Brennan’s serves taste of downtown

About 130 UVM students braved a heavy snowstorm Saturday, Feb. 5, to attend the kickoff of Club 590 in the Davis Center. The inaugural Club 590 event, held in Brennan’s Pub & Bistro and named after the street address of the Davis Center, was hosted by the Black Student Union (BSU) and Campus Programs, a division of the Department of Student Life. Burlington-based DJ cRAIG mITCHELL bobbed to the beat while spinning dance tunes in front of a large video screen on stage. Blacklight tubes, strobe lights, color-changing accents replaced Brennan’s normal lighting and a dance floor was added to give the venue the feel of a nightclub. Organizers originally feared the snowstorm would lower the turnout. “We sent out an e-mail a couple hours ago telling people, ‘it’s snowing, but don’t let it deter you, still come out, have fun,'” senior Melena Saddler, treasurer and former president of BSU, said. “It went pretty well.” University Dining Services Unit Manager for Brennan’s Bijan Samimi, was pleased with the number of people who showed up despite the weather. “One hundred twenty [people] so far? That’s not bad on the first night. A snowy night. It’s a blizzard out there,” he said just past midnight. “If it wasn’t as snowy, I bet we’d have double the crowd here.” Though small groups played video games, sat at tables and played foosball, dancing was the most popular activity — dozens of students packed the dance floor until early Sunday morning. Around 1 a.m., even Samimi, wearing his Dining Services name tag and a button-down shirt tucked into dress slacks, joined in to show off his dance moves, drawing cheers and clapping from the crowd. “I love dancing with everyone and playing the Xbox Kinect,” senior Briana Mills said as she took a break from dancing. “Everyone’s just looking for a place to dance. I’m 21, but all my friends aren’t. They can’t get in anywhere [downtown], but this is awesome.” Recent action by Burlington Police made “18+ night” permits more difficult for downtown club owners to obtain, according to an Oct. 25, 2010 article in The Vermont Cynic. “Campus Programs has been … trying to help students under 21 still have fun,” Saddler said. “We’ve been trying to keep students on campus, make them feel like it’s not that bad that they can’t go downtown [to 21+ events]. We try to throw as many parties as possible.” Campus Programs intends to make Club 590 a regular event, partnering with different student organizations to host six more Saturday night parties this semester, Student Event Coordinator with Campus Programs Jillian Ward said. “This one is hosted by BSU, and another one by Free 2 Be or something,” she said. “It’s letting each organization put on what they want to do.” Though groans of disappointment were audible when the lights came on and the music stopped shortly after 1 a.m., many students were eager to come back to the next Club 590. When Mills was asked if she would attend the next event, she answered without hesitation. “I’m here!” she said.