YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Municipal cuts to magical education have forced Lemonpeel Community College for Witchcraft and Wizardry’s communications team to begin sending letters by seagull, according to those familiar with the situation.
“Sure, Owls are the standard, but there’s no rule that says you can’t use other birds,” said Lemonpeel registrar Ronald Knutson. “And frankly, Owls aren’t really worth the price. It’s entirely a prestige thing. Seagulls may be loud, dirty, and annoying, but they’re what we have. Hopefully kids feel just as excited when they see one of these fuckers knocking into their windows at 7 a.m. with an acceptance letter.”
Knutson explained that the school chose seagulls because the birds were already around campus, so “you might as well just snatch ‘em.”
“One of the perks of going to a college near the ocean! They’re like the rats of the beach. And trust me, we tried duct taping the letters to rats at first and it was a nightmare,” Knutson noted. “Honestly it was like killing two birds with one stone because we were spending a fortune on chicken wire and trash can lids to keep the gulls away from campus. Not to mention, we were throwing stones at them; I didn’t realize that was just an expression until recently, actually. So now we just catch ‘em and put ‘em to work like everybody else.”
When asked if the faculty used magic to catch the birds, Knutson said no.
“Magic? What?” he said. “No. God gave us each two big hands for a reason.”
Despite Knutson’s positive outlook on the seagull situation, some students and faculty have questioned if the trade-offs are worth it.
“I don’t even think I was supposed to get that letter,” said Lemonpeel sophomore Kelda Samuelsson. “Neither of my parents are wizards and I still have yet to actually cast a spell. I tried telling some of my professors, but they said it doesn’t matter. One of them told me that like 50% of the bureaucratic positions at the Ministry of Magic don’t even use magic. It’s just Excel spreadsheets, for the most part. So I’m just gonna keep going until someone tells me to stop.”
“I’d say one in every five letters gets delivered to a muggle,” said Potions professor Daniel McTaggart. “A few years ago we let a house elf graduate. It was a total accident, but apparently that’s actually a pretty progressive thing to do, so we ended up getting a ton of praise. Meanwhile, the campus is covered in seagull shit.”
According to close sources, there have been further challenges as well.
“The worst was when the gulls broke into my lab and drank a bunch of intelligence potions,” McTaggard said. “They, uh… well I guess I don’t know that they’re even really seagulls anymore. They’re something more.”
When asked if the school will consider returning to owls to deliver their mail, Knutson shuddered. “I guess that’s up to the gulls.”