St. Paul recreation draws U students

Stephanie Kudrle

In her fourth year at the University, art student Amber Albertson found herself in foreign territory Monday afternoon: the St. Paul campus.

“This is my first time over here in four years,” Albertson said. “I’m meeting a friend for lunch, but if she didn’t have class in St. Paul, I wouldn’t be here.”

More than 5,000 students from five colleges – including the colleges of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences; Biological Sciences; Veterinary Medicine; Human Ecology and Natural Resources – are based on the St. Paul campus.

Several students who spend most of their days at St. Paul said the campus offers more than lunch meetings or biological science classes.

During the day, Buford Avenue, which boasts the St. Paul Student Center, Bailey Hall and McGrath Library, is the center of student activity.

Sarah Bierbaum, a pre-veterinary medicine student who has lived on the St. Paul campus for four years, said there is always something to do on the campus.

“We play Frisbee in the (St. Paul) mall and hang out at the ‘college’ park,” she said, referring to a nearby city park. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Abby Coodin, also a senior pre-veterinary medicine student, said karaoke bars and student center activities are hot spots for her and her friends.

“There’s bowling at the center and free movies,” Coodin said. “And karaoke bars are fun Ö if you’re old enough.”

Several blocks away from Buford Avenue, other students said working out at the St. Paul gym is another way to have fun and relax.

Ken Zeik, a fifth-year natural resource student, said he spends his downtime in St. Paul playing intramural football with his friends.

But Brian Rose, a veterinary medicine graduate student, said the St. Paul gym could use updates.

“It needs more weights,” Rose said. “The gym is decent for its size, but it doesn’t have a big variety of barbells and dumbbells.”

Rose said he and his friends often catch football games at bars near campus.

But coffee shops and international restaurants are “all the rage” for veterinary medicine graduate student Tess DeBlieck and junior health and wellness student Melissa Rathbun.

“Coffee shops are a great place to go,” DeBlieck said.

The pair said they frequented Lori’s Coffee House, located across from Bailey Hall, but admitted they enjoy Starbuck’s coffee as well.

When they are looking for more action, DeBlieck and Rathbun said they often travel to Har Mar Mall, on Snelling Avenue near the St. Paul campus.

The strip mall houses a Barnes and Noble, clothing stores and restaurants.

While Albertson and other University students said activities on the St. Paul campus are a mystery, Bierbaum and Coodin said the same of Minneapolis.

“We’re always here,” Coodin said of St. Paul.