SFUAD Welcomes Brony Club
Twilight Sparkle and the gang have come to SFUAD!
In addition to its myriad other clubs and activities, SFUAD is now playing host to its first ever Brony Club.
A bizarre cultural phenomenon that has spawned its own documentary, a Brony is the given name to an adult/young adult male fan of the popular children’s show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” According to posters around campus, the SFUAD Brony Club’s aim is to “give students a chance to express themselves in a non-judging environment,” as well as enjoy activities such as “creating art, showing off fan works and of course watching new episodes of the show.”
The SFUAD Brony Club is the brainchild of Jack Getschman, an 18-year-old freshman film major.
“I wanted to start the club because I’m a big fan myself, and I felt it was kind of hard to express myself because I do make some fan works and I can’t really express them to people. So I thought, well, other people probably have this problem too, and it’s hard to express your creative works with people who aren’t fans. So I thought, make the club, get to meet Bronies and I get to make some friends and I can really allow them to express themselves in a non-judging environment.”
Getschman says he first saw the show back in 2012, but didn’t consider himself a Brony until a friend recently showed him the documentary “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.”
“I was nervous the first time (I saw MLP) because if someone sees a boy or a grown man watching the show, they’re gonna judge or think the worst.”
So far, three people have signed up for the club and the on-campus reaction has been relatively positive, although Getschman says he has heard some people “talk about Bronies in not a good light” and that several of his posters have been torn down.
One of the new members, Owen Peterson, a 29-year-old SFCC film student who lives in the SFUAD dorms, was excited by the club’s potential to enhance SFUAD’s “inclusive environment” status.
“I like the Brony fandom because they are very progressive in moving society forward by eliminating stereotypes for grown men who like children’s entertainment. I myself like Pokemon, Power Rangers and Batman, among other kids shows. We live in an ever-changing world and Bronies are bringing the world closer to being a better place.”
Both Getschman and Peterson acknowledge that their status as Bronies may be negatively perceived, but neither feels judged or ridiculed on campus.
“I don’t mind (people judging,) but I’d prefer not to go all out and like, shout out on campus ‘Hey, I’m a Brony!’ or anything. I guess I would prefer not to, but I can take it,” says Getschman.
Peterson agrees that he doesn’t feel judged “by anyone here on campus. I’m a little nervous about one or two people, but as long as I’ve got my friends here at SFUAD who like MLP, I shouldn’t be afraid of anything anyone says or does.”
Administration approval for the club went through Director of Campus and Residential Life John Rodriguez.
“I was kind of surprised, but I had seen an episode of “Bob’s Burgers,” which had a Brony Club and I thought it was hilarious. However, I think Jack’s reasons for starting the club were legitimate enough to approve the creation and it also brings much needed diversity to the SFUAD clubs and organizations.”
Rodriguez also expressed the hope that “this club will resonate with our SFUAD student body. Again, it’s something fresh and new and is something that our students grew up with, watching “My Little Pony”, so it’s kind of fun to relive those childhood memories as a young adult as a creative outlet.”
As with many fandoms, Getschman and Peterson both had characters from the show with whom they most identified.
“I can relate to a part of all of the main six characters of the show. I believe I identify most with Twilight Sparkle, the purple unicorn. She is nerdyish but a good friend and always wants to help. She also values knowledge,” says Getschman, while Peterson answers “I can somewhat relate to all the Main 6 in a way. I’m intellectual like Twilight Sparkle, I see myself as a badass like Rainbow Dash, I work hard like Applejack, I’m an artsy person like Rarity, I’m kind towards animals like Fluttershy, and I like to make people happy like Pinkie Pie.”
The intellectualism and fierce dedication Getschman and Peterson display for the show belays the behind-the-hand snickering and judgmental attitude of society towards the Bronies,
showing that many in the fandom are smart, kind people who simply want to express their appreciation for the show and not be judged.
“The show has this sense of community that is very happy, very light,” says Getschman. “All the Bronies I’ve met have been really nice people. It’s just a really friendly fandom.”