So here we have the last of our elected committee members, Charlie, along with the first of our appointed ones, Alex. Read on...
Currently, I am also the First Year Rep for MURC (the Maths Undergraduate Representation Committee), but next term I will be taking office as Treasurer. I also play a bit in the OU Ceilidh Band, and recently I've been getting involved in the OU Society of Change Ringers.
Although now a second year, you’re still our First Year Rep—how did you find your first year in Oxford?
It was wild and disorientating at first. My first few weeks simply involved me adjusting to living somewhere new and meeting hundreds of people, something I've never had to do before. It took until about the beginning of Hilary for things to finally settle down, and for me to feel really at home in Oxford. The work was undoubtedly difficult and stressful (especially during exam season), but it helped me discover a lot about myself and I feel I got a lot more good out of it than bad.
What attracted you to the Harry Potter Society at Freshers’ Fair?
Much like the rest of my Freshers' Week, my time at Freshers' Fair was quite a blur and mostly forgotten. I can't say I remember picking up a Harry Potter Society termcard or even seeing the stall itself. However, be it fate, luck or a well-placed Imperius curse, I managed to find a piece of paper telling me to come to the first Cake and Committee event and the rest is history.
Which Hogwarts subject do you think would be your best, and why?
I would probably prefer the more objective subjects, like Potions, Alchemy or maybe Arithmancy, which is similar to my Muggle subject of Maths. However, Pottermore claims that my wand would be made from Yew, the same as Voldemort's. Although I don't profess to be captivated by the dark arts, the fates may convince me otherwise. I may just keep them as a private hobby of mine :)
Cat, toad or owl?
Owl, fo sho! I can't say I'm particularly fond of cats in general, and toads simply don't suit my aesthetic. Owls have the whole kaboodle, and they bring my post!
Like all the other mathematicians on the committee—a state of affairs that is largely due to my persistent nagging—I'm involved in MURC, the Maths Undergraduate Representative Committee. Until the end of term, I'm both the President and the Maths and Stats Rep, but after Christmas I'll only hold the latter position. I’m also frequently to be seen at the Board Games Society.
As webmaster, you're responsible for the upkeep of our website. Which part of it are you proudest of?
Gosh, that’s like asking me to choose which of my children I like best. So I’m going to cheat and give three answers:
- From a design perspective, I’m particularly fond of our logo. Though given that this website is made from a Weebly template, that’s the only bit whose design I can claim credit for.
- For what it says about the way we run our society, I’m proud that we have our Inclusivity Policy available online for all to see.
- Finally, as a sustained piece of work, I’m proud of having managed to think of stuff to put on this blog for a year. [Hang on, I write the blog! Xeno.]
You're notoriously Hufflepuff—how would you respond to allegations by Hagrid that they're "a lot o' duffers"?
Well, for a start, Hagrid also says “Better Hufflepuff than Slytherin”, though I accept that that’s hardly a ringing endorsement.
Helga Hufflepuff’s philosophy from the founding of Hogwarts was to accept all who came to her to learn. I believe that Hufflepuffs maintain this welcoming philosophy on life: we can be as brave as Gryffindors, as wise as Ravenclaws and as cunning as Slytherins, we just choose to value our generosity of spirit as our primary trait. Plus we're (broadly speaking) a fairly modest bunch, which means we don't always get the credit we deserve—that said, I realise that I'm now bragging about our humility, which is something of a contradiction.
What skill that you possess would be most useful if you were to attend Hogwarts?
A lot of my skills concern technology, which of course becomes useless in the magical world. But I do have a good sense of direction, so I’d hopefully be able to find my way around the secret passages and moving stairways pretty quickly.
The cloak, the stone or the wand?
The wand seems the one I could get the most use out of, but I’d feel uncomfortable owning the most powerful wand in existence, especially given the reputation of its owners to end up murdered. So I’ll be boring and choose the cloak—at least in those embarrassing situations where you wish you’d just disappear, you actually could.
Keep up the Quest!