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University Policies and Regulations

Address and Name Change / Alcohol / Athletics / Complaint and Grievance Procedures in Co-Curricular Matters / Computer Privileges and Responsibilities / Conduct / Copyright Infringement /  Dining / Email Address / Equal Opportunity / Fees, Co-Curricular / Financial Aid, Student / Financial Responsibility / Identification Card / (University) Logos and Word Marks, Use of by Student Organizations / Mail Services / Missing StudentNonacademic Undergraduate Class Designation / Parking and Transportation / Police Department, University / Political Activity / Refunds of Tuition and Residence Hall Charges / Religious Holidays & Practices / Residential Requirement / Same Sex Domestic Partner Policy / Smoke-Free Campus / Solicitation / Student Health Center and Other Medical Services / Student Records (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) / Study Abroad / Technology and Literary and Artistic Works / Universal Waiver / University Calendar / Vanderbilt Visions /

When communities come together for a purpose, they generally establish guidelines and procedures for furthering that purpose. The policies and regulations, articulated below, have been developed over time to serve the Vanderbilt community as it pursues its academic endeavors of teaching and learning. Some of the policies, such as the residential requirement, have been established to strengthen and complement the educational experience. Others, such as fees and dining plans, have been established to provided financial viability to programs and services that students desire or require. Still others, such as those dealing with addresses, enable effective communication. A number delineate procedures for students to follow when addressing issues.

Taken in their entirety, they may seem a bit overwhelming. However, they have served well both the institution and individual students. Trying to function without them would prove very challenging, if not chaotic.

Address and Name Change

Students are required to inform the registrars of their schools or the University Registrar of any changes in their University or home addresses. Official notifications from the University will be sent to the address listed with the Office of the University Registrar. Student addresses and phone numbers may be updated by logging in to YES (Your Enrollment Services) https://yes.vanderbilt.edu and selecting the Address Change link.

Students who wish to change any part of their names as they appear in the Student Records System must petition the University Registrar’s Office and provide official documentation supporting the requested change. Name changes will be considered only if a student is currently enrolled.

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Alcohol: See Chapter 6


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

During the 2009/2010 academic year, over 330 student-athletes competed in varsity athletics at Vanderbilt. Further information regarding Student Athletics can be found at http://www.vucommodores.com or by calling 322-4727.

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Complaint and Grievance Procedures in Co-Curricular Matters

Situations may arise in which a student believes that he or she has not received fair treatment by a representative of the University or has a complaint about the performance, action, or inaction of a member of the staff or faculty, affecting the student. A student who wishes to have a complaint addressed by the University should first use the Complaint Procedure, below, and then use the Grievance Procedure if the Complaint Procedure proves unsatisfactory. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from the office of the appropriate academic dean in cases involving classes, grades, or faculty members; and the Office of the Dean of Students for other matters; or, in regard to complaints of unlawful or prohibited discrimination, the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disabilities Services Department. Decisions of the Appellate Review Board are not subject to the Complaint and Grievance Procedure.

Allegations of Discrimination, Harassment and Related Retaliation

The University generally prohibits discrimination or harassment (including sexual harassment) based on race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. (For a full discussion of what constitutes unlawful or prohibited discrimination, see the section on “Equal Opportunity,” below.) In addition, the University does not retaliate against individuals for filing or encouraging another to file a complaint of unlawful or prohibited discrimination, participating in an investigation of unlawful or prohibited discrimination, or opposing unlawful or prohibited discrimination. “Retaliation” includes any adverse action or act of revenge against an individual for filing or encouraging another to file a complaint of unlawful or prohibited discrimination, participating in an investigation of unlawful or prohibited discrimination, or opposing unlawful or prohibited discrimination.  If a student believes that he or she has been discriminated against, harassed, or retaliated against, the student should report the matter to the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disabilities Services Department (EAD).  The EAD will seek to assist the student with the resolution of the complaint as described below in the Complaint Procedure.

Complaint Procedure

A complaint should be directed as soon as possible to the person or persons whose actions or inactions have given rise to the complaint, but not later than six months after the event. Every effort should be made to resolve the problem fairly and promptly (usually within thirty [30]) days, at this level.

If the complaint involves allegations of sexual harassment, this step may not be appropriate. (See “Harassment” section, in Chapter 3. In addition, in a complaint alleging prohibited discrimination, as noted above, the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disabilities Services Department (EAD) should be consulted as soon as possible. The EAD will conduct an investigation of the allegations (usually within ninety [90] business days), will issue a finding to the appropriate University official, and will seek to resolve the matter. If the EAD is unable to complete the investigation within this time period, then the EAD will contact the complainant and provide an estimated time frame for completing the investigation.

If the student is not able to resolve the complaint satisfactorily at this level, he or she may appeal the decision within thirty (30) days through the appropriate administrative channels of the academic or administrative unit, or through the Provost or appropriate vice chancellor. Students uncertain about the proper channels or process are encouraged to seek advice from the Office of the Office of the Dean of Students. If the student is not satisfied with a resolution proposed by the EAD, then the student may pursue the Grievance Procedure, below.

Grievance Procedure

A student who believes that he or she has not received fair treatment, or who has a complaint about the performance, action, or inaction of a member of the faculty or staff, and believes that he or she has not received appropriate redress through the Complaint Procedure in the preceding section within a reasonable period of time, including for complaints of prohibited discrimination investigated by the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disabilities Services Department (EAD), may file a written grievance with the Office of the Chancellor within thirty (30) days. Upon ascertaining that the complaint procedure has been exhausted, the Chancellor’s office shall refer the grievance to the Faculty Senate Committee on Student Affairs, usually within thirty (30) days during the academic year. For this purpose, the membership of the committee shall be augmented by three student members appointed by the Chancellor at the beginning of each academic year. The undergraduate Vanderbilt Student Government will nominate students for the one undergraduate position, and student governing bodies of the professional/graduate schools will nominate students for the other two student positions on a rotating basis.

Upon receiving the grievance referral from the Office of the Chancellor, the Student Affairs Committee shall inform, in writing, both parties to the grievance that a preliminary investigation will take place. The preliminary investigation will usually be completed within thirty (30) days. After the preliminary investigation, if the committee decides that the grievance is not frivolous, the committee shall follow procedures necessary to ensure a fair hearing of the matter, including the opportunity for the student to present relevant evidence, to challenge adverse evidence, and to have the complaint heard by an impartial committee. Committee members may recuse themselves if they believe their objectivity is subject to question, and the grievant may request any committee member recuse himself or herself if the grievant believes that a committee member will not view the grievance with sufficient objectivity. If vacancies occur, the chair of the Faculty Senate shall appoint Senate members to fill faculty vacancies and the Chancellor shall appoint students to fill student vacancies.

The student filing the grievance may be assisted during the hearing by a member of the University community (faculty, staff, or student) not trained in the law, and is encouraged to seek such assistance. Although all parties to the grievance are free to consult with, and receive advice from, attorneys concerning the grievance, no party shall be represented by an attorney at the hearing. For hearings or complaints of prohibited discrimination, a representative from the EAD shall be present in an advisory capacity. The committee may call upon any individuals who it believes may be helpful in resolving the grievance.

The grievant and the person or persons against whom the grievance was filed shall be present during the hearing until such time as the committee is ready to begin deliberations. The student may withdraw the grievance, with the consent of the other party, at any time prior to the decision of the committee.

After each case the committee shall write its report. The report should be completed within three weeks and shall include a statement of the committee’s findings, the basis for those findings, and, if necessary, recommendations for any corrective action that should be taken. If any disciplinary action is anticipated, the appropriate University disciplinary procedures shall be followed. The report, including the vote and any dissenting statements, shall be sent to the Chancellor within one week after completion. Except as disclosures are reasonably necessary in the investigation, hearing, and final disposition of a grievance, the grievant, members of the hearing bodies, and others having knowledge of a grievance are expected to preserve the confidentiality of the grievance.

The Chancellor shall communicate his decision to the committee. In any case in which the Chancellor does not follow the decision or the recommendation of the committee, the Chancellor shall report to the committee his or her reasons for so doing. The Office of the Chancellor shall then notify the student and the other affected persons, in writing, of the final decision, usually within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Committee’s report, during the academic year.

State Postsecondary Review Entity (SPRE) Grievance Procedure

Students should be aware that, should they have complaints about their academic program or their financial aid, Vanderbilt has a complaint procedure. To the extent possible, students should seek a resolution of such matters through the institution’s complaint procedure before involving others. Should the institution not be able to resolve the problem, the student should call the State Postsecondary Review Program office at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission at (615) 532-8276.

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Computer Privileges and Responsibilities

Conduct: See Chapter 3

Copyright Infringement

Vanderbilt responds to allegations of copyright infringement in digital and online media in accordance with procedures required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Vanderbilt policy prohibits violations of copyright law by use of University networks, equipment, and facilities. Suspected student offenders are referred to the Office of Student Conduct, which investigates, and where appropriate, applies disciplinary sanctions consistent with University policies and regulations.

The unauthorized copying, performance, or distribution of materials protected by copyright law may subject individuals to civil and criminal penalties. The distribution of material through peer-to-peer file-sharing networks may constitute copyright infringement if undertaken without authorization of the copyright owner.

Civil penalties for copyright infringement include fines of up to $30,000 per work infringed, or, in the case of willful infringement, $150,000 per work infringed. Criminal penalties for copyright infringement can be more severe and range, in the case of fines, from $5,000 to $250,000 per work infringed, and can include imprisonment of up to five years per offense depending on the facts of the case. Infringers may also be liable for attorney’s fees and court costs.

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First-year students living on campus are required to participate in the First-Year Meal Plan. Second-year students living on campus are required to participate in the fourteen-meal-per-week plan. Third-year students living on campus are required to participate in the eight-meal-per-week plan. All plans include Flex Meals and Meal Money, both of which may be replenished once depleted.  Other undergraduates may purchase the 14- or 8-meal-per week plans at the MEALS website, https://meals.vanderbilt.edu/meals. Graduate and professional students may purchase meals at the Commodore Card office in Sarratt, or on line at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/commodorecard/students.html . For detailed information on Vanderbilt Dining and meal plans, visit http://www.vanderbilt.edu/dining.

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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://www.vanderbilt.edu/commodorecard/).

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Email Address

Certain federal statutes require that information be delivered to each student. Vanderbilt delivers much of this information via email. Official electronic notifications, including those required by statutes, those required by University policy, and instructions from University officials, will be sent to students’ Vanderbilt email addresses: user.name@vanderbilt.edu. Students are required to be familiar with the contents of official University notifications, and to respond to instructions and other official correspondence requiring a response.

The University makes every effort to avoid inundating students with nonessential email (often called “spam”), and maintains separate lists from which students may unsubscribe for announcements of general interest.

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Equal Opportunity

In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Executive Order 11246, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, as amended, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, Vanderbilt University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment.

Statement on Sexual Orientation:

Vanderbilt University is committed to the principle of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, or the perception of one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. In affirming its commitment to this principle, the University does not limit freedom of religious association, does not require adherence to this principle by government agencies or external organizations that associate with, but are not controlled by, the University, and does not extend benefits beyond those provided under other policies of the University. (See “Same-Sex Domestic Partner Policy,” below.)

Vanderbilt Campus Disability Access

Vanderbilt University is committed to equal access for people with disabilities. In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Vanderbilt does not exclude otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, solely by reason of the disability, from participating in University programs and activities, nor are persons with disabilities denied the benefits of these programs or subjected to discrimination.

The Disability Services Program, which is part of Vanderbilt’s Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department, provides reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, which allow for equal access to education.  Accommodations are available for Vanderbilt University students who have temporary or permanent disabilities and are based on the documented needs of each individual.  To request reasonable accommodations, students are to contact the Disability Services Program to schedule an intake meeting with the appropriate staff person.  Intake meetings are provided on an individual basis to help students orient themselves with the EAD’s processes and services.  It is the individual student’s responsibility to request accommodations and provide sufficient and appropriate documentation.  Students are encouraged to contact the EAD’s Disability Services Program prior to or upon enrollment at Vanderbilt University.

For further information about services for students with disabilities, write or call the EAD Disability Services Program, PMB 401809, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-1809; telephone 615-322-4705 V/TDD. (See EAD, below)

The Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department (EAD)

The EAD 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 Affirmative Action Program in compliance with 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;
  • to provide training to the Vanderbilt community on issues of equal opportunity and affirmative action; and
  • to coordinate services for persons with disabilities.

Several federal and state laws impose special obligations on the University.  Some include:

  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
  • Executive Order 11246, as amended
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended
  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975
  • Tennessee Fair Human Rights Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • ADA Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA)

Of these laws, Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA and the ADAAA 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, the ADA and the ADAAA. The EAD is the office responsible for coordinating services for students with disabilities. (See also “Vanderbilt Campus Disability Access,” above.)

Students who believe that they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment may call the EAD staff for additional information (including information on the student grievance procedure). For more information, visit the EAD Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ead/).

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Fees, Co-Curricular

All registered students are assessed mandatory activity and recreation fees, which are set by the Vanderbilt Board of Trust and billed through the Office of Student Accounts. Activity and Recreation fees appear as  a combined charge on University statements: Act/Rec Fees.

Student Act/Rec Fees for 2009-2010 are as follows:

Fall 10 Spring 11 AY 10-11 Total Summer 11
Undergraduates $489 $489 $978 $70
Graduates $193 $193 $386 $70
Professionals $193 $193 $386 $70

Fees and policies are carefully set each year by committees comprising students, faculty and staff to provide the best possible services to the widest possible range of students.

Student Activities Fee

The Activities Fee supports student co-curricular interests and events and assists the Graduate Student Council. Portions of the fee are allocated to Vanderbilt Student Communications, Inc., and its divisions; programs of the Office of the Dean of Students; Student Athletics; and a variety of student organizations.

For the academic year 2010/2011, each undergraduate is assessed $253 each semester for activities fees. Graduate students and students in professional programs pay an activities fee of $72 each semester of the academic year.

Students enrolled for a summer term are assessed a fee of $12 to support summer programs.

Activities fee for undergraduates covers:

  • Issues of Versus, The Vanderbilt Review, and other VSC, Inc., publications (excluding the Vanderbilt Hustler, which receives no activities fees)
  • Admission to Office of the Dean of Students programs, at special student rates, and use of Sarratt facilities
  • Admission on a seat-available basis to home football, baseball, and basketball games and to other varsity athletic events

Activities fee for graduate and professional students covers:

  • Admission to all programs sponsored by Office of the Dean of Students, at special student rates, and use of Sarratt facilities
  • A copy of all issues of Versus and The Vanderbilt Review

In addition, graduate students support the Graduate Student Council through the Activities Fee.

Graduate and professional students may have their identification cards validated for admission to home football and basketball games, on a seat-available basis, upon payment of an extra fee to Vanderbilt Student Athletics, equal to the amount paid for this privilege by undergraduates. Spouses and University certified domestic partners of full-time graduate and professional students may have their cards validated in this manner as well. Other activities included in the undergraduate activities fee are available to graduate and professional students on a single-admission or subscription basis only.

Activities Fee Committee.

The Student Activities Fee Committee is a representative student group, appointed by Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG), through an application process. On an annual basis, the AcFee Committee allocates to student organizations the funds collected as student activities fees. Organizations applying for funding are assigned to one of five categories as follows:  Arts, Cultural, Programming, Service, and Special Interest.

Five sub committees of the AcFee committee, each considers applications from organizations in one of the five categories, and makes recommendations to the AcFee Committee. Each subcommittee comprises VSG and/or at-large co-chairs, five students-at-large selected through the application process, a graduate/professional student selected through the application process, a faculty member recruited by VSG or its advisers, and one or more Dean of Students representatives who serve in an ex officio, advisory capacity.  The ten co-chairs of the sub committees serve on the decision-making AcFee Committee, which is chaired by a student selected through the application process.  The AcFee Committee makes allocation decisions in the spring semester prior to the academic year for which the funding is allocated.

Student Recreation Fee

The Student Recreation Fee supports Vanderbilt’s recreational programs administered through the Office of Campus Recreation (OCR). Funds are also allocated for the operation of the Student Recreation Center and the University’s recreational playing fields.

For all students, use of facilities and participation in recreational programs or classes is on a space-available basis and subject to requirements, including operating hours, set by the OCR. Special student charges are assessed for some classes and activities, as well as for use of certain equipment.

Recreation Fee for Undergraduates

Each undergraduate student is assessed $236 each semester of the academic year and $58 during the summer. The fee covers:

  • use of Student Recreation Center facilities and the recreation fields
  • participation in intramural, sport club, and wellness programs
  • enrollment and participation in outdoor recreational activities
  • participation in recreational classes and workshops.

Recreation Fee for Graduate and Professional Students

Each graduate and professional student is assessed $121 each semester of the academic year and $58 during the summer. Payment of the summer fee entitles graduate and professional students to the same privileges provided undergraduates.

The academic year fee covers:

  • half use of Student Recreation Center facilities (i.e., graduate and professional students may enter the rec center half the number of days available to undergraduates in a given semester, without incurring additional charges. Full access may be arranged for an additional fee of $137)
  • use of the recreation fields
  • participation in intramural, sport club, and wellness programs
  • enrollment and participation in outdoor recreational activities
  • participation in recreational classes and workshops.

Recreational Activities for Spouses and Partners

Spouses and University-certified domestic partners of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students may use the Student Recreation Center for a fee and participate in recreational classes, workshops, and outdoor programs. In order to use the facility, a spouse or University-certified domestic partner must obtain a Student Family identification card from the Vanderbilt Card Office in Sarratt Student Center. Students should accompany their spouses and eligible partners to the Card Office. Spouses and University-certified domestic partners of medical students should obtain their cards from the Medical Center Card Office, D-2107 Medical Center North. Spouses and partners may inquire at the main desk of the Student Recreation Center concerning registration and payment of fees after a University I.D. card has been obtained.

Waiver of Student Fees

The Student Activities and Recreation fees are mandatory fees set by the Vanderbilt Board of Trust. Waivers of these fees for fall or spring semesters may be granted for students meeting at least one of two criteria:

1. a part-time student registered for four or fewer credit hours (including audit credit) or

2. a full- or part-time student residing outside a circle of approximately sixty miles from the Vanderbilt campus, as determined by ZIP codes. (Note that it is the student’s responsibility to notify the University Registrar’s office of an address change in a timely manner.)

Graduate students carrying thesis or dissertation hours are considered full-time students and are not eligible for a waiver based on part-time status. Students living outside the “sixty-mile radius” from Vanderbilt who desire to obtain a waiver for distance, must petition the Student Fees Waiver Committee in writing to receive consideration for a waiver of these fees. The Student Fees Waiver Committee will review each request, and petitioners must apply each semester. It is the University’s policy that there are no waivers of the summer activity and recreation fees.

All students eligible for a waiver of student fees must petition for a waiver by August 18th for the fall semester and by January 6th for the spring semester. A late charge of $10 will be assessed to eligible students who apply after this deadline. No waivers will be granted if forms are received after the last day of classes in a given semester. No waivers will be granted for prior semesters. No waivers will be granted to students who are also part-time or full-time staff having access to other facilities, unless they meet the criteria for a waiver.  For questions or clarifications of these fees, please call the Office of Recreation Administration at (615) 322-3963. A waiver request form can be obtained by emailing waiverscommittee@vanderbilt.edu, or by writing to Student Fees Waiver Committee, PMB 406206, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, Tennessee 37235-6206. Waiver request forms must be completed each semester.

In some rare cases, waivers may be granted if exceptional circumstances apply. Exceptional circumstances do not include a student’s lack of time or inclination to make use of facilities, services or programs, or a student’s financial circumstances. The Student Fees Waiver Committee reviews each request, and petitioners must apply each semester.

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Financial Aid, Student

The Office of Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Scholarships 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 need-analysis process using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Board PROFILE. Upon the student’s completion of all required financial aid application materials, The Office of Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Scholarships will provide information regarding a student’s eligibility and finalize assistance for the student.  Grants, scholarships, and student employment are available for eligible students and/or parents. For more information, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Scholarships Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/financialaid/).

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Financial Responsibility

Tuition, fees, and all charges associated with the beginning of the semester are due and payable in full by the beginning of classes. The payment deadline for fall 2010 is August 18; for spring 2011, the payment deadline is January 6. A student who misses the payment deadline for either semester will be charged a 1.5% late payment fee and may have his or her registration cancelled, unless the student has secured authorization from the Office of Student Accounts to delay payment. In addition, OASIS (On-line Access Student Information System), Commodore Cash debit spending, and V-Net (long distance telephone) access will not be available for the student’s use.

All first-year and new transfer students must complete a Student Account Agreement form prior to August 1, 2010. Forms are available in the Office of Student Accounts or online at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/stuaccts.

Students and their parents (or legal guardians) will be responsible for payment of all costs, including reasonable attorney fees and collection agency fees, incurred by the University in collecting moneys owed to the University. Students are bound by laws of Tennessee governing bad checks.

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Identification Card

The Commodore Card is the official identification card for the University. All students, whether full- or part-time, are required to have a valid identification card for any semester in which they are registered. The card is the property of the University, and if a student withdraws, it must be relinquished to the office of the dean of the school in which the student is enrolled. The Commodore Card is not transferable, and altering cards is prohibited. Damaged cards should be replaced at the Commodore Card Office. If misused, cards may be invalidated for specific activities such as varsity athletic events or Recreation Center access.

In addition to using the Commodore Card for identification, students may use their cards to access Commodore Cash debit spending funds, to make use of their VU Meal Plan, and to gain admission to campus buildings such as residences, academic buildings, libraries, athletic events and the Student Recreation Center.

Many on-campus and off-campus locations accept the Commodore Card as a method of payment, including dining locations, the Vanderbilt bookstore, Varsity Markets, vending, laundry, printers and copy machines, Sarratt Ticket Office, the campus post office, Athletics concessions, Outdoor Recreation Center and restaurants participating in the Taste of Nashville program.  For information on funding your Commodore Cash debit spending account, visit www.vanderbilt.edu/commodorecard

Students must report lost cards as soon as possible either to the Commodore Card Office during business hours, online at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/commodorecard, or at any attended retail location that accepts the Commodore Card as a method of payment, to ensure that Commodore Cash debit spending funds and access privileges can be protected. Lost cards may also be reported to the Vanderbilt Police Department at 322-2745.

The University reserves the option of suspending Commodore Card debit privileges, in whole or in part, of any individual for any reason. In the event that debit privileges are entirely suspended, any funds remaining in a the Commodore Cash debit spending account will be returned to the individual’s student account, or otherwise returned if the individual has no student account.

The Commodore 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. Commodore Card account information will be released only to the cardholder or to the guarantor of the student account, who has been identified as such by the student on documents filed with the Office of Student Accounts.

Family Identification Card

Upon payment of a $10 fee, the spouse or University-certified domestic partner of a full-time student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) may obtain a family identification card from the Commodore Card Office by presenting proof of marriage (or University certification of domestic partner status). The student spouse or partner must accompany the individual applying for the card and each must show current photo identification. When properly validated upon payment of the appropriate fees, a family card will admit the family member to home football, basketball, and baseball games (on a seat-available basis), competitions in other sports, libraries, or the Student Recreation Center (if a membership is purchased).

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(University) Logos and Word Marks, Use of by Student Organizations

All logos, seals, names, symbols, and slogans associated with, and used by, Vanderbilt University are trademarks and are the exclusive property of the University. Reproduction and use of these marks must be approved by the Office of Trademark Licensing. Such reproduction includes all products (e.g., T-shirts, mugs, etc.) that are used for sale or promotional giveaways to other students. Students may call the Trademark Licensing Office at 343-7292 or visit the Web site at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/licensing for more information. Note that use of such marks for letterhead, business cards, etc., is overseen by Creative Services, http://www.vanderbilt.edu/publicaffairs/cs/graphicstandards/ .

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Mail Services

Undergraduate students living on campus are eligible for post office boxes, free of charge.

Nonresident undergraduates and postbaccalaureate students may obtain a box at the Peabody Mail Center, for which they will be charged a box-rental fee. (See “Mail Box Fees,” below.”

Undergraduates typically retain their campus post office boxes for the duration of their undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt (up to four years). However, students who leave the University for any reason (other than unexpected medical reasons) may not receive their mail through campus mail boxes and should submit a change of address card to the post office manager or by completing the online form found at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/mailservices. Students may be assigned new mailboxes upon their return to the University.

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 residences after the students have checked into them. Residents must make arrangements to meet shippers who are delivering trunks and boxes.

First-class mail is posted immediately to student boxes, daily, by 10am. Boxes, packages, and mail requiring signatures are inventoried when they arrive at Station B (located in Rand Hall) or the Mail Center at Peabody in the Commons Center. Email package notification is sent to the student’s Vanderbilt email address indicating a package ready for pickup. Students may claim parcels or priority mailings at the package window where their respective mailboxes are located (Rand or the Commons Center).

Students must present valid student ID (Commodore Card) in order to pick up their packages. Students may use any shipping 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, etc.  First-year students should consult the Mail Services Website’s main page for specific move-in instructions.

Packages will be held for ten days, then a second-notice will be emailed.  Packages will be held five additional days, and if unclaimed returned to the sender. Refrigerated items will be held no longer than five business days, and if unclaimed returned to the sender without further notice.

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 Center. Students with disabilities who need assistance with packages may inquire at either location.

Mail Box Fees

Undergraduates who choose to study abroad or who have authorization to reside off campus, will be charged $15 for a mail box on a per-semester basis (spring and fall). Students who do not want to incur these charges must complete the following procedure:

  • Visit the Station B Post Office and request that the mailbox be closed.
  • Complete a mail-forwarding card with a valid U.S address of where you would like your mail forwarded.
  • The request must be completed by no later than the tenth day of classes of any new semester. Charges will not be removed after this deadline.

Failure to follow this procedure will result in a charge being assessed for the mailbox.

Graduate and professional students who wish to have a mailbox on campus may rent a mailbox at the Peabody location, only. A request must be made in person at the Station B Post Office. The mail box rental of $15 is on a per-semester basis, and may be paid by cash or check, only.

Internal Mail / Campus Mail

Students, registered student organizations, and departments may use the internal campus mail service without paying postage. Items to be distributed through the campus mail or placed in the campus post office boxes must have 4 straight sides and be no smaller then a post card (3 ½ x 5 ½ inches) and no larger then a 9 by 12 inch 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 or 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 manager of the Station B Post Office. Any questions please visit our Website or call (615)322-2924.

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

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

Mailings of more than 25 pieces must be arranged in PMB box-number order. All campus mailings of 250 pieces or more should be in Station B one week before the expected distribution date to ensure timely delivery.

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

Cash should never be sent through the United States Postal service or through campus mail. Vanderbilt Mail Services cannot be responsible for cash sent through the mail.

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Missing Student Notification Policy

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Vanderbilt University provides each student residing on campus the opportunity to designate a confidential contact to be notified by the University in the event that the University, through its established procedures, determines that a student is missing. Although not required, Vanderbilt makes the missing student notification procedure available to all students.

This confidential contact is in addition to any other emergency contact that the student may identify, although both the “confidential” contact and the “emergency” contacts may be the same person or persons. In the case of non-emancipated students under the age of eighteen, the HEOA requires that a custodial parent or guardian be notified; however, an additional, confidential contact may also be specified. Students may designate both emergency contacts and confidential contacts by logging into YES (Your Enrollment Services) https://yes.vanderbilt.edu, and selecting the appropriate process.

Once the Vanderbilt Police department has determined that a student is missing, the Dean of Students or one of the Dean’s designees will notify the confidential contact within 24 hours. Vanderbilt University will also notify an appropriate external law enforcement agency and others at the University, as appropriate, about the missing student, within the same 24-hour period.

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Nonacademic Undergraduate Class Designation

Determination of a student’s class for nonacademic purposes is usually based on the number of years the student has been in residence, regardless of the number of credit hours accumulated. A student in the first year of full-time study is classified as a first-year student for purposes of meal plans, parking privileges, running for campus office, etc., even if the student has achieved sophomore academic standing because of summer enrollment or advanced placement. Transfer students enrolled in an accelerated three-year graduation program are classified in consultation with the appropriate student affairs deans of their respective schools or colleges. Classification for room assignments in campus residences, is determined by the Office of Housing and Residential Education in consultation with Vanderbilt Student Government.

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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.  Resident student parking on campus is a privilege and is primarily reserved for juniors and seniors).  First-year students may not register or park vehicles on campus; however, a limited number of long-term vehicle-storage spaces are available to sophomores on a first-come, first-served basis. Complete parking regulations may be found at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/traffic_parking/.


Sections of the Metropolitan Nashville Traffic and Parking Code dealing with bicycles apply both on and off campus. Vanderbilt policy concerning the use of bicycles on campus is as follows:

  • • Cyclists should exercise caution on campus roadways, which may require walking the cycle under certain circumstances.
  • • The bicycle speed limit on campus roads is ten miles per hour.

Registering Bicycles

Registration of bicycles at the Vanderbilt Police Department helps to deter theft and helps to identify the owners of bicycles that have been recovered. Bicycles may be registered online at http://police.vanderbilt.edu. Bicycle owners should notify Vanderbilt Police if their bicycles are stolen or if they sell their registered bicycles.

Bicycle Parking

To prevent theft, heavy chains, cables or U-bolts should be used to secure bicycles to racks. Bicycles may not be parked in the public areas of campus buildings. Securing bicycles to the decorative grillwork of campus buildings, to hand rails, or to any structures not designated for securing bicycles is prohibited. in certain areas, fences have been adapted for use as bike racks, where such use does not impede traffic. Bicycles may not be secured to fences adjacent to stairs or sidewalks, or within fifteen feet of a building entrance or exit.

Bicycle Accidents

Persons involved in bicycle accidents that result in personal injury should report the accidents to the Vanderbilt Police Department.

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.

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Police Department, Vanderbilt


As one of Tennessee’s larger law enforcement agencies, the Vanderbilt Police Department provides comprehensive law enforcement and security services to all components of the University including the academic campus, Vanderbilt Medical Center, and a variety of University-owned facilities throughout Davidson County. Both 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. Vanderbilt officers with Special Police Commissions have the same authority as that of a municipal law enforcement officer while on property owned by Vanderbilt, on adjacent public streets and sidewalks, and in nearby neighborhoods.

When a Vanderbilt student is involved in an off-campus offense, Vanderbilt police officers may assist with the investigation in cooperation with local, state, or federal law enforcement. Metro Nashville police routinely work and communicate with Vanderbilt officers on any serious incident occurring on campus or in the neighborhoods and business areas surrounding campus.

Although Vanderbilt University operates no off-campus housing or off-campus student organization facilities, many graduate students and some undergraduate students live in the neighborhoods surrounding the University. Metro Nashville police have primary jurisdiction in all areas off campus, but Vanderbilt officers can, and often 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.

Emergency Phones

Emergency (“Blue Light”) 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. An officer will be sent to check on the user of the phone even 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.

Emergency response from Vanderbilt Police may also be obtained by calling 911 from a campus phone, or 615-421-1911 from a cell phone. For off-campus emergencies, callers should dial 911. In every case, callers should be prepared to state their locations.

Lost and Found

Recovered property may be turned in at any time to the Vanderbilt police department. Inquiries about lost items may be made by calling the police department lost and found property clerk at 343-5371 during business hours.

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.

Victim Services

The Office of Victim Services provides year-round, confidential, support, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the campus who have been victims of a crime. The advocate provides victims with information on their medical and legal options as well as support resources available to them both on campus and in the community. If the victim chooses to talk to Vanderbilt Police, the advocate may provide hospital accompaniment, attend meetings with officers or other campus programs, and attend court dates or conduct hearings.  Members of the Vanderbilt community may also call the advocate for information on how to help a friend who is the victim of a crime. The advocate may be reached at 615-574-4735, or jyl.r.shaffer@vanderbilt.edu.

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Political Activity

Vanderbilt encourages students to engage with public issues and in the political process to the fullest extent of their interests. However, because of its tax-exempt status, the University is subject to restrictions concerning certain political activities. In particular, the Internal Revenue Code imposes limitations on tax-exempt organizations relating to attempts to influence legislation and an absolute prohibition on participating or intervening in political campaigns on behalf of candidates for public office.

These limitations affect students and student organizations in several ways. For one, the prohibition on supporting or opposing political candidates means that student organizations must not use the benefits they receive from Vanderbilt, such as funds, space, or use of facilities, on behalf of a political candidate. If Vanderbilt space or facilities are provided to a candidate, the University must approve such use in advance as well as determine, and collect from the candidate, the fair market rate for such use, to be charged equally to any candidates, in advance of the use.

Students and student organizations are prohibited from taking any action that would imply that Vanderbilt is endorsing or opposing particular candidates or political parties or organizations. Although every member of the academic community has a right to participate (or not, as the member sees fit), in the election process, no student may speak or act in Vanderbilt’s name in connection with any person’s campaign for office. Student organizations that make use of the University’s name or marks should take special care to avoid implying University endorsement or opposition of candidates. Using the University’s name, facilities, or resources to support or oppose candidates for public office is prohibited.

Students who choose to run for public office while enrolled at Vanderbilt must separate their campaign activities from their association with the University. This could mean finding a location other than their campus residences, if they have any, from which to conduct campaign activities. It also means that they must refrain from using the University’s communications systems, computer facilities, or mail system in the service of their campaigns.

In the interest of furthering its educational mission, Vanderbilt may allow candidates for office to speak or hold public events on campus, and if it does, then access is provided without discrimination as to viewpoint or party affiliation among candidates. Students or student groups wishing the University to invite speakers who are candidates should consult the Office of Public Affairs so as to comply with this section.

Students or student organizations who wish to lobby legislative bodies for the purpose of influencing legislation should ensure either that they do not make use of any affiliation with Vanderbilt when doing so, or that they first consult the Office of Public Affairs concerning any Vanderbilt-related lobbying so that the University’s legal obligations with respect to reporting lobbying expenses can be met.

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Refunds of Tuition and Room Charges

University policy for the refund of tuition and room charges provides a percentage refund based on the dates of withdrawal and check-out from the residence. Students who withdraw officially or who are dismissed from the University for any reason may be entitled to a partial refund in accordance with the established schedule shown below.

Refund Schedule for Withdrawal and Residential Check-out

Fall 2010 Refund Schedule

Fall 2010 Official Withdrawal Date % of Charges Refunded
Week 1: Aug. 25-Aug. 28 100%
Week 2: Aug. 29-Sept. 4 95%
Week 3: Sept. 5-Sept. 11 85%
Week 4: Sept. 12-Sept. 18 80%
Week 5: Sept. 19-Sept. 25 75%
Week 6: Sept. 26-Oct. 2 65%
Week 7: Oct. 3-Oct. 9 60%
Week 8: Oct. 10-Oct. 16 55%
Week 9: Oct. 17-Oct. 23 50%
Week 10: Oct. 24-Oct. 30 40%
No refund after October 30, 2010

Spring 2011 Refund Schedule

Spring 2011 Official Withdrawal Date % of Charges Refunded
Week 1: Jan. 12-Jan. 15 100%
Week 2: Jan. 16-Jan. 22 95%
Week 3: Jan. 23-Jan. 29 85%
Week 4: Jan. 30-Feb. 5 80%
Week 5: Feb. 6-Feb. 12 75%
Week 6: Feb. 13-Feb. 19 65%
Week 7: Feb. 20-Feb. 26 60%
Week 8: Feb. 27-Mar. 4 55%
Spring Break: Mar. 5-Mar. 13
Week 9: Mar. 14-Mar. 21 50%
Week 10: Mar. 22-Mar. 26 40%
No refund after March 26, 2011

Religious Holy Days & Practices

Vanderbilt is a private and non-sectarian University that has committed itself to helping its students acquire knowledge and standards of value, develop a sense of responsibility, explore religious concerns and issues, and develop their own sense of purpose. The University itself is diverse in its makeup and perspectives and encourages diversity in its student body.

The University, therefore, provides both directly and indirectly for the religious and moral development of its students. Programs in this area are predicated on the right of students to form and freely express their own beliefs and values. A campus where persons from diverse traditions live and work is an open forum for all perspectives. Respect for all religious faiths is essential; observances and holy days are honored; and dialogue among groups is encouraged.

Code of Behavior for Religious Groups

The element of personal development, as mentioned above has been given expression in the establishment of the Office of Religious Life (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/religiouslife), in the recognition of qualified affiliated religious professionals, and in the registration of student religious groups whose goals are in keeping with those of the University. The purposes of the University are harmonious with the purposes of addressing issues of religion, values, ethics, and morality of life; in helping members of the University community to articulate a personal philosophy of life, and in understanding the interactions of faith, intellectual inquiry, and social responsibility as bases for finding and affirming meaning and satisfaction in life.

Specific University goals for moral and religious development include the development of programs to help those in the University community to:

1. understand their own faiths and the faiths of others;

2. examine and affirm a personal faith or life philosophy;

3. express these faiths and philosophies through association with others, through opportunities for worship, study, and service, and through campus forums for the presentation and discussion of ideas;

4. examine the relation of their faith or life philosophy to current moral, ethical, and social issues and to various academic disciplines and professional and vocational fields.

These goals shall be met by the University itself in a non-sectarian manner, and the University expects all religious groups on campus to give evidence of tolerance, fairness, and respect for the religious traditions represented at the University, to respect the non-sectarian nature of the University itself, and to uphold the University’s commitment to creating a diverse and pluralistic community on campus.

The University expects that all religious groups which are affiliated, recognized, or registered, respectively, will conduct their affairs so that their policies, programs, and personal actions are in accordance with University catalogues, handbooks, and manuals, such as the Student Handbook, the Student Organizations Manual, and the Faculty Manual (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/facman). In particular, the University expects all religious groups to abide strictly by the policy on “Soliciting for Religious Activities,” below, and, with the provision that student groups must be led by full-time Vanderbilt students. The University also expects that all such religious groups on campus will conduct their affairs in such a manner that no one will be intimidated or coerced and that participants in any group may freely express their beliefs and values. The University requires all registered groups not to discriminate as outlined in the Equal Opportunity section, above  in policies, practices, programs, and activities. The University reserves the right to make other regulations as necessary, without notice, to secure maximum freedom, comfort, safety, and convenience for all. Violations of this code of behavior will be addressed through the University’s student conduct system, the Office Religious Life, and/or the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department.

Policy Regarding Observance of Religious Holy Days

It is the policy of Vanderbilt to make every reasonable effort to allow members of the University community to observe their religious holy days without academic penalty. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who expect to miss classes, examinations, or any other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance should be provided with a reasonable alternative opportunity to complete such academic responsibilities. It is the obligation of students to provide faculty with reasonable notice of the dates of religious holidays on which they will be absent, preferably at the beginning of the semester. Students who are absent on days of examinations or class assignments should be offered an opportunity to make up the work without penalty (if they have previously arranged to be absent), unless it can be demonstrated that a makeup opportunity would constitute an unreasonable burden on a member of the faculty. Should disagreement arise over what constitutes an unreasonable burden or any element of this policy, parties involved should consult the department chair, or, in schools without department chairs, the dean of the school.

A listing of religious holy days and policies may be found at The Office of Religious Life Website (www.vanderbilt.edu/religiouslife).

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Residential Requirement

The residential requirement, established by the Board of Trust in 1952, states that “All unmarried undergraduate students, except those who live at home with their families in Davidson County, must live in residence halls on campus during the academic year, May session, and summer sessions. Authorization to live elsewhere is granted at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments in special situations or when space is unavailable on campus.”  A full discussion of residence life may be found in Chapter 4 “Residential Life.”

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Same Sex Domestic Partner Policy

Vanderbilt University extends to the University-certified, same-sex domestic partners of students the privileges and services extended to student spouses, within the guidelines set forth below. Once signed by the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee, the ID authorization document and photo identification serve to enable the named domestic partner to obtain University identification and to obtain privileges and services extended by the University to student spouses. (Note: The Card Office requires that the student partner be present when a card is issued, just as it requires that the student spouse be present when a student family card is issued to a spouse. Each must provide photo identification.)

University privileges, programs, and services extended to spouses, for which domestic partners are also eligible, may require that additional criteria be met. (For instance, a domestic partner may live in University housing only if the student partner obtains an appropriate contract for an apartment.) Restrictions or fees that apply to spouses also apply to domestic partners. The list below is not meant to be exhaustive.

  • Student Activities Fee events
  • Health insurance
  • Housing
  • Identification
  • Library
  • Psychological and Counseling Center
  • Recreation Center


  1. Domestic partners must certify (and the University may require documentation of the fact) that they are
  • of the same sex
  • not related by blood
  • mentally competent to consent to a contract
  • neither legally married to anyone, nor engaged in a domestic partnership with a different partner
  • currently in a committed relationship of six months or more, residing in the same household, intending to reside together indefinitely.
  1. In addition, domestic partners must show evidence that they are
  • Twenty one years of age (Supporting documents might include a driver’s license or a birth certificate.)
  • financially interdependent, sharing joint responsibility for the household. (Supporting documents might include bank statements, utility bills, etc., with both the student’s and the partner’s names on them.)
  1. Domestic partners must agree to marry within 180 days after their state of legal residence recognizes the marriage of same-sex couples.
  2. Should the certified domestic partner relationship dissolve, the partners must file with the University a Termination Statement within 30 days. A twelve-month waiting period must elapse before a student may certify a new domestic partner.

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Smoke-Free Campus

Vanderbilt University is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is prohibited in all buildings on campus, including University residence halls and Greek chapter houses, and on the grounds of the campus with the exception of designated outdoor smoking areas.

Locations of designated smoking areas for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors may be found on an online map at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/info/smokingpolicy/.

Locations of additional designated smoking areas for campus residents may be found at on the Housing and Residential Education website. Greek organizations may elect to designate outdoor smoking areas on their house grounds.

Designated smoking areas will be marked with signs and include cigarette urns for disposal.

Vanderbilt University is committed to providing a healthy, comfortable and productive environment and offers several resources for smoking cessation. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/student_health/smokingcessation

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Solicitation: See Student Engagement, Chapter 5.

Student Health Center and Other Medical Services

The Student Health Center is available to meet the health care needs of degree-seeking students. Services include primary health care, including specialty services such as nutrition counseling, and sports medicine .  The SHC also works with the Psychological and Counseling Center to provide mental health services for the campus community.  There are no office co-pays for most routine visits, and all registered students are eligible for care, regardless of insurance coverage.  Except in emergencies, students should call 322-2427 for appointments to minimize waiting time and avoid missing classes.

Immunization Requirements

The State of Tennessee requires certain immunizations for all students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) on University campuses.  Therefore, Vanderbilt University will block student registration for those who are not in compliance with the requirements.  In order to accommodate students who have difficulty acquiring their records or needed vaccinations, incoming students not in compliance with the state laws will be enrolled for their first semester, but if they fail to comply within two months of enrollment, registration for the second semester will not be permitted.

The requirements include:

  1. Meningococcal meningitis vaccine (one injection) for all incoming students living in on-campus housing.  The law does allow a student to sign a waiver stating that he/she does not wish to receive this vaccination (see below).
  2. Hepatitis B vaccine series (three injections) for all incoming students, regardless of housing status.  The law does allow a student to sign a waiver stating that he/she does not wish to receive this vaccination (see below).
  3. Measles, mumps, and rubella (2 injections) for all incoming students.  Any waivers for this vaccine are very strict, and include only certain religious or medical exemptions that must be approved by the Medical Director of the Student Health Center.

All incoming students must return a Health Questionnaire and Immunization History to the Student Health Center.  All students should go to the Student Health Website (as noted below), print the Health Questionnaire and return it, as indicated, to the Student Health Center.  This Health Questionnaire can be found at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/student_health/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/HQ1.pdf . It includes information regarding the state-mandated vaccinations, as well as information on other strongly recommended vaccinations.  Further information regarding the process of maintaining compliance with immunizations (including links for waivers and self-entry for certain immunizations), can be found at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/student_health/link/immunization-requirements.  The Health Questionnaires and waiver forms (Hepatitis B and Meningococcal) may also be found and printed at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/student_health/forms.  The completed forms must then be returned to the Student Health Center by July 11, 2010.  All vaccines can be administered at either a private provider’s office, or at the Student Health Center.


There are no office-visit co-pays for routine visits, but for medications or supplies dispensed, students will incur small charges.  There are small co-pays associated with some office procedures or specialty visits (such as wart removal and colposcopy).  Medication and supplies ordered by Student Health physicians and nurse practitioners can usually be provided to students at cost. Credit cards, cash, the Commodore Card, or a charge to the student account may be used to pay for any charges incurred at the Student Health Center.  The Student Health Center has no relationship with any insurance company and can not bill insurance for charges incurred at the Center.

Any lab tests not performed at the Student Health Center are sent to the Vanderbilt Medical Center and are typically billed to the student’s health insurance company by the Medical Center.  In addition, when a student is referred to a specialist outside of the Student Health Center, charges incurred are billed to the student’s health insurance company.  Any amount remaining after health insurance has paid its share is the student’s responsibility.  If a student has an Emergency Department visit after-hours because of a serious illness or injury, the Medical Center will bill the student and his/her insurance company.


Care provided at the Student Health Center is confidential and in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.  It is only with explicit written consent from the student that the Health Center may communicate with Deans, parents, professors, or other health care professionals.

HIPAA does have a clause that allows notification of families in the event that the student is in an emergency or life-threatening situation.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center personnel will ask treated students in the Emergency Department about notification of staff in the Office of Housing and Residential Education and the Student Health Center.  Except in cases of a life-threatening emergency, notification requires the student’s permission and is strongly encouraged.  This practice enables the University to provide support and assistance to students and their families.

Medical Excuse Policy

The Student Health Center does not provide “excuses” for everyday illnesses (such as colds) that may lead to missed classes or delay in completion of assignments.  Vanderbilt University expects students to be honest with their instructors regarding their ability to complete work, and expects instructors to work with students on these issues.  Student Health can provide students with cards documenting a visit to the Student Health Center, but details of minor illnesses are not routinely provided.   The student’s right to privacy is one of the important issues that guides this policy.  In addition, since there is great variability in each student’s response to minor illnesses, the Student Health Center cannot always predict which students will miss assignments or classes in response to such ailments.  Honest communication between an instructor and a student can better address these situations.

In cases of more serious illness or injury, especially those that would require prolonged bed rest or hospitalization, the Student Health Center will, with the student’s permission, notify the student’s academic dean of the student’s illness so that instructors may be formally informed of the circumstances.

Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan

All degree-seeking students (with the exception of those in the Division of Unclassified students) registered for four or more hours at Vanderbilt are automatically enrolled in–and will be billed for–a University-endorsed health insurance plan offered by Gallagher Koster Insurance Agency, unless they complete the online waiver process. (See below.) Information about the plan is available online at www.gallagherkoster.com.  In addition, an insurance representative has an office at the Student Health Center and can be reached at 615-343-4688.

The annual premium is in addition to tuition. Coverage for undergraduate students begins August 12 and extends through August 11 the following calendar year whether the student remains in school or is away from the University. However, there is no pro rata refund for this coverage.

The plan provides hospital, surgical, and major medical benefits. A brochure explaining the limits, exclusions, and benefits of the plan is available online at www.gallagherkoster.com, at registration, in the Office of Student Accounts, or at the Student Health Center.   The plan requires that the Student Health Center be the student’s primary care provider in Nashville, but will provide coverage for referrals to specialists 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 comparable coverage 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.gallagherkoster.com.  To waive coverage, students should select Vanderbilt University and follow the directions. The insurance charge will not be waived if the online process is not completed by August 1 for the fall semester, or by January 6 for students who are newly enrolled for the spring semester. The waiver process must be completed each academic year.

Family Coverage

An additional premium is charged for family insurance coverage. An eligible student who wishes to provide coverage for his or her spouse or University-certified domestic partner, and/or children, may secure an application form from the Student Health Center at the time of registration, or, may enroll online at www.gallagherkoster.com.

International Student Coverage

International students are automatically enrolled in, and billed for, the Gallagher Koster plan, in compliance with federal regulations relations to J-1 visa status, which requires international students and their dependents to maintain adequate insurance coverage.  Students who have adequate coverage and wish to waive the Gallagher Koster plan (and charge) may complete an on-line waiver at www.gallagherkoster.com.  The deadline is September 7 for the fall semester and January 15 for new, incoming students for the spring semester.  The waiver process must be completed each academic year.

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

Conduct Endangering Personal Health

Students who engage in a pattern of conduct that endangers their personal health or safety, such as abuse of alcohol or other drugs, denial of sustenance, etc., may be required to participate and make satisfactory progress in a program of medical evaluation and/or treatment, or a program of psychological evaluation and/or treatment, if they are to remain at the University. That determination is made by a panel consisting of the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee, the Director of the Student Health Center, the Director of the University Psychological and Counseling Center or the University psychiatrist, and an academic dean of the school in which the student is enrolled.

Withdrawal from the University

The University reserves the right to require the withdrawal of a student whose continuation in school, in the University’s judgment, is detrimental to the health or safety of the student or others. Students who withdraw, voluntarily or involuntarily, for these reasons, or for medical or mental/emotional health reasons, may be considered for readmission following a determination by the University, often through the Student Health Center, that the condition requiring withdrawal has been corrected. That determination is made by a panel, comprising the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee, the Director of the Student Health Center or the University psychiatrist, and an academic dean of the school in which the student is enrolled.

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Student Records (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

Vanderbilt University is subject to the provisions of federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also referred to as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA). This act affords matriculated students certain rights with respect to their educational records. These rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access: Students should submit to the University Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the University Registrar does not maintain the records, the student will be directed to the University official to whom the request should be addressed.

2. The right to request the amendment of any part of their education records that a student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students who wish to request an amendment to their educational record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student will be notified of the decision and advised of his or her right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records to third parties, except in situations that FERPA allows disclosure without the student’s consent.  These exceptions include:

  • Disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A “school official” is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support-staff position (including University law enforcement personnel and medical staff); vendors, consultants, and other outside service providers with whom the University has contracted; a member of the Board of Trust; or another student serving on an official University committee, such as the Honor Council, Student Conduct Council, or a grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • Disclosure to parents if the student is a dependent for tax purposes.
  • Disclosure to appropriate individuals (e.g., parents/guardians, spouses, housing staff, health care personnel, police, etc…) where disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency and knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
  • Disclosure to a parent or legal guardian of a student, information regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the University has determined that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to the use or possession and the student is under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure to the parent/guardian.

The Buckley Amendment provides the University the ability to designate certain student information as “directory information.” Directory information may be made available to any person without the student’s consent unless the student gives notice as provided for, below. Vanderbilt has designated the following as directory information: the student’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, student ID photos, date and place of birth, major field of study, school, classification, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weights and heights of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and other similar information. Any student who does not wish disclosure of directory information should notify the University Registrar in writing. No element of directory information as defined above is released for students who request nondisclosure except in situations allowed by law. The request to withhold directory information will remain in effect as long as the student continues to be enrolled, or until the student files a written request with the University Registrar to discontinue the withholding. To continue nondisclosure of directory information after a student ceases to be enrolled, a written request for continuance must be filed with the University Registrar during the student’s last term of attendance.

If a student believes the University has failed to comply with the Buckley Amendment, he or she may file a complaint using the Student Complaint and Grievance Procedures as outlined in the Student Handbook. If dissatisfied with the outcome of this procedure, students may file a written complaint with the Family Policy and Regulations Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202.

Questions about the application of the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should be directed to the University Registrar or to the Office of General Counsel.

Vanderbilt Directory

Individual listings in the online People Finder Directory consist of the student’s full name, school, academic classification, local phone number, e-mail address, local address, box number, and permanent address.

Student listings in the People Finder Directory are available to the Vanderbilt community via logon ID and e-password.  Students may choose to make their online People Finder listings available to the general public (i.e., viewable by anyone with access to the Internet), add additional contact information such as cell phone, pager, and fax numbers, or block individual directory items.

Requests to exclude listings from the online PeopleFinder Directory can be made at any time throughout the year logging in to YES (Your Enrollment Services) https://yes.vanderbilt.edu and clicking on the appropriate link.

Students may report address changes via the Web by logging in to YES (Your Enrollment Services) https://yes.vanderbilt.edu and clicking on the Address Change link.

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Study Abroad

In general, the policies and regulations in the Student Handbook apply to students registered for the Vanderbilt study abroad programs, although some additional regulations may apply. Students on academic or disciplinary probation, or those with a financial hold, may be prohibited from participating in study abroad programs. Specific regulations for students enrolled in study abroad programs are available from the program directors, from the Global Education office, or from the offices of the deans of the undergraduate colleges and schools.

The resident directors of Vanderbilt study abroad programs (Vanderbilt “Ins”) are responsible for academic matters. They are also responsible for co-curricular and disciplinary matters, within the limits of the policies established by the University.

Students are required to abide by the laws of the particular country with respect to the age at which alcoholic beverages may be consumed. Otherwise, all of the policies with respect to alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs included in this Handbook apply. Students are subject to disciplinary action including expulsion and referral for prosecution for violation of these policies.

Undergraduate students enrolled in a study abroad program will be charged only for that portion of the Student Activities Fee allocated to student organizations.

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Technology and Literary and Artistic Works

The rights and responsibilities of students and of the University concerning inventions, discoveries, rights in technology, and literary and artistic works, including patents, are defined in the Faculty Manual. For more information, visit Part III, section 4 of the Faculty Manual Web site (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/facman).

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Universal Waiver

In consideration of Vanderbilt University’s providing opportunities to participate in both academic and co-curricular programs and activities, students acknowledge the receipt and sufficiency of this consideration, and, by enrolling in Vanderbilt University, agree to release, relieve, discharge, and hold harmless Vanderbilt University, its officers, trustees, faculty, administrators, employees, representatives, and elected and volunteer leaders designated by Vanderbilt University, from any and all liability or claim of liability, whether for personal injury, property damage, or otherwise, arising out of, or in connection with, their voluntary participation in activities and travel associated with programs sponsored by the University or any of its departments, student groups, and other entities.

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University Calendar

The official University calendar is the Academic Calendar, which can be found at  http://registrar.vanderbilt.edu/calendar.htm. Campus events may be found at http://calendar.vanderbilt.edu .

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Vanderbilt Visions

Vanderbilt Visions is a one-semester, University core program that meets in The Commons.   Small groups led by a faculty member and an undergraduate peer mentor address through discussions and activities the social, academic, cognitive, and cultural transitions they are experiencing as first-year students at Vanderbilt University.  All first-year students must observe the attendance policy of Vanderbilt Visions.  Failure to do so may result in disciplinary measures.

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