Eggs with a Side of Anomaly
Bryn Mawr Dining
By Emily Feenstra
Unigo Campus Rep at Bryn Mawr
It is Sunday morning. The campus is slowly waking up, and a steady stream of bleary-eyed students, a little worse for wear, is seen heading to Erdman Dining Hall. Sunday brunch is a coveted affair on campus, a time to chat with friends over trays full of waffles and scrambled eggs and mediocre coffee.
It doesn’t take new students or visitors long, however, to notice an ostensibly different group of friends towards the back of the dining hall. Their table is adorned with a white linen tablecloth and electric candles. This is High Table, perhaps the single most unique student organization on campus.
Many students never get passed seeing the white tablecloth and thinking it is just a bizarre group of friends with a fetish for white linens. But in fact, High Table is a group of around twenty students who meet every week to, “Have a ‘civilized’ brunch on Sundays,” as sophomore Rebecca Rubhuhn-Glanz explains. Rebecca, the club’s official linens mistress (she washes the aforementioned tablecloth), further explained that, “The club exists to maintain some of the college’s minor traditions” as well as “to have random, silly fun events like Quidditch.” That’s right, Quidditch.
Senior Mara Goldberg, the club’s Head (a position which can be equated to President), expounded that this, “Ridiculous stress relieving fun [has included] wearing costume style clothes for the pure fun of it.” Mara said the garb includes, “Cloaks, stitch ears, [and] hats with eyes on them.” Mara stressed that the club provides a friendly atmosphere where those so inclined can be themselves, where “weird flags” flourish and everyone is accepted.
Perhaps because of the unusual appearance of the table come Sunday mornings, or perhaps because of the appearance of the members themselves, many non-member students see High Table as a bizarre anomaly on campus. Something they don’t really understand and don’t exactly want to understand. One senior, who whishes to remain anonymous, simply asks, “Why?” She complains that, “It makes Bryn Mawr sound weird,” and sees the club itself as, “A secret society of extremely weird people.” When the club posts its flyers announcing an upcoming Quidditch match, condescending comments abound from on-looking students. In years past, when there were several habitually cloak-clad members, everyone on campus was aware of the “cappies.” References to High Table are generally met with a groan and a roll of the eyes. They are tolerated, at best seen as adding color and variety to campus, at worst as blemishing the reputation of Bryn Mawr.
But for the members themselves, High Table is worth its weight in gold. Sophomore Beth Curtiss enjoys the club’s raison d’être, but her favorite aspect is the friends she has made. “You don’t really have to have specific interests or inclinations to participate, so we have a broad variety of people,” she exclaimed. Mara and Rebecca likewise refer to the friendships they have made through the club as one of its highlights. Mara explained, “I can show up exhausted and a friend will scratch me behind the ears and I’ll start to pur[r] and no one thinks anything of it.”
Whether you think purring at brunch is normal, High Table exists as an extra flash of color to an already colorful campus. There is no shortage of odd organizations, with Carnivore Club and Athena’s Circle adding to this bright mosaic, but High Table stands alone. Love it or loath it, High Table has been a solid presence at Sunday brunch for over twenty years. There is always an extra seat and an open invitation for those brave enough to take a seat.