When Taylor Swift wrote “meet me behind the mall” in her song “august,” it’s unclear if she meant McKeldin, but the Meet Me Behind McKeldin Mall club is giving a new life to her lyrics.

Meet Me Behind McKeldin Mall, or 4MB for short, is a biweekly social club at the University of Maryland dedicated to discussions about indie and pop music. The club offers students the opportunity to bond over their favorite singers, music genres and songs.

The club started with co-presidents Evelyn Jiang and Dhruvak Mirani in fall 2023. Club meetings were informal, but a semester later, it’s officially recognized as a club on campus.

“It’s crazy to think that some people were at the same concert as you and you had no clue who they were,” club treasurer Eesha Thakkar said. “Now they’re in front of you and you guys are talking about the same songs and you have the same experiences.” 

From homework and classes to internships and jobs, college comes with a lot of stressors. Meet Me Behind McKeldin Mall serves as an environment where students can escape from college stressors and have fun with people who share a common interest, according to Thakkar, a sophomore public health science major.

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The club hosted its first official general body meeting this past week and discussed hot topics in pop culture, such as the Grammys and the Super Bowl, according to Jiang, a sophomore computer science major.

“I think when you look at it from the outside, it feels like a very niche club,” Helen Wang, the club’s vice president and junior economics and marketing major said. “But once you come to a meeting you find that everyone’s just so friendly, and everyone’s so willing to get to know each other, and we really bond over the shared interest.” 

The club has collaborated with different organizations on campus to host events. The club hosted listening parties for new album releases, such as Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS, with student radio station WMUC in the fall 2023 semester, Mirani said. 

Meet Me Behind McKeldin Mall also worked with dining services to serve Taylor Swift’s famous chai sugar cookies in dining halls the day 1989 (Taylor’s Version) came out, according to Mirani, a sophomore computer science and government and politics major.

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“[The cookies] were great. I heard a lot of people talking about them, people who weren’t even remotely interested in Taylor Swift or pop music,” Mirani said. “At some point I was in McKeldin Library on the second floor and I heard people talking about it completely unprompted.”

Meet Me Behind McKeldin Mall is planning similar events in the future. Alongside more listening parties, the club plans to hold a friendship bracelet making event and a pop culture trivia night, Mirani said.

“Since I love these pop and indie artists, I just want to meet other people who do as well and create a community,” Jiang said. “It’s important to have balance in your college life.”