At 8 p.m. on Oct. 20, the executive board of the newly created Taylor Swift Club gathered in a Case Hall floor lounge with 12 Capri Suns, 14 bags of chips and the intention of staying awake until 12 a.m. for the release of Swift’s newest album, "Midnights."
They were soon joined by nearly 50 other people who shared the same love for Swift.
“We kind of threw this together last minute because I decided my e-board probably 24 hours before we did this,” hospitality freshman and club president Liz Brey said. “But I mean, having people actually show up was just like, surreal.”
Landscape architecture freshman and club vice president Sophia Arnoldi said that she had heard of other schools having Taylor Swift clubs and jokingly suggested that she start one at MSU. She and others who wanted to start the club held an unofficial meeting at the Union to decide e-board positions, a necessary component of MSU registered student organizations, and plan the "Midnights" listening party.
“I'm surprised that we've gotten this far because it was really an informal idea” Arnoldi said.
Brey said she originally spread the word for the listening party by posting in a class 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, Oct. 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 just playing games, having fun, appreciating her music and then also discussing her advocacy for different movements … It's informal, it's fun. It's not like some clubs where there's like a point system or dues or something, it's just kind of like you show up.”
Arnoldi said that music can be very unifying, especially Swift’s music, since she has experimented with so many genres. Psychology and criminal justice freshman Olivia Bisson said that the best part of the club has been meeting people with similar tastes.
“For me, just coming as an out of state student, I didn't know anyone when I came here,” Bisson said. “So, things like this that just bring people together over a common thing has been really nice. Just meeting new people that I wouldn't have met otherwise … It's kind of cool to just find other people that you can have that connection with because I feel like music can be really powerful.”
Zoology freshman Abby Snelling said it's been nice getting to “geek out” with other people over Taylor Swift and discuss their favorite songs off her albums.
“Music tends to have a deeper meaning,” Snelling said. “So, when you find somebody that 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 before starting this club, she had a very narrow view of what a Swift fan looked like. She said she was surprised to see how many people from different backgrounds and beliefs came to the meeting.
“Honestly, it's really opened my eyes to Taylor's audience and the amount of people she's reached and that she's not limited to just women or just people who believe certain things,” Brey said.
While the "Midnights" listening party has been the club's only official meeting thus far, Brey said she has many ideas for future meetings, such as a Kahoot or trivia night, a “make a Taylor Swift playlist for a given scenario” night and watch parties for Miss Americana – Swift’s documentary – and the "Reputation" stadium tour.
Snelling said a big goal of the club is to never charge membership dues, to keep the informal feel that she enjoys.
It’s important, Arnoldi said, to have a place where people can just listen to music and talk to people that have similar interests.
“A lot of people say every club needs to be related to your major and getting you ahead in your career, but I certainly do not think that's true,” Snelling said. “I think that you need a balance. This is personally going to bring me that balance, and I hope it does for our members too.”
The club plans to hold meetings on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in Wells Hall.
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