At 8 p.m. on October 20, the board of directors of the new Taylor Swift Club met in a lounge on the ground floor of Case Hall with 12 Capri Suns, 14 bags of crisps and plans to stay awake until at 12 p.m. for the release of Swift’s latest album. , “Midnights.”
They were soon joined by nearly 50 others who shared the same love for Swift.
“We sort of arranged this at the last minute because I decided on my e-board probably 24 hours before we were going to do it,” said Liz Brey, hospitality rookie and club president. “But I mean, having people show up was just kind of surreal.”
Sophia Arnoldi, a freshman landscape architecture student and vice president of the club, said she had heard of other schools having Taylor Swift clubs and jokingly suggested she start one at MSU. She and others who wanted to start the club held an unofficial meeting at the Union to decide on positions for the e-council, a necessary component of registered student organizations at MSU, and to plan the “Midnights” listening party.
“I’m surprised we went this far because it was really an informal idea,” Arnoldi said.
Brey said she initially spread the word for the listening party by posting to a classroom Facebook group, where she told people, “if you like Taylor Swift, add me on Snapchat.” Now, the club has created a GroupMe chat which, as of Thursday, October 27, had 92 members.
“I think the unifying cause of our club was that we love Taylor Swift,” Brey said. “We have a mix of playing games, having fun, enjoying his music and then discussing his advocacy for different movements… It’s informal, it’s fun. It’s not like some clubs where there’s a points system or dues or something, it’s just kind of like you show up.
Arnoldi said music can be very unifying, especially Swift’s music, as she has experimented with so many genres. Olivia Bisson, a first-year psychology and criminal justice student, said the best part of the club was meeting people with similar tastes.
“For me, just coming as an out-of-state student, I didn’t know anybody when I came here,” Bisson said. “So things like this that just bring people together around a common thing have been really cool. Just meeting new people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise… It’s kind of cool to find other people that you can have that connection with because I feel like music can be really powerful.
Freshman zoology student Abby Snelling said it was nice to be able to “discover” with others about Taylor Swift and discuss their favorite songs from her albums.
“Music tends to have a deeper meaning,” Snelling said. “So when you find someone who has the same favorite song as you, it’s usually for a deeper meaning. So there was like a bigger connection there, especially with Taylor.
Brey said that before starting this club, she had a very narrow view of what a Swift fan looked like. She said she was surprised how many people from different backgrounds and beliefs came to the meeting.
“Honestly, it really opened my eyes to Taylor’s audience and how many people she’s reached and that she’s not just limited to women or people who believe in certain things,” Brey said.
While the “Midnights” listening party has been the club’s only official meeting so far, Brey said she has many ideas for future meetings, such as a Kahoot or trivia night, a “create a Taylor Swift’s playlist for a given storyline” and watch parties for Miss Americana — Swift’s documentary — and the “Reputation” stadium tour.
Snelling said one of the club’s big goals was to never charge dues, in order to maintain the informal atmosphere she enjoys.
It’s important, Arnoldi said, to have a place where people can just listen to music and talk to people who have similar interests.
“A lot of people say that every club should relate to your major and take you forward in your career, but I certainly don’t think that’s true,” Snelling said. “I think you need a balance. This will personally bring this balance to me, and I hope it does for our members as well.
The club plans to hold meetings Thursdays at 6 p.m. at Wells Hall.
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