Macaulay students spend most of the day on their home campus. Coming together for clubs and activities, students can build body and mind, become leaders, extend networks, and strengthen the Macaulay community. One example is Macaulay Marauders, the college’s quidditch team. President Ashley-Mei Torrenti ‘19 (Baruch), explains how the group has enhanced her time at Macaulay.
What pushed you to join/ tryout for the Macaulay Quidditch team?
I originally met the Marauders at the Club Fair at John Jay two years ago. I was immediately drawn to the group because there were so many of them and they all looked like they were having so much fun (the jerseys were also really cool). One of the first people to talk to me, Samara Lugo, ended up becoming my captain, my treasurer, and my close friend. After learning about the sport, they invited me to their first practice and I went on a whim. It was super exhausting that first day, but when I went home I realized I really enjoyed it and I couldn’t wait until I could see these crazy people again.
How has the Macaulay Marauders made a difference in your college (and Macaulay) experience as a whole?
The Macaulay Marauders has had an incredible impact on my life for so many different reasons. I don’t even think words are enough to express how much I love this club and this team. I found a community where I felt that I could be myself, grow out of my shell, and become a club leader for three years now. I gained a lot of confidence when it comes to trying new things; I learned to take things less seriously, but also take responsibility when needed. Quidditch challenges you in so many different ways, not just the sport, but the whole idea of it. I learned to have fun and I gained a family out of it. Whenever I’m struggling with anything, I feel like I can turn to my teammates for support. Additionally, if I am ever having a really rough week, our Sunday practices are like my refresh button. I can go to practice really upset, but within an hour I feel like I can do anything. It’s the sport, but also the people that have made this difference. My current treasurer, Kay Kelly, once said, “The Marauders made a community out of a commuter school,” and that really resonated with me.
What major events and/or tournaments have the Macaulay Marauders participated in this past year?
The Marauders have participated in a lot of tournaments against schools such as Hofstra, Stony Brook, NYU, Emerson, Texas, and a lot more. Overall, we did amazing last year and we even made Day 2 at the USQ Cup 11 which is equivalent to Nationals. This is the first time we have done this in about 5 or 6 years and we accomplished this with a lot of new members as well.
What was the Macaulay Marauders (or your own) biggest accomplishment?
Making Day 2 was potentially one of our great accomplishments. Additionally, we were able to meet our own personal goal as a club by co-hosting the Yule Ball. This was the first time that our club managed to host such a large event and we learned a lot through the process. We’ve enjoyed it so much that we have begun planning for this year’s Yule Ball and even our own version of the Macaulay Olympics (Triwizard Tournament) in addition to continuing our service initiative to teach young students how to play Kidditch which is the more downplayed form of Quidditch.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the team’s future?
We have so many hopes for this team. I think something that is really unique about our club is that every year’s leadership, both Executive board, and captains, we all continue to build our team while reinforcing our foundation because we want our club to last. Every decision we make as a team, we consider how it will impact the future and always plan as though our club will continue on for years. We are competing at the Northeast Regionals Championships in Rochester this year against Boston University, Hofstra, and Clark University in the hopes of earning a spot to USQ Cup 12 (Nationals). We hope to run Yule Ball again, to plan our Triwizard Tournament, to host a Macaulay-wide clothing drive in honor of Dobby the house elf, we hope to continue to teach people our sport, and we hope to continue as a team. The Macaulay Marauders has built a network like no other, whenever I meet people who are also in the quidditch community, it creates an immediate bond. I have made some incredible friends and built amazing relationships.