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Why Rhodes College EARNED Its Hogwarts Comparison

Bitter much, Sewanee?

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A recent post on Buzzfeed has captured the attention of many Rhodents and Sewanee students alike. Long story short, Sewanee did not make it on the "21 College Campuses That Make You Feel Like You're At Hogwarts Hogwarts" list, and Rhodes did.

Instead of taking out their fury on Buzzfeed, or perhaps comparing their credentials to the other twenty colleges on the list (some of which were indeed questionable), Sewanee, true to fashion, used their "YSR" and "heathens" routine exclusively on Rhodes College. After asking the Rhodes community to "take notes," the author of the post went on to accuse us of only making the cut because of "one building."

Um. Excuse me?

Not that we need defending, because clearly stooping to the level of those mountain-dwellers is beneath us—not to mention our inclusion in the list speaks for itself—but I figured we'd even out the playing field a little bit by reminding all the church-goers and heathens out there WHY we made the cut in the first place.

Yes, our library has a plethora of Hogwarts-like traits. We have our own Grand Staircase, for one...

I would argue that our staircase is on par with the 142 staircases at Hogwarts. (Unfortunately, this one doesn't have temperamental stairs like the Vanishing Step at Hogwarts. Or maybe that’s a good thing when you’re bleary-eyed and heading home from an all-nighter during finals.)

Seriously, who can see the cloister and NOT picture Snape and Dumbledore getting into a heated debate in here?

And be sure not to step on the Seal! It’s worse than the aforementioned Vanishing Step, because instead of getting your foot unpleasantly stuck, you’ll get your graduation aspirations stuck. Not good. (Those galleons aren’t going to make themselves, after all.)

Did we mention we have our own astronomy tower?

Just be sure not to sneak off an illegal dragon at night and leave your invisibility cloak—getting caught up here could land you a detention (or worse: EXPELLED).

Halliburton Tower is the iconic image of Rhodes, and its presence, particularly at night, reminds me sometimes of the terrible tragedy that took place in “The Lightning Struck Tower” in book six.

Not the nicest association, but whatever. It's still beautiful. Plus the way it chimes every hour on the hour is hauntingly beautiful and surprisingly not as annoying as one would think.

I will not, nor will I ever, claim that our food can rival the food at Hogwarts. That thought is so absurd it’s worthy of an Honor Code violation. Even still, our dining hall has its own Great Hall feel to it.

Once a year before Halloween, we even have a certain fraternity come in and reenact the dueling scene from Chamber of Secrets. Be jealous.

View this video on YouTube

Guess you gotta attend Rhodes to see the real thing...

Now that lunch is over, let’s head to our next class. Ugh, potions again. Guess we'd better head down to the dungeons.

It's just as cold and dismal in FJ as it is in the Hogwarts dungeons. Coincidence? I think not. (Sorry science majors.)

Now, some of you Sewanee advocates might try and make us feel inferior for not having our own Forbidden Forest. We’ll agree: we don’t have the almost excessive amount of land that you do. But we do have the next best thing in a city: Overton Park.

Remember when Dumbledore forbade his students from entering the forest at night? Yeah, that’s the same advice we give to new students. Overton Park at night has its own troubles other than werewolves or acromantula.

Speaking of the Zoo, one extremely important part of Harry’s life at Hogwarts is the time he spent sneaking OUT of it. Like Hogwarts, Rhodes has its own gates to ward off the conniving advances of the Death Eaters.

Our gates aren’t enough to keep our wily spirits subdued, however. Just as Harry sneaks out of the castle by prodding a statue and saying “Dissendium!” so, too, do Rhodes Students find ways out of the campus. Well, at least back in the day.

Rumor has it a recent graduate of Rhodes found it in the basement of Palmer Hall. He was definitely up to no good, as they say. Prongs would've been proud. (Content from

Phew, it’s been a long day, hasn’t it? Guess we had better relax and kick back in the common room. While we're at it, we should grab a Butterbeer (or some Firewhiskey) to help us unwind.

Unfortunately, there are no decent pictures of the Lynx Lair on the Rhodes website. I was tempted to go and take my own but then realized that would really highlight how much of a life I don't have. Basically, the Lynx Lair looks like a Hogwarts common room. Paneled walls, a fireplace, medieval-looking spiky chandeliers, dining tables, arm chairs and a couch, pingpong/air hockey/pool's a pretty close match, considering it's our secondary dining hall. (The Rat also has a new "fireside lounge" that has that common room feel.)

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