Loyolacore: A Place for Punks and Metal Kids

While many like to say that metal and punk is dead in the USA, Loyola University Chicago graduate, Mike DeStefano, found this to be untrue. In fact, this was so untrue that he was able to form a thriving metal, punk, and hardcore community with the school’s backing.

Formed in 2014, Loyolacore is a student organization that brings together fans of punk rock, hardcore, and heavy metal for concerts, charity, town hall music discussions, and just plain old fun. Originating as a means to find friends after transferring into Loyola DeStefano quickly found a community waiting to come together.

“I started out by posting on a Loyola Facebook page called LUC Love Notes. Basically, you get to send anonymous messages to people at the school by messaging the admin and they would post your message on the Facebook page. They had like 3000 likes or something that sort, so I knew it would reach a lot of people,” recalls DeStefano. “I posted something like ‘hey, can I get some love for heavy music?’ and the response to the message was overwhelmingly positive. It was a lot more positive than I expected.”

According to DeStefano around 50 Loyola students replied expressing interest in starting a club for punks and metalheads. He soon gathered emails and began the process of forming an official student organization. Eight months later Loyolacore was born.

Soon after forming Loyolacore, DeStefano created an official Facebook page, which has accrued over 300 likes. Through this page the club keeps members and the general public up to date on shows and promotions they’re involved with. Thus far, the club has put on numerous benefit shows and battle of the bands contests featuring bands such Erra, Close to Home, Polyphia, Invent Animate, and Arkham.

“It definitely feels good to give back to the community. Loyola has helped us out a lot. We feel that it would only be right to give back to the organization that has given to us. I have to say, I wouldn’t have most of the friends or opportunities I have today without Loyola giving Loyolacore a chance,” says DeStefano. “We’ve actually done a lot of great things.”

Today, Loyolacore has won an award for ‘outstanding new organization’ from the university and recruited over 160 active members and is going strong. Though DeStefano has since graduated, thus cannot continue on as club president, Christina ‘Nina’ Swint has taken the reins of the club. As expected, Loyolacore will continue on and likely expand its reach around campus as it grows as a community. If all goes well future students studying at Loyola University Chicago with a taste for heavy music can find a community to call their own. In the meantime, Loyolacore will keep on the same path it’s been treading since 2014.

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