Owls United Quidditch team seeking official club status

Though they are a student organization at Oakland, the Muggle Qudditch League cannot identify with the university.

Owls United, formally known as the Oakland Owls, had to change their name because they are not an official team of the university. Using the schools name would violate copyright laws and it would mean an end to funding for the league.

“We have events outside of OU, so they want to make sure whoever is representing the university is someone that is going to represent them in the best way possible,” said Ben Levon, Tournament and Game Planner for the OU Muggle Quidditch League.

Although they are not an official team or club sport, the funding they receive gets equipment and other basic necessities they need to operate.

“OU still takes care of us, it’s just a pain to have to lug several bags across campus to the rec center every time we want to practice,” said Yahawa Ashaqua, President of the OU Muggle Quidditch League. “It would be so much more convenient if we could have storage space in the Rec Center, but we just aren’t a priority, which sucks.”

Funding for travel has also become an ongoing issue. Due to the cost, they cannot compete as much as other schools. Even getting practice times can be a struggle. Because they are a student organization, they are not a high priority for rec center availability.

The members take their love for Quidditch seriously and tried to obtain club sport status, but to no avail.

“We were denied as they saw our club as nothing but a fad, but here we are years later, more and more Quidditch teams keep forming across the United States,” Ashaqua said.

In fact, the International Qudditch Association has 500 teams in the United States that are nationally recognized at the collegiate level, according to Levon.

In April, if all goes as planned, Owls United will be hosting its first on campus invitational. About 10 teams, some of them from outside of Michigan, are interested in participating.

“I want administration to consider the fact, that if we bring all the people into our college, there is an interest in the sport and the possibility of putting Oakland University as the college we are coming from,” Levon said. “We would love to bring home a trophy for Oakland University.”

The team currently has about 30 members and holds practice Friday evenings, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Activities room of the Rec Center. New members are always welcomed.