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Swifties at Carolina holds space for fans of Taylor Swift

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Taylor Swift performs at MetLife Stadium during her Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018.

Photo Courtesy of Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media.

In the midst of The Eras Tour, the release of two re-recorded albums in the past year and the upcoming release of her eleventh studio album on Friday at midnight, Taylor Swift has remained a prominent figure in the public eye — including at UNC.

The singer-songwriter's biggest fans, dubbed “Swifties," have spent the last few weeks searching Swift's promo for her new album, The Tortured Poets Department for clues and hidden Easter eggs.

A new student-run club, Swifties at Carolina, will be among the fans eagerly listening to the singer-songwriter's new album on Friday.

Giovanna Figallo, one of the three founders of Swifties at Carolina, said she was inspired to create the club after trying, and failing, to find a Swift-related club on campus among UNC's 800+ student organizations. 

“We thought, why not give them a space to come together?" she said.

Though, Swifties at Carolina has only held an interest meeting thus far, the club has a listening party planned for the release of Swift’s new album on Friday in Fetzer Hall Room 106 at 5:30pm.

The club has been hanging fliers around campus, which they hope students will see and know that they are welcome. Figallo said they want to be a place where people can come and bond over a common interest.

The two other founders of the club, Jodee Knight and Bee Mishra, discovered Swift's music at different points in their lives. 

“My mom always played a lot of music, but I think Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood had probably the biggest impact,” Knight said.

Mishra, who grew up outside of the U.S, said she heard one of Swift’s songs randomly and then began to listen to more of her music.

Swift has been commended for her ability to resonate with audiences through lyrics that capture universal emotions and experiences. Knight said Swift’s “New Romantics” from the 1989 album has become extremely relatable to her since coming to UNC.

Mishra and Knight, current roommates, were able to bond significantly over their love for Swift and ultimately create a community for fellow fans at UNC with Figallo.

“The way that she's able to bring people together and create this atmosphere is really cool,” Figallo said.

The club has several future events in mind for next semester, including more listening and watch parties, "Wonderland" themed tea parties, favorite Taylor Swift “era” dress events and bracelet making, a trend that gained traction during The Eras Tour. 

The leaders of Swifties at Carolina also plan to organize a campus cleanup in an effort to help counteract the Swift’s contributions to carbon emissions from the frequent use of her private jet. Earlier this year, Swift traveled 19,400 miles in under two weeks, which released 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Associated Press.

Figallo said she was not a huge supporter of Swift growing up, but attending The Eras Tour with her friends from high school this past year elevated her fandom.

“We wanted there to be a safe space for people who support her to come together and just talk about her and her music,” Figallo said. “And have fun while we're doing it.”

Those interested in becoming a part of Swifties at Carolina can join via HeelLife starting in the fall of 2024.

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

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