Keep Austin Wizard Fights for Sustainability on Campus

Nonprofit organization the Harry Potter Alliance works to turn a shared love of wizarding magic into social activism and positive change. Since being established in 2005, the organization has engaged millions of Harry Potter fans in fighting for important causes. Young advocates are making waves.

The University of Texas student chapter, Keep Austin Wizard, has launched a petition to convert its university to entirely renewable energy sources by 2035. Environment Texas, a project of Environment America, wrote the petition, which was then given to chapter president Claire Norris, whose task it has been to collect signatures on campus. The organization is planning to send the petition to the University of Texas president, Greg Fenves, by the end of the year and organize to meet with him for discussions on further environmental action.

Having already planned several other environmental service projects for next year, such as cleaning up a local river and building sustainable houses for the homeless population, Keep Austin Wizard aims to improve social activities for the chapter, implementing more service projects. The chapter’s president-elect, Mia Ramirez, spoke about her hopes for future campaigns.

I hope to work with the Keep Austin Wizard officer team to establish a cohesive volunteering campaign focusing on promoting the [sic] literacy and protecting the environment. We will continue our conversation with Environment Texas to see how else we can promote sustainability on campus at a policy level.

At Environment Texas, executive director Luke Metzger said that other local universities, like Austin College and Southwestern University, were already making incredible strides toward sustainable practice and their leadership “should inspire higher education institutions across the country” to make the shift to renewable energy.

So what is the role of Harry Potter in preserving the environment for generations to come? Keep Austin Wizard president put it best when she spoke on the activist themes of the Harry Potter books.

The books promote this sense of community and togetherness. That’s a really big theme in Harry Potter. That’s why I really enjoy what the Harry Potter Alliance does in its approach to organizing. They take this already existing community that’s a fandom, and they bring them together to do something good.

The Harry Potter Alliance is achieving goals and striving for a sustainable Earth. With the help of young activists, and perhaps a little magic, positive change seems to be just around the corner.

Shannon Jade

Harry Potter came into y life when I was eight years old, and I've been an honorary member of the Hogwarts community ever since! A proud Hufflepuff, I hope to one day write something as wonderfully magical as the wizarding world.