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Richmond Le
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What Happened AT UConn Club Swift? Co-Presidents Recap Long-Awaited First Event

A marketing campaign for the history books took UConn by storm this semester, and UConn Club Swift established itself as a force to be reckoned with on campus. After eliciting a strong student response with their initial album-themed posters, the club went dark. We soon found out, however, that they were preparing for a Reputation-esque era, shortly thereafter announcing their first event for November 11 – AKA the eve of the Red (Taylor’s Version) release.

👯‍♀️ Related: What Happened to UConn Club Swift?

I sat down with UConn Club Swift co-presidents Richmond Le and Joe Stone to discuss all things Club Swift – how they got here, a recap of their successful first event, and where Club Swift is headed in upcoming months.

Building club swift

While it may have seemed like UConn Club Swift appeared out of thin air, presidents Richmond Le and Joe Stone have been plotting and planning for a while to share their love for Taylor Swift with the broader UConn community. It started with an Instagram account – and to their surprise, it gained a sizable following and continued to grow. “Once it picked up in that way, we said, you know what? Let’s do it,” shared Richmond Le, co-president and junior healthcare management major at UConn. “We’re coming back this semester, a lot of things are happening in-person again, we really want to be able to meet more friends and like-minded Swifties. That’s basically what we wanted to do: bring people together that could talk about Taylor Swift.”

From there, the poster marketing campaign commenced, and soon enough, they had over 250 students expressing interest via a Google Form. However, the UConn Club Swift presidents want to make it clear: this is more than just a fan club. The club is centered around “Three Pillars of Swifthood.” The first pillar celebrates the arts: Taylor Swift’s musicianship, songwriting skills, and artistic capabilities. Second is business: Ms. Swift has established herself in the music industry, and Club Swift seeks to understand her marketing principles and leadership as well as what it means to be a woman in music. Finally, Taylor Swift has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community for years, and Club Swift will be celebrating this in their third pillar, focusing on service.

The first event

Notice the distinction in language here: UConn Club Swift holds events, not meetings. “We want our events to not be small, humble little things,” shared Joe Stone, co-president and junior environmental science student at UConn. “We’re going to have music; we want people to get involved, stand up, high energy, audience participation; we want attendees to leave our events excited and invite their friends to come next time who might not be Swifties.” Club Swift certainly fulfilled this promise in their recent kickoff meeting, filling the chemistry building with over 200 “Club Swifties.” The line simply to enter the meeting was indicative of the excitement and anticipation for this event – and it certainly did not disappoint.

Audience members were welcomed to the event with a simple black screen and red lettering reading “Welcome to Club Swift,” and a pre-show playlist that built anticipation in the wait before the main event. Notably, the playlist finished with Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” – a song familiar to those who were lucky enough to attend Swift’s Reputation tour. The transition to Taylor’s iconic “…Ready for It?” indicated the beginning of the highly anticipated kick-off event. Joe and Richmond stepped out on stage, finally revealing the identities of those behind the mysterious club. An opening monologue cracking some jokes at the expense of notorious Taylor Swift enemies (looking at you, Kanye and Scooter) kept the audience captivated and the mood lighthearted.

Behind the scenes, Joe and Richmond weren’t quite sure what to expect but had prepared for hours on end to make sure the event was the best it could be. Along with producer/treasurer Alexa Boden and producer/secretary Allison Ribardo, the Club Swift presidents planned every cue, transition, and song to a tee. “It really is a lot of preparation – when you have 250 people, you don’t want them to be bored – they’re your audience, they’re your guests, and you want to captivate them and keep them engaged, so things had to go right,” said Joe.

The meeting continued with a variety of activities – beginning, surprisingly, with uniting people through hatred. Club Swift asked the audience: what are your hot takes? If you had to remove one song from Taylor Swift’s discography, what would it be? This initiated a heated discussion, with participants expressing dislike towards songs ranging from “ME!” to “Wildest Dreams.” Audience members then participated in trivia questions, which ultimately (and unsurprisingly) turned into a full-on singalong. Flashlights out and hands waving, nearly 250 voices came together reciting the lyrics to “Our Song” and bringing to a close a successful and unifying first event.

What’s nexT?

The UConn Club Swift Executive Board’s meticulous preparation and planning certainly paid off, and the first event could not have gone more successfully— but this is just the beginning for UConn Club Swift. Future events are in the works, and Club Swifties can look forward to celebrating Taylor, singing, dancing, sharing their art, and maybe even baking— the possibilities are endless.

“Even if you’re a diehard Swiftie or just listening to Red (Taylor’s Version) for the first time, everyone is welcome at our meetings, so don’t be shy,” shared Richmond. “it’s okay to just show up and have fun. It’s a safe space for everyone.”

Keep an eye out on social media for UConn Club Swift updates and future events— and, in the meantime, enjoy the masterpiece that is Red (Taylor’s Version).

Molly is the Vice President and a contributing writer for Her Campus UConn. A junior at the University of Connecticut, she is currently studying Communication with minors in English and Political Science. She enjoys writing, movies, art, dogs, and anything fall-related.
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