Jake Baggenstoss and his friend sat at an empty corner table while 100-some University employees and alumni danced, ate and talked around them.
They were the only students at the University’s Campus Club’s Cajun Night on Friday, and at least one decade separated them from other partygoers.
Baggenstoss, a fourth-year art student, is one of the more recent members of the 93-year-old club, which started admitting students last year.
Located on the fourth floor of Coffman Union, the club is a membership organization available to University faculty, staff, students, alumni and regents.
Of the estimated 1,300 members, approximately 20 are students, said Phil Platt, marketing and membership director for the club.
“The core is previous members that have returned,” Platt said.
For $180 each year, members enjoy a banquet hall, a bar and lounge, and an outdoor terrace with a view of campus, downtown Minneapolis and the Mississippi River.
“It’s like a fancy-pants club,” Baggenstoss said. He said he thought the club’s upscale atmosphere might deter some students.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to (join) a few years ago,” he said.
Now he enjoys stopping in between classes, Baggenstoss said.
“I just wanted to get away from the students at a bar atmosphere,” he said.
Ben Post, an economics and math senior, also recently joined the club.
He said he enjoys eating an occasional meal in the club’s dining hall.
“It’s extremely nice and real quiet so I can get reading done,” Post said. “It’s a good way to start my day off.”
The upscale ambiance provides him with different dining companions than the average campus cafeteria.
“I sit down for lunch and I strike up conversations with professors,” Post said. “It gives me a chance to socialize with faculty members that I otherwise wouldn’t.”