Student Handbook
 

Chapter 4: Services for Students

Athletics / Black Cultural Center / University Chaplain and Affiliated Ministries / Child Care Center / Dining / Mail Services / Opportunity Development Center / Parking and Transportation / Police Department, University / Student Financial Aid / Student Health Center and Other Medical Services

Academic Advising at Vanderbilt

Advising is an integral part of the student experience at Vanderbilt. Far from being a passive exercise, it is a collaborative, participatory process between advisors and students.

Advisers are selected members of the faculty who are assigned to work with students, and who devote considerable time and effort to assisting students with academic matters. Advisers and advisees are encouraged to make contact early and often and to establish a schedule of regular meetings. While advisees may "drop in" to see their advisers, making an appointment during normal office hours is recommended. The development of a strong adviser-advisee relationship benefits students both academically and personally. It is not uncommon at Vanderbilt for the adviser/advisee relationship to evolve into one in which the adviser becomes a mentor as the student moves from freshman to senior in his/her field of study.

In addition to assigned advisers, the academic Associate Deans of the schools also provide academic consultation and counseling through services provided by their offices or by offices to which they may refer a student.

Athletics

Vanderbilt University competes in varsity athletics at the highest level sanctioned by the NCAA (Division IA) within the nationally competitive Southeastern Conference (SEC). Vanderbilt offers opportunities in sixteen intercollegiate programs: football, baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, women's cross country, men's cross country, women's golf, men's golf, women's lacrosse, men's tennis, women's tennis, women's indoor track and field, women's outdoor track and field, women's soccer, women's swimming, and women's bowling.

During the 2005/2006 academic year, over 350 student-athletes competed in varsity athletics. Athletic financial support is contingent upon ability and ranges in amount and availability. Further information regarding the Department of Athletics can be found at http://www.vucommodores.com* or by calling 322-4727.

Black Cultural Center

Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center provides educational and cultural programming on the African and African American experience for the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities. Dedicated in 1984, the Center is named after the first African American student admitted to Vanderbilt (in 1953). The Center represents one of Vanderbilt's numerous efforts to acknowledge and promote diversity.

One of the Center's aims is to foster an understanding of the values and cultural heritage of people of African descent worldwide. In this regard, the Center serves as a resource for information on African and African American life and culture. Symposia, lectures, musical performances, art exhibitions, audiovisual materials, and publications on the African and African American experience provide a broad spectrum of activities for the University and the general public. The center also provides office space for the Afro-Hispanic Review, which is edited by Vanderbilt faculty and graduate students.

Recently expanded and renovated, the Center houses a computer lab, a small library, a seminar room, an auditorium, a student lounge area, and staff offices. The Center is open to all students, faculty and staff for programs and gatherings throughout the year. More information is available on the BJJBCC web site at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/BCC.*

University Chaplain and Affiliated Ministries

The University Chaplain and other ministers and professional staff affiliated with the University provide for worship, counseling, study, social action, and fellowship for individual constituencies and join in cooperative programs that minister to the University. See "Religious Holidays Practices" in Chapter 5, and "Soliciting for Religious Activities" in the "Publicity, Promotion and Advertising" section of Chapter 3. For additional information, visit the University Chaplain and Affiliated Ministries Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/religiouslife/*).

Child Care Center

The Vanderbilt Child Care Center operates as a service to University staff, faculty, and students. Tuition is determined by the age of the child. The Center offers both full- and part-time care. Further information is available from the Vanderbilt Child Care Center, call 322-8076 or 936-1990.

Dining

Vanderbilt Dining's meal plan program, VU Meal Plans, provides a wide range of dining options. Features include extended hours, multiple locations, variety, a rollover account for missed meals, special events, Meal Money, Taste of Nashville (ToN) Program, and three Guest Meals per semester.

First-year students living on campus are required to participate in the 19 Meal/Week Plan. Other students may purchase the 7, 14 or 19 Meal Plan by checking the selection on their housing applications or by purchasing the plans at the Commodore Card Office located in Sarratt Student Center.

There are a variety of options conveniently located across campus. The Rand Dining Center, The Pub, Stonehenge Deli, Grins Vegetarian Cafe, C.T. West, Quiznos, Chef's Table at Cohen, Engineering Cafe, and Blair Cafe all host the VU Meal Plans. Vanderbilt Dining also operates six convenience stores including the Varsity Marketplace in Branscomb and the Cohen Market on Peabody which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when school is in session, and which accept Meal Plans.

For more information on VU Meal Plans, visit http://www.vanderbilt.edu/dining/VUmealplans.*

For more information on Vanderbilt Dining, visit http://www.vanderbilt.edu/dining.*

The Identification Card

The Vanderbilt Card serves as the student ID card. Students can use it to access debit spending accounts, enter the Dinner Plan, and gain admission to campus buildings such as residence halls, academic buildings, and the Student Recreation Center.

Entering students will be issued Vanderbilt Cards at the Vanderbilt University Card Office. Returning students who have lost their Vanderbilt Cards may obtain replacements during regular office hours upon payment of a $15 fee.

  • Cardholders must report a lost card as soon as possible either to the Vanderbilt University Card Office during business hours or at any attended retail location that accepts the Vanderbilt Card as a method of payment, so that debit spending account and access privileges can be frozen. Lost cards may also be reported to the Department of Police and Security at 322-2745.
  • The Vanderbilt Card is nontransferable and restricted to use by the person whose picture and signature are on the card. Cardholders may not lend their cards to anyone or ask anyone to purchase items for them with their cards. Violation of this policy may result in confiscation of the card and in disciplinary action. Vanderbilt Card account information will be released only to the cardholder or to a third party designated by the cardholder.

See "Identification Card" in Chapter 5.

Billing and Refunds

All billing on the student's account is handled through the Office of Student Accounts. Prorated refunds may be made in some cases of prolonged illness or withdrawal from the University, upon the recommendation of the student's dean.

For additional information, visit the Vanderbilt Card Office Web site (http://thecard.vanderbilt.edu).

Mail Services

Two United States Post Office substations are located on the campus:

  • Station B-ZIP code 37235-in Rand Hall, and
  • Station 17-ZIP code 37232-in Medical Center North (serving the Medical Center).

Post office boxes are also located at Hill Student Center, ZIP code 37203; however, this location is a mail distribution center only and does not offer the full services of a Post Office substation.

All resident undergraduate students living in University-owned facilities are eligible for post office boxes at Station B or Hill Student Center, free of charge.

Nonresident and postbaccalaureate students are charged a box rental fee. The box rental fee is nonrefundable and will be charged to the student account at the beginning of the school year.

Students typically retain their campus post office boxes for the duration of their studies at Vanderbilt. However, students who leave the University for any reason other than to participate in study abroad programs or for medical reasons may not receive their mail through campus mail boxes and should submit a change of address card to the appropriate Post Office manager. Students may be assigned new mail boxes upon their return to the University.

Students, registered campus organizations, and departments may use the campus mail service without paying postage. Items to be distributed through the campus mail or placed in campus post office boxes must have four straight sides and be no smaller than a post card (3-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches) and no larger than a 9 x 12 envelope. Each item must be properly addressed and must include a return address.

Authorization for the limited distribution of unaddressed mail may be granted for the activities of governmental and other organizations that have a broad public purpose, provided the exception is not simply for the purpose of advertising an event or party. Authorization may be obtained for such things as public opinion polls and orientation activities. Groups seeking such authorization should apply five days in advance to the supervisor of the Station B Post Office.

Candidates for student offices will not be granted authorization to distribute un-addressed mail.

Foodstuffs may not be delivered through campus mail unless adequately packaged in an envelope or box.

Mailings of more than twenty-five pieces must be arranged by box number in numerical order.

All campus mailings of 250 pieces or more should be in Station B one week before the expected delivery to ensure timely receipt.

Greeting cards for all holidays must be in Station B well in advance of the holiday to ensure timely delivery.

For Station B:

U.S. mail, Federal Express, and other courier deliveries should be addressed as follows, replacing XXXX with your box number.

Jane Doe

Vanderbilt University

VU Station B # 35XXXX [your box number]

2301 Vanderbilt Place

Nashville, TN 37235-XXXX [your box number]

For Hill Student Center:

U.S. mail, Federal Express, and other courier deliveries should be addressed as follows:

James Doe

Vanderbilt University

Peabody # [your 3 or 4 digit box number]

230 Appleton Place

Nashville, TN 37203-5721

(The zip code and "plus 4" will be the same on all Peabody addresses.)

Mailing Instructions and Shipping:

University policy prohibits residential staff from accepting package deliveries due to the lack of storage space and concerns regarding liability. For these reasons, students must make arrangements with their shippers to hold trunks and boxes until the students are able to pick them up at the terminal, or to make arrangements to have the shippers deliver the trunks and boxes to students in their residence halls after the students have checked into the residence halls. Residents must make arrangements to meet shippers who are delivering trunks and boxes.

First-class mail is posted immediately to student boxes. Boxes, packages, or mail requiring signatures are inventoried when they arrive at Station B (the central campus post office located in Rand Hall) or Peabody (Hill Center). A claim slip is then placed in the student's mailbox to notify the student about the receipt of a priority mailing. Students may claim parcels or priority mailings at the package window Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The package window is open 10:00 a.m.-12 noon on Saturdays. (Special move-in hours and location are listed below.) Packages must be picked up at the central pick-up station August 19-September 9, 2005.

The campus postal service will have special hours during Move-in Weekend.

Station B will be open:

  • Friday-Saturday, August 19-20 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Peabody Mail Room will be open:

  • Friday, August 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Station B offers a central pick-up during the first few weeks of the semester. From Saturday, August 19, 2005 through Friday, September 9, 2005, packages may be picked up from a trailer located at Olin Hall Terrace, 2400 Highland Ave (across from the 25th Avenue Garage).

Students must present valid student ID cards and the package notice slips obtained from their Station B or Peabody boxes to claim their packages. Hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Students may use any carrier, and should insure all packages up to the value of the contents. Students should number the packages when sending more than one. Example: 1 of 4; 2 of 4; 3 of 4; and 4 of 4.

Before August 19, 2005 and after September 9,2005, student packages will be delivered to Station B or the Peabody Mail Room. Packages will be held for fourteen days before they are returned to the sender.

For more information call the Station B Post Office at (615) 322-2934. Students who need assistance on how to ship items from Vanderbilt should visit Station B or the Peabody Mail Room.

Opportunity Development Center

The Opportunity Development Center (ODC) serves as a resource in the following capacities:

  • to assist in keeping the administration informed of the University's obligations under state and federal equal opportunity laws;
  • to coordinate and monitor the University's compliance with regard to equal opportunity laws;
  • to serve as a source of information for faculty, staff, and students who may have questions or complaints pertaining to equal opportunity in employment practices, University sponsored programs and activities, and educational opportunities;
  • and to coordinate services for persons with disabilities.

The following federal and state laws impose special obligations on the University:

  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • Titles VI and VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended
  • Executive Order 11246, as amended
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975
  • Tennessee Fair Employment Practices Law
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Of these laws, Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act protect students from discrimination in educational and recreational programs and activities sponsored by the University. Discrimination is prohibited by Title VI on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin and by Title IX on the basis of sex, which includes sexual harassment. Students with disabilities are protected by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ODC is the office responsible for coordinating services for students with disabilities. (See also "Vanderbilt Campus Disability Access" in Chapter 5.)

Students who feel they have been subjected to discriminatory treatment may call the Opportunity Development Center staff for additional information (including information on the student grievance procedure). For more information, visit the ODC Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/odc/*).

Parking and Transportation

Motor vehicles operated on campus by Vanderbilt University faculty, staff, and students must be registered annually with the Office of Traffic and Parking. Freshmen may not register or park vehicles on campus.

For information about parking regulations, visit the Office of Traffic and Parking Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/traffic_parking/*).

For information about bicycles on campus, see the Bicycles on Campus section under University Policies and Regulations.

Golf Carts. Golf carts are prohibited on campus, except when used by those departments (Alumni Events, e.g.) that must use such carts in the undertaking of their responsibilities during special events. Rare exceptions may be made by the Dean of Students or the dean's designee in consultation with the Director of the Student Health Center and the Opportunity Development Center for students whose mobility impairment cannot be accommodated by any other device. Golf carts may not be operated on Metro streets and must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks.

Public Transportation. City buses, operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), serve the major arteries to the west and south of the campus (West End Avenue and Twenty-first Avenue South). All inbound bus routes converge in downtown Nashville, where connections may be made to outlying areas, shopping centers, and the Metropolitan Airport. For MTA route, fare, and schedule information, telephone 242-4433 or check the MTA schedule board on the ground floor of Rand Hall.

Police Department, University

Emergency Number: 615-421-1911

Non Emergency: 615-322-2745 or 615-421-8873

Walking Escorts: 615-421-8888

. The Vanderbilt Police Department (615-322-2745) comes under the charge of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for the Division of Administration. As one of Tennessee's larger law enforcement agencies, the Police Department provides comprehensive law enforcement and security services to all components of Vanderbilt University including the academic campus, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and a variety of University-owned facilities throughout the Davidson County area. Non-commissioned and commissioned officers staff the department. Commissioned officers are empowered to make arrests as "Special Police Officers," through the authority of the Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. While on property owned by Vanderbilt, on adjacent public streets and sidewalks, and in nearby neighborhoods. Vanderbilt officers with Special Police Commissions have the same authority as that of a municipal law enforcement officer. When a Vanderbilt student is involved in an off-campus offense, police officers may assist with the investigation in cooperation with local, state, or federal law enforcement. Metro Nashville police routinely work and communicate with campus officers on any serious incident occurring on campus or in the immediate neighborhoods and business areas surrounding campus. Vanderbilt University operates no off-campus housing or off-campus student organization facilities. However, many graduate students and some undergraduate students live in the neighborhoods surrounding Vanderbilt. While Metro Nashville police have primary jurisdiction in all areas off campus, Vanderbilt officers can, and do, respond to student-related incidents that occur in close proximity to campus. Vanderbilt officers have direct radio communications with the city police, fire department, and ambulance services to facilitate rapid response in any emergency situation.

Some of the programs and services offered by VUPD are described below. A complete list of all services offered by VUPD can be found at http://police.vanderbilt.edu/.

Emergency Phones

Emergency telephones are located throughout the University campus and Medical Center.

Each phone has an emergency button that when pressed automatically dials the VUPD Communications Center. An open line on any emergency phone will activate a priority response from an officer, meaning that an officer will be sent to check on the user of the phone even if if nothing is communicated to the dispatcher. Cooperation is essential to help maintain the integrity of the emergency phone system, which should be used only for actual or perceived emergency situations.

An emergency response can also be initiated by dialing 1-1911 from any campus phone. Cell phone users may call 615-421-1911 to initiate an emergency response on campus. Cell phone users should dial 911 for off campus emergencies. All callers should be prepared to state their location.

Emergency phone locations are based upon recommendations from the Vanderbilt Community. A map of current emergency phone locations can be found at http://police.vanderbilt.edu/services.htm. In addition, The Parking Map (available from the Office of Traffic and Parking) and the map in The Vanderbilt Directory both show the locations of the emergency phones.

Security Alerts

Security Alerts are distributed throughout Vanderbilt to make community members aware of significant crimes that occur at the university. They are distributed by mail, fax, postings on public bulletin boards, through Vanderbilt E-mail lists and through the department's Web page, which includes the latest Security Alerts, and is updated whenever a new alert is distributed.

Vandy Vans

The Vanderbilt University Police Department administers the Vandy Vans escort system. The Vandy Vans escort system provides transportation to designated locations on campus. The service consists of two vans that operate from dusk to 2 a.m. (5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings).

One van makes a continuous loop around campus, taking approximately 30 minutes, and making the following ten stops: Police Headquarters, Lupton House at Branscomb Quad, 24th Avenue between Carmichael Towers East and West, Kissam Quad at Hemingway, Wesley Place Garage, North Hall, the Blair School of Music, Highland Quad at Morgan Circle, and McGugin Center.

A second van runs an express route stopping at the following locations: Lupton House at Branscomb Quad, 24th Avenue between Carmichael Towers East and West, Kissam Quad at Hemingway, North Hall, and Highland Quad at Morgan Circle.

Stops were chosen based on location, the availability of a secure waiting area, and student suggestions. Signs - freestanding or located on existing structures - identify each stop. A walking escort can be requested to walk a student from stop to the student's final destination. A van is also accessible to students with mobility impairments. Additional information about Vandy Vans can be found at http://police.vanderbilt.edu/services.htm or by calling 615-322-2558.

Walking Escort Service

As a supplement to the Vandy Vans, VUPD provides walking escorts to students, faculty, and staff walking to and from any location on campus during the nighttime hours. The telephone number to call for a walking escort is 421-8888 (off campus) or 1-8888 (on campus).

Lost and Found

Recovered property may be turned in at any time to the Police Department . Inquiries about lost items may be made by calling the Police Department Lost and Found property clerk at 343-5371, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For further information on available programs and services, call (615) 322-2558 or email crimeprevention.atwood@vanderbilt.edu.

Additional information on security measures and crime statistics for Vanderbilt is available from the Vanderbilt University Police Department, 2800 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37212. Information is also available at http://police.vanderbilt.edu.*

Student Financial Aid

The Office of Student Financial Aid counsels students and parents concerning need-based financial assistance (institutional, state, and federal) available to Vanderbilt students. Eligibility for need-based assistance is determined through a needs analysis process using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Collegeboard Profile. Upon the student's completion of all required financial aid application materials, this office will provide information regarding a student's eligibility and finalize assistance for the student. Grants, scholarships, student loans, parent loans, and student employment are available for eligible students and/or parents. For more information, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/financialaid/*).

Student Health Center and Other Medical Services

The services provided at the Student Health Center are designed to meet the general primary health care needs of all degree-seeking students. Except in emergencies, students should call 322-2427 for appointments to minimize waiting time and avoid missing classes.

Immunization (vaccine) requirements (or signed waiver) mandated by the State of Tennessee as of July 2003:

  • All new incoming students who will be living in on-campus housing: Meningococcal meningitis vaccine (one injection)
  • All new incoming students regardless of housing status: Hepatitis B vaccine series (three injections)

Documentation of receipt or waiver of the vaccines must be submitted to the Student Health Center. This can be accomplished via completion of the documentation/waiver form that is mailed to all incoming first-year undergraduate students. The form can also be printed out and submitted by going online to www.vanderbilt.edu/student_health/forms.htm.* Students who are 18 years of age or older can also waive or enter their meningococcal and hepatitis B vaccine status online by going to www.kosterweb.com* and selecting "Vanderbilt University" from the pull down menu. The vaccines can be obtained from either a private provider or at the Student Health Center.

Medication and supplies ordered by Student Health physicians and practitioners can usually be provided on the premises to students at or near cost. The Health Center encourages use of the Vanderbilt Card, cash, check or student account for purchase of medication and supplies. Some routine laboratory tests are provided at minimal costs, but customary lab fees will be billed for diagnostic tests or treatment provided elsewhere, including any location in the Vanderbilt Medical Center or Vanderbilt Clinics. If a student is referred to a specialist, charges incurred are the responsibility of the student.

Charges are also made for any visits to the VUMC Emergency Department, including those made during hours when the Student Health Center is closed. Emergency Room charges may not be covered by insurance unless an accident or emergency illness is involved.

Care provided at the Student Health Center is confidential to the extent permitted by law and in compliance with HIPPA regulations.

Unless Vanderbilt University Medical Center personnel are asked by the treated student not to do so, residential staff in the Office of Housing and Residential Education may be notified when a Vanderbilt University student is admitted or treated in the Vanderbilt University Hospital or Emergency Room. This practice allows the Office to provide support and assistance to students and their families.

Students who voluntarily or involuntarily withdraw from the University for medical or mental/emotional health reasons must be cleared by the Director of the Student Health Center before being permitted to re-enroll.

Hospitalization Insurance

All degree-seeking students registered for 4 or more hours at Vanderbilt are required to have injury/illness insurance coverage acceptable to the University. The University has endorsed a student health insurance plan offered by the Koster Insurance Agency. Information about the plan is available on-line www.kosterweb.com,* at the Student Health Center, or by calling the insurance assistant at 343-4688. A student registered for four or more credit hours is automatically enrolled in this insurance plan and will be billed unless he or she completes the online waiver process.

The annual premium is in addition to tuition. Coverage extends from a set date in August through the following year whether the student remains in school or is away from the University. However, there is no pro rata refund included in this coverage.

This plan provides hospital, surgical, and major medical benefits. A brochure explaining the limits, exclusions, and benefits of the plan is available on-line, at registration, in the Office of Student Accounts, or at the Student Health Center.  The plan also provides coverage for referrals to specialists but only when a written referral is made by a Student Health Center provider.

Waiver of Insurance Plan

A student who does not wish to subscribe to the insurance plan offered through the University must notify the University of injury/illness coverage acceptable to the University under another policy. Waiver of the student insurance plan does not affect eligibility for services at the Student Health Center. The online waiver process may be found at www.kosterweb.com.* To waive coverage, students should select Vanderbilt University and follow the directions.

Undergraduate Students. New students must complete the online waiver process if they do not desire the coverage provided by Koster's plan for Vanderbilt Students. The insurance charge will not be waived if the online process is not completed by August 1 for the fall semester, and by January 4 for students who are newly enrolled for the spring semester. The waiver process must be completed each academic year beginning in 2006.

Graduate/Professional Students. New and returning students must complete the online waiver process each academic year if they do not desire the coverage provided by Koster's plan for Vanderbilt Students. The insurance charge will not be waived if the online process is not completed by August 1 for the fall semester, and by January 4 for students who are newly enrolled for the spring semester.

Family Coverage

An additional premium is charged for family insurance coverage. An eligible student who wishes to provide coverage for his or her spouse, University-certified domestic partner, and/or children may secure an application form from the Student Health Center at the time of registration or dependents can enroll online at www.kosterweb.com.* Forms or online enrollment should be forwarded to Koster Insurance Agency 500 Victory Road, Quincy, MA 02171.

International Student Coverage

International students and their dependents residing in the United States are required to purchase the international student health insurance plan approved by the University and offered through the Koster Insurance Agency. Exceptions are made if the University deems that adequate coverage from another source is either equal to or exceeds the Koster policy coverage. Information and applications are provided through the International Student and Scholar Services (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/isss*).

For more information, visit the Student Health Center Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/student_health*