Slade fights new ban

The Slade Hall basement, which students may know about for its open mic nights and its role in the history of the Vermont band, Phish, is changing up its typical atmosphere.

After a large event in April, the Burlington fire marshal’s office conducted an investigation into the safety of the venue and concluded that the venue was not to exceed 25 people, University Fire Marshal John Marcus said.

“The basement of Slade Hall was not designed, from a safety standpoint, to hold large numbers of people from outside the Hall,” Marcus said.  “It was designed for the residents of the building to have a place to congregate.”

Local authorities have become increasingly concerned with small venue safety after the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island killed 100 people in 2003, he said.

Tragedies in small venues, such as the Station, were due in part to insufficient exit space caused by the large crowds, Marcus said.

Slade Hall residents said that they had a lot of flooding over the summer, and the moisture created mold, which attracted the attention of the University and fire marshal.

The students said that they notified risk management about the mold before classes started, and the only steps toward solving the issue has been putting a dehumidifier in the basement.

“If this happened in any other dorm, it would have been fixed in a flash,” first-year Nick Beaudoin said. “It’s really frustrating how they deal with us.  Yes, we’re college students, but not everyone here is some crazy drunkard.”

Relations with Reslife to try and fix the situation have been very difficult and tense, he said.

“They don’t treat us like people,” Beaudoin said. “It’s disgusting.”

Other residents said that they are disappointed because the basement concerts were one of the few opportunities they had to let students find out about their community.

“We have been doing shows for 15 years,” senior Henry Kellogg said. “I have even put on a play in that basement.  It’s an art hub.”