September 25, 2022

Hogwarts versus USUE

Dr. Jason Olsen

Jason Olsen

Guest Writer

Hogwarts is a lousy school. I said it. Does that mean I wouldn’t want to have attended Hogwarts? Does that mean I wouldn’t want to teach there now? Of course not.  But as a school, it stinks. 

I guess I should elaborate. Though of us who care enough about the Harry Potter series know our specific Hogwarts house and what classes we would have loved and hated. Still, it’s a lousy school.

Why? Well, I’ll go over a few of the major points and try my best to convince you that you’re better off here at USU Eastern. First, let’s compare the founding of both schools. Carbon College was created with the signing of a senate bill in 1937. The school became College of Eastern Utah a few decades later. In 2010, the USU Eastern we know was created through a collaborative effort between USU and CEU. 

Was Hogwarts similarly founded by people working together for a common good? Not really. Maybe they started with good intentions, but when four eminent wizards wanted to found a school for young sorcerers, they quickly realized they couldn’t agree on how to run it. The only way the school could be founded at all was for these four to come up with a compromise. The school is ultimately split into four houses where the founders personally decide what students go where, but when they realize that they won’t be around forever, they create the sorting hat, so the separations will continue. Hogwarts was founded out of conflict and the founders made sure that conflict continued through generations.

And one of those founders is pretty terrifying. Salazar Slytherin is obsessed with pure blood wizards, and makes the Chamber of Secrets which, basically, creates a self-desctruct for the school.  That’s where the Basilisk is, a giant serpent to be brought out of dormancy by Slytherin’s heir to kill all the non-pure blood wizards. And it’s in the school. IN THE SCHOOL. PUT THERE BY A FOUNDER OF THE SCHOOL. I’ve worked long enough at USU Eastern to be confident that the founders of our school were less aggressive. You’re safer here.

Your professors are also better prepared at USU Eastern. Your profs go through a rigorous hiring process to begin with, and then are examined every year to make sure they are doing right by you, the students. It’s a thorough system. At Hogwarts? Less so. It seems they barely look into the background or credentials of any of their teachers and, once they’ve been hired, those teachers seem mostly uninterested in anything, except maybe holding grudges and playing favorites. 

From my observation, the discipline system at USU is fair. At Hogwarts, it is not. While Hogwarts students are often issued point deductions for small acts of disobedience (which seems reasonable), they just as frequently are given detentions (often for barely any reason) and those detentions are varied, inconsistent, and often cruel. Some detentions are built around legitimately dangerous act like helping Hagrid enter the Forbidden Forest.  Draco Malfoy immediately identifies this act as cruel and unusual, but he is ignored when he says something about it.

And Hogwarts students are not only unfairly treated with punishment. The curriculum is brutal, and students suffer as a result. When the fifth year students are prepping for the OWLS, it is not uncommon for students to be suffering severe lack of sleep. Seamus tells us he’s studying 8-10 hours a day (while still going to classes, thus telling us he’s giving up meals and sleep). Fred and George say students break out in rashes. The staff has to be trained to deal with nervous breakdowns. Obviously, school isn’t always easy, but that all seems a bit much.

So be happy where you are. Your teachers aren’t out to get you, and the staff is going to help you in any way it can. Breath easy, everyone, and enjoy the semester. Just don’t ask what’s hiding in the basement of the WIB. 

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