MU
Oak Leaves

March 31, 2017

Owl

Students will be allowed to bring their own magical pets to campus.



Manchester Adds Two Majors
Students Thrilled to Learn the Ways of the Force, Defense Against the Dark Arts


Shelby Harrell

With just a flick of the wrist, life's problems will be solved for those who choose to explore the arts of magic as well as the ways of the Force.
 
The Manchester University Office of Academic Affairs has recently announced plans to offer a new program entitled DADA, or Defense Against the Dark Arts, for students who feel as though they are destined to become the next great wizard.
 
One such student, Sophomore Nolan McBride, is very excited about the opportunities that such a major addition could give to the student experience. In addition to learning the secret to defeating ‘He who shall not be named,’ McBride hopes to use many of the learned skills to protect both wizards and unsuspecting muggles from danger. "You never know when you are going to experience an event such as a death eater attack," McBride said, "so you must always be prepared to defend yourself as well as those around you."
 
The old administration building is scheduled to be repurposed as the Granger Hall for Magical Practice in the beginning of June to ensure that the building will be ready when students return to campus next September. "Clearly," McBride said, "this building is meant to be repurposed, as it is the oldest building on campus." While there are students who will choose to use their magic to aid humanity in a grander sense, there will also be students who choose to use their skills on a smaller scale.

Freshman Abagail McVail, for instance, feels that using wizardry in her future career in the field of psychiatry will be highly beneficial. "Helping people with the flick of a wand will save so much time," McVail said, "I specifically feel that learning spells will help." 
In terms of housing, the Residence Hall Association (RHA) will implement a variation on the traditional sorting ceremony. "They will have a new house sorting ceremony, and we will be assigning halls based on the results," Erin Grube, RHA member, said.
 
Each student of the new major will meet in the lobby of the old administration building at midnight on the day that they arrive to campus. In similar fashion to the traditional ceremony, the students will be asked to don their complete wizarding attire as they sit upon the sorting stool as the hat places them in one of the campus' five main dorms.
 
In addition to the ability to have their dorms selected for them, many students are excited about the prospect of using their magic for décor purposes. “Housing won’t be much different,” Junior Mary Elizabeth said, “but we will be able to use magic to make our rooms exactly as we want.”
 
Those who feel the power of the Force will be able to develop their abilities in Manchester’s new Jedi Temple that is scheduled for construction early this summer. The Temple will also serve as housing for students who desire to learn the Jedi way. Junior Ben Johnson is just one of the many students that is seeking to better himself through learning the ways of the force. “To learn the ways of the Force and to better myself I seek,” said Johnson, practicing master Yoda’s object-subject-verb form of speech.
 
Yoda terminology and linguistics is one among a handful of courses that will be taught to padawans. Other planned courses include; Jed101: “The Yoda Method,” Jed 204: “Care of Magical Creatures,” “Jed 305: “Jedi Lore: “What to Believe,” Jed 401: “Lightsaber Crafting,” and finally, Jed 404: “Force ghosting.” The latter two courses will enable the students, or rather, the “padwans” to apply all of the skills they have acquired over their experience to the rigorous trials that await them. 
According to the Office of Academic Affairs, the trials will serve as a version of Manchester’s traditional senior comprehensive exam that the students must pass before earning the right to graduate as a Jedi Bachelor. 
One of the more unique courses featured as a requirement, “The Yoda Method,” is scheduled to take place in the woods outside tall oaks. “The goal is to offer the experience of training on Dagobah,” Johnson says, “without having the ability to actually go to Dagobah.” This unique training program will involve intense physical activity, as students will be required to run, jump, climb trees, and flip over logs, all while carrying the class instructor on their backs.
 
McBride, as an advocate for the future Jedi Temple, describes the housing as adequate for a Jedi’s standards. In contrast to the Granger Hall for Magical Practice, the Jedi Temple will act as student housing in addition to training grounds. “Each room will be a sanctuary in which the Jedi will be able to purge all anxieties from their mind and focus on the present moment,” McBride said. “After all, the Jedi are very focused.”
 
Each room will also be equipped with Wi-Fi, though many of the students will prefer to have their mail delivered via R2D2 unit.