“I was like, ‘Does anyone like Taylor Swift’ and from across the room Michael was like in a conversation with someone and he like, whips his head around and he’s like ‘Oh my god I love Taylor Swift!’” says Caroline O’Daly ’23.
The idea for Loving Him Was Brown, College Hill’s Taylor Swift club—the name is a play on her hit single “Loving Him Was Red”—came from the minds of two Taylor-loving transfer students: O’Daly and Michael Yeh ’23.
“Evermore came out that December and we had a little listening party, just me, Michael, and our friend Izzy,” recounts O’Daly on the club’s beginning. “And after we had that listening party, Michael was like, ‘You know, I bet other people would want to join us, like there’s probably so many other Taylor Swift fans on campus who would love to come together and celebrate her music and everything she’s done for us.’”
Loving Him Was Brown meets once a week to celebrate and discuss all things Taylor Swift. Activities include Show and Taylor, listening parties, watching videos of Swift performing, karaoke, outfit cataloging, and heated debates over which is her best music video, bridge, song, etc. “I think sometimes clubs at Brown can be a little intimidating because they might have a time commitment” or other barriers, says Viviana Wei ’24, “but I think Loving Him Was Brown is a really casual and really fun club.” President Danielle Costa ’24 agrees but adds that discussions can also get deep: “There’s also that nuance of bringing academic conversations into it and discussing things that are a little more culturally relevant or hard hitting,” Costa says. “You get a kind of meshing of the two different vibes I haven’t really found anywhere else.”
Campus meetings have been packed, and the group filled the De Ciccio Auditorium for a Midnights listening party in October of 2022. “Definitely, we didn’t expect as many people to join it, we had over 750 people on the listserv at the end of this year, which was insane,” says O’Daly. The club clocks in at 1047 followers on Instagram and 2,547 on Tik Tok. It has branched out into merchandise with t-shirts and crew necks. Its popularity has bought it recognition beyond campus, with a fan in Brazil wanting stickers, a student from another university writing about the group for their journalism class, and admiring Brown alums recognizing O’Daly and Yeh at a Taylor concert.
“There’s something about Taylor Swift’s music that really makes people feel comfortable and seen and heard ... I’m happy we brought that to Brown,” says O’Daly.