Harry Potter Alliance to host its charity ball in ARC

Yule+Ball+attendees+%28from+left+to+right%29+Becca+Sullivan+and+Aryk+Sullivan+pose+with+students+Kai+Wiest%2C+Holly+Miller%2C+Clair+Markuson+and+Apurva+Chakravorty%2C+who+are+working+the+door.+The+third+annual+Yule+Ball+took+place+at+the+I+Hotel+Conference+Center+on+Jan.+19.
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Harry Potter Alliance to host its charity ball in ARC

Yule Ball attendees (from left to right) Becca Sullivan and Aryk Sullivan pose with students Kai Wiest, Holly Miller, Clair Markuson and Apurva Chakravorty, who are working the door. The third annual Yule Ball took place at the I Hotel Conference Center on Jan. 19.

Yule Ball attendees (from left to right) Becca Sullivan and Aryk Sullivan pose with students Kai Wiest, Holly Miller, Clair Markuson and Apurva Chakravorty, who are working the door. The third annual Yule Ball took place at the I Hotel Conference Center on Jan. 19.

Yule Ball attendees (from left to right) Becca Sullivan and Aryk Sullivan pose with students Kai Wiest, Holly Miller, Clair Markuson and Apurva Chakravorty, who are working the door. The third annual Yule Ball took place at the I Hotel Conference Center on Jan. 19.

Yule Ball attendees (from left to right) Becca Sullivan and Aryk Sullivan pose with students Kai Wiest, Holly Miller, Clair Markuson and Apurva Chakravorty, who are working the door. The third annual Yule Ball took place at the I Hotel Conference Center on Jan. 19.

By Min Cheong Kim, Staff Writer

Inspired by the world of Harry Potter, University students are bringing the magic to campus for a night of witchcraft and wizardry to raise money for a charity of their choice. The Yule Ball, an annual charity event hosted by the Harry Potter Alliance, is a holiday-themed gala based on the Harry Potter series. The event takes place Saturday at 7 p.m. at the ARC. Tickets are still available for $23 until Friday and are $25 at the door.

In its fourth year, the Yule Ball provides different activities to cater to the interests of the diverse audience. Attendants can expect dancing, a raffle, a photo booth and a professional photographer. Guests can participate in Harry Potter-inspired games like a Horcrux hunt or buy from a craft table where they will be selling handmade wands, winged key chains, T-shirts and house-themed paintings, all made by their members.

Executive and general members begin planning for the ball at the start of first semester. Coordinating different parts of the ball takes place throughout the semester.

“We usually do craft night toward the end of the year, which is where members make crafts like wands that will be sold at the event,” said Kai Wiest, the art director of the HPA and sophomore in LAS and FAA. “It is a semester-long process to get all the decorations compiled and have everything booked and ready to go.”

Based on feedback from previous years, dinner will be provided. The food will cater to a variety of dietary needs and some snacks will be homemade by the members. There will also be an open bar for those over 21.

Holly Miller, president of the HPA and senior in LAS, has been a member for three years. She said although the event is based on Harry Potter, it is a charity event anyone can enjoy.

“One of the best things about the Yule Ball is that it is not explicitly Harry Potter themed,” Miller said. “It is just a fun event to be at. Even if you don’t know all the lore, you can still enjoy dancing, playing games, eating food and taking photos with your friends.”

All profits go toward a different charity each year. In the past, the HPA has donated to charities such as UNICEF and the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Selection for this year’s charity will take place after the Yule Ball.

“Every year, we pick a different charity and all of the profits from the event go to whatever charity our club has decided on,” said Kriti Sharma, treasurer of the HPA and sophomore in LAS. “We try to split that into one global issue that violates human rights and one community program that support local issues.” 

The HPA tries to be socially minded by letting all members share charities and causes they are passionate about before voting on one. They also practice focusing on social issues throughout the year.

Fawkes Fridays, named after the phoenix in Harry Potter, are for members to discuss global issues. Once a month, members gather to discuss social issues in the context of Harry Potter, such as representation of race in the books.

Each year, turnout for the Yule Ball increases and the HPA makes improvements to provide entertainment and raise the most money for charity. Wiest also thinks it’s a fun back-to-school event. 

“It is one of the first big events that students can enjoy after coming back from the holiday season, kind of like a big bash to get the semester going,” Wiest said. 

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