Meet Cambridge University’s Taylor Swift Appreciation Society

At 425 members the society is one of the University’s most popular societies.


Though Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal may never ever be getting back together, Basma Khan and Jonathan Teng, two Trinity College Students, have got together to create a society in appreciation of Taylor and her music.

Cambridge University Taylor Swift Appreciation Society, which has a membership of around 425 Cambridge Students on Facebook,  is dedicated to the appreciation and deification of Gracious Overlord Taylor Swift.

We spoke to Basma and Jonathan about what inspired them to start this journey, what they love about Taylor Swift, and their future plans for CUTSAS (Cambridge University Taylor Swift Appreciation Society).

A Love Story from the beginning

Both Basma and Jonathan have been fans of Taylor for years, enamored by her songwriting skills, range, depth, lyricism, personality, and cats. They’d been toying with the idea of starting a society all year and, with the help of the creative voice of Camfess, they finally put it into action.

Basma and Jonathan share that “There were a couple of Camfesses throughout the year (maybe 3-4) that talked about creating a Taylor Swift society, all of which drew rather significant amounts of interaction. We’d always tag each other in these Camfesses, and I think there came a point where we realised that such a society might actually work.”

Announcing the society’s commencement was greeted with enthusiasm (Photo credits: Camfess)

The final push occurred when the two friends looked up the procedure to register a society with the Cambridge University Student Union (SU) and discovered that “it actually didn’t take that much effort.” Thus, what was born as a joke (and a way to fantasize about Taylor Swift club nights) ballooned into CUTSAS.

Look what Camfess made them do

Membership is free and the amount of enthusiasm for the Facebook group surpassed all expectations with 425 members and growing. Basma and Jonathan were blown away, commenting that “Whilst we had confidence that the Swifties were large in number, we did not imagine the response that we would see.”

Josh Osman, second-year English student and die-hard supporter of Taylor Swift, seconded this sentiment with the words: “NO WAY – I didn’t realise there were so many of us. I mean it makes sense but I still didn’t realise.”

The mammoth size of this society has demanded an equally expansive committee. Executive roles consist of President (Jonathan), Vice-President (Basma), Secretary and Treasurer. Beyond that, Basma and Jonathan are in the process of recruiting a general committee consisting of two publicity officers, two events officers, two social officers, one music officer (which includes overseeing the society’s weekly Spotify playlists), and one freshers officer.

Jonathan and Basma admit to coercing their friends into joining the society (Photo credits: Jonathan Teng)

So what do Cambridge’s Swifties have to look forward to next year? Turns out a whole lot. CUTSAS plans to hold four Taylor Swift themed club nights (one in freshers week and one at the end of each term), assorted socials, and a huge listening party featuring “fairy lights, beanbags and cheap wine” when the album Red (Taylor’s version) drops in November.

No need to calm down

Although the concept might have begun in the random conversation threads of Camfess, CUTSAS is fast filling a niche and becoming the society no one knew they needed until they had it.

Second-year Rowan commented that “it’s great to have more options for societies that aren’t based around sports and especially ones centred around pop culture, which hopefully won’t be too demanding and will be a good way to relax (especially when Week Five hits).”

Basma and Jonathan are deeply committed to this vision and imagine CUTSAS as a fundamentally fun, inclusive, and loving community that gives everyone “the chance to dance, cry, and sing at the top of their lungs.”

Spreading the word of Taylor Swift under such leadership is unlikely to be difficult, and the Tab would like to wish CUTSAS all the best!

Featured Image Credits: Jonathan Teng and Camfess

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