J.K. Rowling surprised students and fans of Williams College this week by announcing that the College’s beloved President, Maud Mandel, is gay.
Many students were inspired by the news that a powerful and prominent figure like Mandel is a member of the LGBT community. Others were frustrated with Rowling’s choice to make this announcement at this specific moment, given that she is no longer in the process of writing a series of commercially successful and critically acclaimed children’s books about the goings-on of Williams College, and also never fucking did that in the first place.
President Mandel herself falls somewhere in between these two camps. “I’m just. . . not gay,” she told our reporter. “You told me this interview would be about the Three Pillars plan.”
All students, regardless of feelings about having a gay president, have expressed surprise at the announcement, though Rowling has defended it as important and reasonable. “I do realize I never mentioned it specifically before,” said Rowling, who has had no previous contact or interaction with any member of the Williams community. “But I also never said she was straight, so that really should have made it obvious.”
Johnny Walters '21, a mudblood who attends Williams despite the fact that neither of his parents went here, says he didn’t notice anything suspicious about Rowling never saying that Mandel was straight. “So much of the focus with Maud has been on other things, like that time she gave out all those points on the very last day so Brooks would win the house cup, or the way she’s always meeting with that one kid whose parents died but never has office hours for anyone else.”
After some intense questioning, Rowling did step back slightly from her stance that the announcement was made solely because the information needed to be heard. Addressing the “technicality” that she had never met Mandel, Rowling did admit that “maybe I’m not the world’s greatest authority on Maud Mandel, but it’s just been so long since I announced that anyone was gay and I really need this.”
College faculty and staff have stood by Mandel in the wake of the announcement. School caretaker Rachel Bukanc has shown her support by spending her nights reading histories of the gay rights movement instead of following her usual practice of patrolling the campus to catch students who are out of bed. Bukanc’s cat, Mrs. Norris, has been seen wearing a rainbow-colored cat sweater to show support for the LGBT community.
Loyal gamekeeper Scott Lewis, who has, in recent years, been allowed to teach “classes” like “Outdoor Skills Development” and “Wilderness Care” due to Mandel’s generosity, said that he stands by Mandel no matter what. “Maud done given me the chances no-one else woulda’ given,” said Lewis tearfully, fumbling with his ridiculous oversized cardboard box that he is forced to use as a laptop. “After I got expelled my sophomore year for all those murders when I really hadn’t done nothin’, she gave me another chance — knew I was a decent lad.”
“I don’t reckon it’s anyone’s business if she’s gay,” Lewis continued, “and if anyone has a problem with it, they’ve gotta come through me. They know where my hut is.”