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UMN Swiftie groups to become “the 1” Taylor Swift fan group on campus

The groups plan to consolidate into one Swiftie supergroup in the near future.
Image by Wejdan al Balushi
Inspired by the success of the Eras Tour, Taylor Swift-devoted student groups were formed this year.

Since Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stop at U.S. Bank Stadium last summer, her fans, called Swifties, at the University of Minnesota saw all too well a blank space missing for Swift-inspired student groups. 

Currently, there are two Swift fan groups on campus. One of them, UMN Swifties, was created at the beginning of the fall semester as a TikTok page where the group posted about friendship bracelets they had made before beginning to spread around campus. 

The other group, Swifties at the University of Minnesota, was started at the beginning of the spring semester as a registered student group. The organization has a board of officers, including President Tarun Balaji, a first-year student, and social media manager and internal relations officer Flannery Cotner, also a first-year student.  

Balaji said the two groups are negotiating to merge into one Swiftie group, and when they consolidate, the UMN Swiftie group will become part of the registered student organization.

Darice Fowler, a member of the UMN Swifties group, said one of the things she enjoys most about the group is the sense of community the group has created. Balaji and Cotner said they agree with this sentiment. 

Cotner said looking at student groups was a big part of her coming to the University, but not all of them matched what she wanted out of a student organization.

“A lot [of clubs] were student government-related or political stuff like that, and those are great,” Cotner said. “The cool thing about the Taylor Swift club is it’s just planning fun events where we listen to Taylor and talk about Taylor, it’s just a stress relief.”  

Fowler said because she has been listening to Swift since she was little, it has been fun to watch everyone else’s journeys with Swift and connect with others who have had the same experiences as her. 

“It’s been cool to see other people who kind of grew up with her, getting that space to just connect and become friends,” Fowler said. “Especially because a lot of us kind of have this shared experience of being fans back when we were little, and it wasn’t necessarily cool.” 

Cotner said she began listening to Swift as a kid, and since then, the music has had a constant presence in her life. 

“I remember going to the 1989 tour when I was 12 with my dad, and it was just the best night of my life,” Cotner said. “The fact that she’s such a girly girl, but she’s also a flaming feminist. She’s always been very genuine and honest about who she is as an artist and a person.”

Fowler credits the past summer as what she feels is a resurgence of nostalgia. With the “Barbie” movie releasing over the summer and the Eras Tour coming to Minneapolis, she thinks more people are embracing community and bonding over shared experiences. 

“This summer was really like leaning into loving things that we loved when we were kids, but loving it unapologetically,” Fowler said. “I think that was kind of the most special thing about the community that we were able to create.”

Although they are still uncertain about the future of both clubs, Balaji said he is hopeful for the future once they agree on the terms to merge clubs. He added the people within the club have helped everything fall into place.

“I’m just so thankful to have an amazing team by my side,” Balaji said. “They are the heart, soul and skeleton of this organization. They’re holding it all together.”

Balaji said Swift has impacted his life in ways that go beyond just the music. 

“Her origin story is so inspiring,” Balaji said. “How she stands for her values, and how she came back with ‘reputation.’ She’s made me believe that if she can reclaim her reputation, I can do anything.” 

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