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Belmont’s Swift Society Looks to Fill a Blank Space on Campus 

Photo by Abby Thomas

 Belmont University Swifties can rejoice because the BU Swift Society just launched on campus as a student organization dedicated to celebrating Taylor Swift and serving the Nashville community. 


One of Swift’s priorities throughout her career has been philanthropy, and the BU Swift Society plans to implement that drive for service in their future plans.  


Coming off the heat of The Eras Tour, Swift has reached an even higher level of stardom, making her one of the most recognizable people in the world.  


It’s only fitting that Belmont, nationally recognized for its distinctive music programs, celebrates her. 


Girls can sometimes be ridiculed for the traditionally “girly” things they love, like music or celebrities. 


BU Swift Society co-presidents, freshmen Kassidy Shupp and Ryleigh Jenkins, hope to bring Belmont Swifties together and create a space where nobody feels judged for what they love. 


“We just want to make a community that's fun, that's engaging and that we could clown about Taylor Swift,” Shupp said.  


Jenkins is especially excited about the community they will create and future events. 


“It's important that everyone finds a place where they can belong,” Jenkins said. “Since so many people love Taylor Swift, this is a good place for people to know that they can come, be safe and just feel loved.” 


Alongside the creation of this community, they have plans to dedicate their group to working alongside local charities. 


“Taylor has always been really prominent in her philanthropy efforts, and we want to embody that. Both as Taylor Swift's fans and as members of the Belmont and Nashville communities,” Shupp said. 


Swift’s acts of service include a $1 million donation to the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund after Nashville was hit with tornadoes in March 2020, generous donations to foodbanks in cities The Eras Tour visited and contributions to foundations like the Joyful Heart Foundation and the African Parks Foundation of America. 


Shupp and Jenkins hope to emulate Swift’s passion with fundraising events, volunteering and potentially an auction. 


The growth of Swift’s philanthropy has followed the ascension of her career.  


Natalie Peterson, admissions coordinator of the Curb College and faculty advisor of the club, recognized a surge in the number of Swifties. 


“There has been a bit of a renaissance in terms of people feeling confident in their own fandoms, especially with how big of an influence Taylor has had over society,” Peterson said. 


Swift’s monumental career has seemed to only continue to grow. 


“She’s an anomaly,” associate professor Michael Sloane said. “There's a once-in-a-generation zeitgeist that becomes what she has become.” 


Sloane worked with Swift during her “Speak Now” tour, where he covered digital projects, meaning anything involving Swift’s website. 


“She’s an excellent businesswoman and CEO, while also being this amazing entertainer,” Sloane said. 


In the past two years, Swift has also shattered records.  


She is the most streamed female artist in Apple Music history, the first artist to hold all top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100, has the most wins for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards and has the highest-grossing concert film of all time with “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” a record previously held by Michael Jackson. 


While breaking records, she’s also boosted the American economy by $5.7 billion with her tour. 


Additionally, Swift’s ambition to re-record her first six albums has been transformative. 


“I know a couple of other artists are thinking of now re-recording their albums because of her,” sophomore Kamaria McGinn, club member, said. 


Regular club meetings will consist of games, listening parties and featured speakers. These speakers will have worked in the industry or even with Swift at one point in time. 


Shupp, Jenkins and Peterson hope this organization continues for years to come. 


“I hope it's something that's long standing. I think that there's traction for it,” Peterson said.  


Peterson said the world is in a “Taylor Swift renaissance.” 


Swifties are everywhere, and Shupp and Jenkins are determined to collect them all. 


“It's a very loving place. If you know one Taylor Swift song, if you know every single Taylor Swift song, you're gonna find a place that you belong within this club,” Jenkins said. 

This article was written by Abby Thomas

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