From:                              Vanderbilt Parents & Family Programs <>

Sent:                               Monday, August 05, 2013 10:01 AM

To:                                   Thomas, Anna

Subject:                          A message from Randy Tarkington, senior director of Residential Education


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Parent PreVU -- News from Vanderbilt Parents and Family Programs


   August 2013

Parents and Family Programs




I still remember the anticipation and excitement of moving away to college. A lot of the car ride to campus was spent thinking about having a roommate. Would we get along? Would we become great friends? To this day, I can tell you every college roommate I had—and stories about them. There is nothing like living on a college campus, and nowhere is better than The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt.

I am sure your son or daughter has more than a few questions about roommates. Here are some suggestions you could share with them.

Roommate tips

Start getting to know your roommate now. Discuss who is bringing what. Space in rooms is valuable, so a little coordination goes a long way.

Establish some rules to live by. They need to discuss study and sleeping habits, visitors in the room and other topics. Good communication goes a long way in all healthy relationships, and that certainly is true for college roommates.

Try to work through any tough times. The automatic answer is not moving to another room—very few students seek roommate changes. If problems persist, your student should talk to the resident adviser (RA) or the area coordinator (AC). The AC can discuss developing a contract or direct them to other campus resources for help. If it is clear the roommate situation is not one that will work, the AC can help with a room change. Vacancies are few, and a new room may mean moving to another house, which most students do not want to do. The fact is that once students move into their room, floor and house, they really like it and want to stay.

I suggest that parents, as much as possible, be good listeners, but let your child resolve their roommate issues. If you need advice, you can always call our office. The area coordinator or an associate director can offer suggestions. I am also available to you.

The Ingram Commons is a special place. Walk the halls with your son or daughter on Move-in Day and meet his/her neighbors. These may very well become friends they will have for the rest of their lives. Meet the RA who lives on the floor. Encourage your son or daughter to participate in house activities, to seek out and get to know their faculty head of house, and to go to a dinner at the dean's house. Living and learning on campus is a key part of the Vanderbilt experience, and we want it to be a very positive one. We are here to assist you and your child throughout their four years here.

For more information, check out the Resource and Information Fair, as well as meetings with academic undergraduate deans in the four schools, all after you've moved in on Saturday, August 17. We will see you in a couple of weeks.


Randy Tarkington
Senior Director, Residential Education

Move-in Schedule of Events Printable PDF



Residential Education professional staff at The Ingram Commons

Associate directors and area coordinators are residential education staff responsible for coordinating community programming and recruiting student staff. The associate directors live in residence halls on campus, are equipped with cell phones and are on call 24/7. The area coordinators supervise the resident advisers in each building. The three area coordinators assigned to The Ingram Commons are available to:

  • respond to emergencies in the residence halls
  • accompany sick and injured students to the emergency room
  • advise residence hall governments
  • counsel individual students
  • promote and assist in the planning of residence hall programming
  • investigate and resolve student disciplinary matters


Campus Safety

The Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD), through its community-oriented policing philosophy, plays a vital role in the lives of students learning and living on The Ingram Commons. The focus of community-oriented policing is to prevent crime and resolve community issues, not just to respond to crime.

Officers work closely with other organizations and community groups to educate community members about potential hazards and how to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime. Their vision for policing on The Ingram Commons is to establish a partnership among the students, faculty, staff and the police department. VUPD is a service- and prevention-oriented organization designed to meet and/or exceed the expectations of our community.


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A message from a parent and advisory board member:

Staying in touch with your college Student
Remember back in the old days when we were in school? When you went away to college, you went away. The phone in the dorm hallway would ring every so often. Someone up there was looking out for us, because now that we're parents, communicating with our kids is infinitely easier.

Cell phones are wonderful gadgets. Not only can I reach my son, Will, without dangling-phone roulette, he gets my message even if he is in class or baseball practice. Moreover—he calls me! Will uses his walking time across campus to keep up with me, with his father, with his grandparents. Particularly during that first year when your child lives on The Ingram Commons, there is plenty of walking time.

But don't forget that your baby probably misses home just a little bit (even if he or she won't admit it). A good old-fashioned care package still warms the cockles of their little hearts.

Libby Hinson
Tarzana, Calif.
Parent of Will (Class of 2014)
Parents and Family Association Advisory Board member Liaison to The Ingram Commons



Encourage your student to participate in The Commons Reading Competition!



Upcoming dates and deadlines


August 5
Family Weekend 2013 online registration available


August 8
Packages may be shipped to campus


August 14
Deadline for payment of fall tuition/fees


August 16
Deadline to sign up for AlertVU


August 17
Move-in Day!


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Important links

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Class of 2017

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What is the Parents and Family Association?

The Parents and Family Association serves as a communication link between Vanderbilt and the parents of undergraduate students. It enables parents to actively participate in the life of their Vanderbilt student and to interact with and lend support to other parents. Parents or guardians of undergraduate students are automatically members of the Parents and Family Association. One of the many ways to get involved in your student's Vanderbilt experience is through our parent volunteer opportunities. Visit the Parents and Family Programs website to learn more and sign up.




Family Weekend 2013 is September 27-29!

Family Weekend is the perfect time for students, parents, grandparents and siblings to reconnect. We have many fun and exciting events planned, including an SEC football matchup between the 'Dores and the UAB Blazers. You'll have the opportunity to meet with various deans, administrators and faculty, and also have time to stroll across our beautiful campus and soak up the Vanderbilt atmosphere. You can view the full schedule and register online on the Parents and Family Programs website.



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Parents & Family Programs
PMB 401627  |  2301 Vanderbilt Place  |  Nashville, TN 37240-1627
Parent Helpline: (877) 887-2736



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