Minutes before midnight on April 4, groups of students gathered on the Quad after trekking from their dorms, late-night study sessions, or wherever else they happened to be at the time. They were all there for one reason: moon club.
Many Boston College students have heard about moon club by word of mouth or from mysterious Herrd posts advertising its meetings. Yet, few know the story behind the club that meets monthly at midnight during the full moon.
Moon club began as an inside joke in the fall of 2021 between Parker Keller, MCAS ’23, and his roommates.
“One day we were like, ‘Oh my god, the full moon—we should go and celebrate the full moon on Gasson Quad’ and that’s it,” Keller said.
The group of five brought chairs and a speaker to the Quad, and the club was born. According to Keller, the group began marketing the club using Herrd posts every time a full moon approached. Moon club eventually created an Instagram page, @bc_moonclub, and made its first post in November of 2021. The account now has over 300 followers.
“We tried to just overly exaggerate moon club to the campus.” Keller said. “And it’s really grown for no reason. Like, I have no clue. We’re not an official club. I want to make that clear. We are not an official club. I have marketed it as BCs coolest unofficial underground club.”
After the first meeting, Keller said he and his friends discovered what they now call the “moon trophy” in a moment of pure luck as they headed home. The “moon trophy” is a lamp shaped like a trophy with a circular bulb on top, and it made its first official appearance at the second moon club meeting, he said.
“Five other kids showed up, which was hilarious, like we could not believe people were showing up,” Keller said. “So that was about 10 people in total. We brought the little trophy and we gave them the trophy.”
Now the trophy has become a constant at their meetings. Each month, it is given to an attendee who then holds onto it and brings it back the next meeting.
When moon club gathers, people stand around the Quad, and some even bring blankets to sit on while they chat with each other. Keller also said he brings a speaker to play a curated moon club Spotify playlist, featuring various songs that either have “moon” in the title or feature a space theme.
Another moon club staple—aside from the trophy and playlist—is moon lamps.
“One of my favorite memories is the first time these two other members brought moon club lamps,” Keller said. “I was like, ‘Wow, I did not expect this to happen.’”
An additional club tradition is the orchestration of a “group howl” roughly between 12:25 and 12:30 a.m., Keller said.
Though moon club tries to meet once a month at midnight whenever there is a full moon, sometimes meetings cannot be exactly on the date of the full moon due to weather complications or breaks from school.
“The common theme is not much thought goes into everything,” Keller said. “We try to do every full moon so the day that we are planning on it is always predetermined.”
Keller said moon club is not a typical campus organization because it does not have an executive board or any type of hierarchy, although he does acknowledge that many think otherwise.
“A lot of people see me as the president or leader, but I tried to shoot that down because I really tried to make it like we don’t have any board,” Keller said. “There’s no hierarchy in the club. Everyone can just come in. We’re all just chillin’ together, and I try to be intentional about that.”
Multiple students take on the responsibility of publicizing the club—there are several students who post on the moon club Instagram and reply to messages. The main contributor to the Instagram page is Andrew Blanch, CSOM ’23, who Keller jokingly refers to as the “CMO” or chief marketing officer. Blanch first heard about the club his junior year after the Instagram account requested to follow him.
“They requested to follow me and I remember reading it and I was like “Oh what is this?’” Blanch said. “I remember wondering if it was a joke. I was like, ‘Are they actually going to go watch the full moon? Is that going to happen?’”
Blanch said he finally went to a meeting in September of 2022 alongside some of his roommates.
“It was like a very fun time when we went,” Blanch said. “I think that one was particularly small. It was maybe just five or six of us who just kind of went out there. But ever since then, I’ve made it a point to go. I go to each one every time that they do it.”
Like Keller, Blanch emphasized the casual and open nature of moon club.
“So when we’re sitting out there, there’s always people that might be walking by because they’re leaving the library or just sort of milling about campus,” Blanch said. “And we always like, if we see them, we’re like, ‘Oh, happy moon club,’ and we’ll wait and be like ‘Come join us.’”
Abdul Umar, MCAS ’24, who has attended several meetings, said the club’s casual environment made it particularly enticing.
“I don’t usually go to clubs,” Umar said. “I haven’t joined many groups because I will go to their first meeting, but I don’t ‘feel it’ so to speak. But, this was like where everyone is new and they just want to meet you.”
Moon club went on a brief hiatus during the spring of 2022—when Keller left BC to study abroad. Keller said no one wanted to take on the responsibility of organizing meetings. In fall of 2022, the club’s following rocketed. This sudden rise in popularity is likely due to word of mouth and increased posting on Instagram and Herrd, Keller said.
“When people that I didn’t even know, more than just mutual friends, just like total randos showed up it was like ‘Wow this is really funny,’” Keller said.
The first full moon of the fall semester was in late September, and Keller said about 20 people showed up for that meeting. At the last meeting of the fall semester in December of 2022, about 35 people showed up. A meeting this February had over 50 people in attendance. They even hosted a “virtual” moon club when the full moon for March fell over Spring Break. Over 30 students submitted pictures of the moon they took over break, according to Keller.
Keller said moon club’s popularity has come as a surprise, but he is glad students are having fun joining in on something that started as an inside joke between him and his friends.
“From something that started extremely silly and stupid, it’s grown into something that still is silly and stupid but like a little more organized, and it makes me happy that some people are talking about it because I think it’s just a fun thing to do,” Keller said.
Keller and Blanch are both seniors, so Blanch said he hopes the group can continue in the future.
“If it’s something that kind of became a tradition, I feel like that would really warm my heart,” Blanch said.
Umar is a junior and has plans for moving the club forward, including potentially considering registering as an official club with the Office of Student Involvement. Even if that does not happen, Umar still wants to carry on the tradition.
“I’m going to keep Parker’s legacy since I’m the one who is more involved after them, so probably like the unofficial leader, and maintain the [Instagram] page and make sure everyone comes,” Umar said.
As the end of his time as a BC student approaches, Keller said he has begun reflecting on the moon club’s impact and the culture it created on campus.
“It makes me really happy that there’s like a good amount of people on the BC campus and in the community that think this is a fun thing to do,” Keller said. “I just feel like I am super grateful that that kind of space can exist for people and I feel super happy that I’ve been able to facilitate that.”