A place for Swifties: Taylor Swift fans build community on campus

Ayshea Banes (right) laughs during a conversation during the first Shockers (Taylor’s Version) meeting. On Nov 16, Banes participated in discussions between club members.

With ten albums, two album re-recordings, 11 Grammy awards and millions of fans, Taylor Swift has made her way to Wichita State. 

A group of students gathered together on Wednesday with one thing in common: their love for Swift. 

“I had the idea this summer to make the Taylor Swift club on campus because we’re big Swifties, so we decided to tackle it,” Chase Biswell, president of the newly-formed club, said. “I was like, I have time so I went out and made the bylaws.”

Shockers (Taylor’s Version) is the name of the new Taylor Swift fan club on campus. The group received registered student organization status last month.

Biswell wants the group to be a place for the community.

“Just people having an open conversation about Taylor Swift [and] what they love about her,” Biswell said. “I even sent out a form for all the organizations to fill out if they have a certain topic that they want to talk about.”

Biswell’s favorite song? Lavender Haze. 

“It’s just really vibey,” he said.

About 20 students attended the meeting, where they went song-by-song from the new Midnights album and talked about each one — what they liked and disliked about them. 

Gabby Stoddard joined the club after hearing Biswell go through the process to receive RSO status through SGA. She wants the group to be a place to unwind. 

“I honestly just want to have, like, a lot of fun,” Stoddard said. “I think it’s so fun that people are coming just to be a part of something that they purely enjoy.”

Her favorite song is Invisible String from the album Folklore. 

“It just feels homey,” she said. 

Gabby’s sister, Kayleigh, attended the meeting by Gabby’s request. 

“She was just like, ‘You should definitely come,’ because we were talking about tickets and everything,” Kayleigh said. 

Kayleigh is excited for the conversations that’ll happen through the group. 

“I’d just like to talk about everything she’s been doing, like Easter Egg type stuff,” she said. “And talking about our experiences with, maybe, like, tickets.”

For the future, Biswell foresees karaoke nights, diving into Swift’s lyrics, studying easter eggs, attending Taylor Swift events and presentation nights.