Magdalen College JCR has voted to rename itself as Gryffindor in the JCR meeting on Sunday. It will be referred to as such in “all official documents”.
JCR President Laurence Mills has also been mandated to contact the JCR Presidents of Christ Church, St. Hugh’s and Merton informing that they should rename their common rooms Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw respectively.
The motion, which was passed in the JCR’s General Meeting with only six votes in opposition, was proposed by third-year Zoe Tyndall. It noted that, “Magdalen College embodies the values of courage, daring, nerve and chivalry”, the characteristics of the Gryffindor house in Harry Potter novels.
Tyndall said, “Magdalen college JCR embodies the exact same values as Gryffindor house at Hogwarts.”
She added, “We found the resemblance between Hufflepuff and St Hugh’s to be particularly strong – they are, as the motion reads, ‘particularly good finders’. The amount of ‘pure wizarding blood’ at Christ Church is overwhelming, and our only conclusion was that they should be called Slytherin.”
Matthew Shribman, the third year who originally raised the idea during his JCR presidential bid last week commented, “It’s not a question of whether we should rename to Gryffindor, it’s whether we should accept that we are Gryffindor.”
During the debate on the motion, several amendments were suggested. One would have mandated the JCR President to write to the college President, Professor David Clary, asking if he would change his name to Albus Dumbledore.
Only one speech was made in opposition, and this was to suggest that the motion be changed to mandate the purchase of a sorting hat.
However, the opposition was withdrawn when a friendly amendment was added to the motion, stating that a sorting hat should be purchased. Matt Bilton, who proposed the amendment commented, “I think most of the JCR present agreed that a sorting hat was definitely necessary.”
Suggestions that this could become part of the admissions process across the University of Oxford were rejected on the grounds that it could be difficult to implement.
Student reactions to the name change were very positive. First-year Suzie Harrogate commented that she was “quite ecstatic about the whole situation” as she had “always wanted to go to Hogwarts.”
Tom Meakin, President-Elect of Magdalen JCR commented, “Magdalen does after all look a little bit like Hogwarts, and not to put any noses out of joint, but my Vice-President does look a little bit like Hagrid.”