UNC Charlotte has over 400 student organizations, all with differing missions. One of UNC Charlotte’s newer organizations is Witches Across Campus.
Witches Across Campus is a student organization targeted for students who believe in or are simply interested in the idea of witchcraft. The organization is open to everyone and hosts various events throughout the semester to help members learn more about witch-related traditions and activities.
“Since this organization is fairly new, we are still in the process of planning some of our events,” said Julianna Peres, junior and treasurer of Witches Across Campus. “We are thinking about events like teaching book binding, essential oils workshops, what different spells and colors denote and spell casting.”
Witches Across Campus’ most recent event was Mabon Pagan, a holiday which celebrates the autumn equinox. The idea behind Mabon is that the harvest is winding down as crops are being stored for the approaching winter. Mabon is the mid-harvest festival where many Pagans or those who follow Wiccan tradition give thanks for what they have.
It is considered a time of plenty, thankfulness and sharing with those who are less fortunate. Witches Across Campus celebrated Mabon Pagan by gathering for a potluck and sharing in fellowship.
Witches Across Campus aims to challenge the commonly accepted idea of what makes a “witch.”
“I think the biggest misconception about our group is that people think we go to cemeteries and sacrifice things, which is totally not true,” said Peres. “Also, a lot of people use the term warlock, but that is actually a derogatory term; men can be witches too. I feel like being a witch attracts a lot of people interested in feminism and LGBT rights.”
So how does one get involved with learning about or discovering him or herself to be a witch? After talking to a few members of Witches Across Campus it appears that the best way is to partake in a lot of research, reading and self-discovery.
“There are so many various types of witches; it is a very customizable practice,” senior and president of Witches Across Campus Iva Austin said. “You have to find the path that suits you best and fits your lifestyle. It’s not hard to get into, it’s just knowing where and how to begin.”
Austin leads an online social media platform on the site Amino, a network for joining communities based on personal interests. Austin’s community is called Witches and Witchcraft and has 38,000 members worldwide.
Students can find more information on the Witches Across Campus page on Niner Engage. The student organization is still getting started, but current members emphasized that the group is not closed and anyone is welcome anytime.
“I want people to know that anyone is welcome here,” said Peres. “You don’t have to be any sort of kind of anything to be here.”