Brooklyn Tech's Official Student Newspaper

The Survey

The Survey

The Survey

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

A Swift Impact: Tech’s Celebration of Taylor Swift

@techlovestaylorswift Instagram
The Brooklyn Tech Taylor Swift Appreciation Club at a meeting

Taylor Swift is one of the most renowned music artists of the 21st century. With 12 Grammy Awards, 243 released songs, and an 18-year-long career, the 34-year-old billionaire consistently dominates the Billboard charts and news headlines. Swift’s global influence is clear, and although she has never set foot in the building, her presence can be seen and heard within the walls of Brooklyn Tech. 

Since the Eras Tour began last March, her following has expanded, and the tour became the first to gross over $1 billion. A worldwide frenzy has developed around Swift due to her ability to connect with her fans and the general public. She’s been able to spur support for feminist and LGBTQ+ movements, boost voter registration, and set off Travis Kelce NFL jersey sales, which have skyrocketed by 400%. 

According to a Survey poll, 65% of Tech students and staff reported listening to Taylor Swift during their commutes, school days, and/or while doing homework. 55% of these same respondents went so far as to call themselves “Swifties,” the name of the pop star’s exceptionally devoted fanbase. More than half of those polled feel inspired or empowered by her, noting that her songs, as well as her backstory, contribute to “hyping [students] up” before school and making them “feel more understood.”

In Tech’s Taylor Swift Appreciation Club, where students meet monthly to discuss her music and message, Swift is the center of conversation. “Last year, each meeting had a different album as its theme,” said Co-President and Media major Lillian Redding (‘24). “We voted on our favorite songs from each album, and then out of those songs, decided on our club anthem. It turned out to be “Enchanted” from the Speak Now album.” From crafting paper rings to dancing along to their favorite songs, the club always has something creative to do inspired by the pop star.

To Social Science Research major Mary Rousakis (‘24) and Treasurer of the Taylor Swift Appreciation Club, Swift is more than a hot topic of conversation—she’s a defender of feminism. “So often in the media industry we see female celebrities being pitted against each other,” asserted Rousakis. “There’s this toxic narrative that girls have to be enemies and drag each other down. Taylor builds this separate idea that women should be supporting one another and that women are beautiful and powerful and cool.” 

While Tech has roughly 1,200 more male than female students, the Taylor Swift Appreciation Club is predominantly female. Although the club is centered around celebrating Swift’s music, there is an unspoken regard for her persistence in battling gender adversities. 

In a recent meeting, which the co-presidents have been planning for two years, they wanted to do a meeting discussing her feminist impact. “We really want to highlight how much of a feminist icon she is in everything she does,” said Redding.

Swift has also helped forge individual friendships at Tech. Redding described meeting Social Science Research major Michelle Rakhnayev (‘24), the other current Co-President of the club, for the first time. “I saw her on the first day of sophomore year, and she had a bunch of Taylor Swift bracelets on her arm. And I thought, ‘Okay, we can be friends.’ We ended up becoming best friends.” Rakhnayev felt similarly about Redding, and, when asked about her motivation to start the club, she explained, “We could talk about her for hours and wanted to create a space where others could do the same.”

At Tech, Swifties can be found and bonded across generations. Rakhnayev described how starting the club strengthened her relationship with her English teacher, Ms. Jennifer Kim. 

“[Ms. Kim] and I bonded over Taylor,” said Rakhnayev. “We have the same musical taste.” The feeling was mutual, as Ms. Kim became the club’s advisor with a genuine admiration for its leaders. “I am starstruck by their love and devotion for Taylor,” Ms. Kim remarked. 

Geometry and Algebra II teacher Ms. Jane Bolles has an Eras Tour poster tacked to a cabinet in her classroom. Bolles has attended the Eras Tour three times, once with another Tech teacher, and she joked that her colleagues know her as “the Swiftie” of the math department. 

“[Swift] is someone any student [at Tech] should look up to,” Bolles affirmed. “She works really hard, takes big risks, and helps others.” Bolles celebrated the release of the Swift album 1989 (Taylor’s Version) by decorating that school day’s slideshow presentation with 1989-themed images. On one test, she even added a bonus question about one of Swift’s concerts. She hopes that displaying her love for Swift can help break the ice at the start of a new school year and “make math a little more fun.”

The Performing Arts department is also marching to the beat of Taylor’s drum. At Tech’s 2022 Winter Concert, the Intermediate Orchestra performed Swift’s “Wildest Dreams.” They returned for the 2023 Winter Concert with another one of her hits, “Lover.” 

“The songs have a lot to them,” said Orchestra director Mr. Alexander Tasopoulos. “While some pop and folk songs leave everything up to the voice, Taylor Swift’s writing has a lot of complexity in its melodies, harmonies, and rhythms, making it great for Orchestra.” According to Tasopoulos, both pieces were requested by students. Since there was no string arrangement available online, he took it upon himself to write an arrangement of “Lover” and accepted student input on how it should sound. 

However, not all Orchestra students shared Tasopuolos’ enthusiasm. Although many Orchestra students were thrilled with the song choice, many students from the general Tech student body were strongly conflicted. In The Survey’s schoolwide poll, when asking students and staff how often they listen to Taylor Swift, answers were opposed. One anonymously responded, “literally every single second of every day (0.02% on wrapped!),” while others responded with “never because she sucks” or “I barely know who this is [to be honest].”

In response to negative sentiments, Tasopoulos remarked, “Most of the students that say they don’t like Swift probably never gave her a chance. Once the orchestra starts playing it and we remove popular connotations, it’s just good music.”

For Redding, who’s an aspiring singer-songwriter, it’s more than just good music. “From a young age, being a singer-songwriter has been my dream,” said Redding. And to her, Swift does it better than anyone. “I like the way Taylor is able to connect with people. Even though she’s the biggest star on the planet, it feels like I know her. I want to be able to [tell stories] and [write songs] like her.” Redding noted that she’s often moved to tears by Swift’s lyricism and wants to convey the same emotions in her own songwriting. “I love getting to listen to new Taylor songs. I’ll hear a lyric, and I’ll think, ‘Nothing has ever spoken to me more.’”

From the hallways to the auditorium on concert night, from headphones to the hearts of inspired students and staff, Taylor Swift’s presence at Tech is widespread. “She has created a community of people [at Tech] that can feel whatever they want, shamelessly,” said Rakhnayev. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Survey Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *