Most Auburn students are familiar with clubs like the Student Government Association and University Programs Council, but many students may not have heard of the Brony Club.
The Brony Club formed for the appreciation and enjoyment of the television show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The name “brony” is a combination of “bro” and “pony,” although the club is open to females as well.
The Auburn bronies meet every Friday at 6 p.m. in Student Center Room 2225. The club has approximately 20 members, and usually 13 to 15 show up each week. At the meetings the bronies watch episodes of My Little Pony and admire fan artwork on websites like 4chan and Reddit. The club’s artistic members bring in their own computer-generated animations of characters and scenes.
The Auburn Brony Club formed in 2012 when a friend of TJ Lowry, the club’s president, posted fliers around campus to gauge interest in a potential Auburn Brony Club. The two began constructing a constitution and bylaws.
That summer, Lowry was walking down the concourse in a My Little Pony T-shirt when Willy Steers approached him. “I was a new fan of the show and I promised myself I would introduce myself to anyone sporting brony fandom gear,” Steers said.
Steers soon began assisting Lowry in the arduous process of getting the Brony Club approved through the Student Government Association. Lowry asked Steers to be vice president of the club, and he gladly accepted. The Student Government Association approved the Auburn Brony Club that fall.
Appreciation for the cartoon is not specific to Auburn, however. Shortly after Lauren Faust became the creative director of the show in 2010, a large fan base of 18 to 24 year olds developed on 4chan, a popular image board website. Equestria Daily, a website for the brony fandom, recently surpassed 400 million views and now receives more than 175,000 visits a day.
Lowry said he believes Faust’s previous work on popular cartoons like “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” attracted the older audience.
“Nostalgia for old Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network shows drew me to the show,” Lowry said. As a kid he watched “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” “Dexter’s Laboratory,” and “Ed, Edd n Eddy,” the writers of which now contribute to “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”
The Brony Club may seem like a simple fan club, but it has become much more than that. “In general the fandom abides by the teachings of the show: to love and tolerate, that friendship is magic and friends are family,” Lowry said.
Lowry’s brony friendships now stretch beyond Auburn. Through blogs and chatrooms he regularly chats with hundreds of other fans. He has developed close friendships with a group of approximately 20 other bronies around the country. The group keeps in touch regularly and has met up at twice at a brony convention called Bronycon.
Steers uses the Brony Club as a chance to relax and de-stress. “The club has been a fantastic experience,” Steers said. “It gets to that point in the week, and you can just show up to the meeting and joke around and chill.”
Although the club may be less mainstream than your average Auburn organization, many Auburn students appreciate the diversity. “I think its cool that students create organizations like the Brony Club. It gives Auburn the quirkiness it needs,” said Emily Kearley, Auburn senior.
To learn more about the Auburn Brony Club contact TJ Lowry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*photos taken from http://durpy.deviantart.com/art/, http://vigorousjammer.deviantart...., and www.equestriadaily.com
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