UVM students party for rights

Slade Hall is known on campus for its garden club, environmentally conscious residents and its basement, home to open-mic Wednesdays and other music and art collaborations. On Friday April 22, Slade basement cleared the floor for 2kDeep DJ Sharkat in a benefit concert to support Afghani women’s rights activist Malalai Joya from 9 -12 p.m. If you haven’t been to Slade before, the comfy couch collection and eclectic student contributions to the painted basement ceiling give it the independent feeling of an apartment, without the keg, intoxicated first years or sticky floor. There were glow sticks, neon spandex and shirts wedged under the ceiling tiles, just like one might see in a club in downtown Burlington. Sophomore Adeline Bouras organized the event, with a lot of hard work and a turnout of 81 confirmed guests on Facebook. “I feel lucky that Slade is able to hold concerts for students to come to and enjoy without even having to leave campus,” Bouras said. “It’s pretty wicked.” Slade hosts benefit concerts — not “parties” — every other Friday, with an Open Mic Session every other Wednesday. In the past, these events have hosted popular student musicians like Fridge and the Spins and Moses and the Electric Co. “I think that it is really awesome when students can organize events that impact the local community within the parameters of their school life,” sophomore Jenna Sciolla said. “It is really accessible.” Sasquatch opened the show, followed by sophomore and DJ Jeff Morrow, who mixed beats for the crowd with a fan base of whomp-loving kids in attendance.  Sharkat started where Morrow left off, with heavy electronic beats primed for interesting dance moves from the audience.  It was clear: With Christmas lights, dub step and an intimately elevated stage, Slade was an incredibly responsible alternative to the heavily patrolled streets surrounding campus for students to unwind after pre-exam studies. Slade does not receive any funding for the events they hold, but they employ their resourceful group of students full of nifty ideas and connections, Bouras said. “It really only takes a shout up the stairs to find what you are looking for. All of the artists play for us because they want to,” she said. “How great is that?” A suggested donation of $5 was collected at the door, although some came for the bass-y music unaware or unwilling to give a bit for the cause. The money will be sent directly to Afghan humanitarian Malalai Joya, a world reknown women’s rights activists, Bouras said. Joya is currently traveling around the globe to spread awareness of Afghani women’s rights and the devastating effects the U.S. occupancy in her country has had on the people and their health. Overall, Bouras was pleased, despite a few mishaps. “I think it went wicked, it womped, wobbled, the ceiling fell through and I even saw a glimpse of a bloody elbow,” she said. “In my terms, it was a grand success!”