7 billion.
Newman believes while the motion pictures are enjoyable in their own right, those who are unfamiliar about the franchise should start with the novels.
“If people watch the movies without reading the books first, they’re missing a lot of important information. They always cut the minor characters in order to reinforce the main storyline.”
The Marauders meet every Monday evening in Fayard Hall where they create unique projects related to the mythology or watch the film versions and provide commentary about the deliberate changes made by Warner Brothers.
“It’s a lot of fun because a lot of the choices they made are absurd,” said Rachel Henri, active member and junior business major. “Those who know the stories by heart can point out each key difference as the movie’s being played,” she said.
Aside from this, the Marauders also plan special events including a Sorting Hat Ceremony where new members are placed into one of four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Hufflepuff. Plus, they hold the Yule Ball at the end of the semester.
“We’re trying to put ourselves out there, which is why we came up with these parties based on the Wizarding World,” said Real. “J.K. Rowling gave us this beautiful fantasy, and we want to introduce it to our campus however we can,” she said.
Even though Harry Potter came to a close years ago, Rowling has continued to build upon the franchise she has created by opening the Wizarding World in Universal Orlando Resort and writing The Cursed Child, an original stage play where the story continues 19 years later. It recently opened on the West End, and will hit Broadway next year in the spring. Also, she wrote the screenplay for and produced Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spin-off prequel which takes place 70 years before the main series. The film earned the Oscar for Best Costume Design and was nominated for Best Production Design as well.
All in all, those who solemnly swear they are up to no good should join this magical society in order to manage their mischief. “We’re a crazy group of kids who love this world, and everything it stands for,” said Newman. “Our world needs a little spark of creativity nowadays, and this is definitely it.”