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Fall 2020: Campus Life and Housing

Find answers to the most asked questions about Return to Campus

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Student-athletes will return to campus in stages to allow for a transition period for medical clearance, accommodation of new protocols, and adequate time for education and reinforcement of new norms.

More information about Vanderbilt Athletics, including which sports return to campus first, can be found on the Athletics FAQ.

University-sponsored travel for undergraduate students outside of the greater Nashville area is prohibited during the fall 2020 semester. Residential students in the Nashville area may complete internships in Nashville for academic credit; however, the student must sign an acknowledgement form to follow Vanderbilt University protocols while at their internship location.

Undergraduate students who select remote-only instruction may complete internships in the area that they reside.

Specific guidelines for all campus visitors, including parents, are being developed to ensure the safety of our campus community. The situation with COVID-19 is changing rapidly and we want those guidelines to reflect the best practices in place once students have returned to campus.

Suppliers must submit the Supplier Return to Campus Acknowledgement prior to being granted permission to be on campus.

The David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center and Outdoor Recreation Program is instituting a number of programming changes in order to manage the situation brought on by the global pandemic and ensure the health and safety of the Vanderbilt community. In time, we hope to bring many of our in-person programs back to full capacity, informed by guidance from public health officials and experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Per the family unit model, students assigned to live in Greek houses will be able to reside together in their current room set-ups.  

Greek residents diagnosed with COVID-19 will be quarantined or isolated using the same procedures and facilities as all other students who live on campus. Blakemore House and Scarritt Bennet have been identified for student quarantine and isolation spaces.

Greek houses will comply with the guidelines applied across campus. Currently, gatherings of 10 or fewer are allowed with physical distancing. As guidelines change, we will work closely with the fraternities and sororities to ensure their events and activities are in compliance with increased capacities for gatherings in later phases.  

In order to maintain lower density in residential spaces, students will only have access to their assigned residential building and floor. Students will have access to laundry facilities in their building or a nearby building.

Building access will be limited to only the students assigned to live in that space so students may not have overnight visitors in their room. It is possible that our access regulations may evolve as we move through different phases of the Vanderbilt Return to Campus Plan.

Students are encouraged to socialize outdoors or in commons areas, while practicing physical distancing, with friends who live in other residence halls.

Our residential buildings are open 24/7 and there is no curfew in place for students. Students are encouraged to check the website for the hours of other non-residential buildings on campus.

Details regarding specific housing options and room assignment procedures will be communicated to students prior to the resumption of the housing assignment process, which will begin on July 5, 2020. We anticipate multiple move-in days this fall. Move-in dates will also be announced in July.

First-year housing assignments and virtual roommates will be announced on Monday, August 10. Instructions for move-in will be available at that time as well.

STUDENTS NOT YET ASSIGNED

We understand that students who have not yet received their housing assignment may now wish to live off campus. We have reopened the off-campus housing application for all students who have not yet been assigned on-campus housing. The application is available in the Student Housing Portal under the “Applications” menu. The new deadline to apply is 5 p.m. CDT Friday, July 31, 2020.

As a reminder, we resumed the housing assignment process on July 5. Specific housing options and room assignment procedures are available in the updated Guide to the Housing Assignment Process.

Simply applying for off-campus housing does not lock you in and you can continue the housing assignment process if you would like. OHARE will review off-campus housing applications and will grant requests daily. Once you are granted off-campus authorization, you will have one week to decline your request for off-campus housing. The decline deadline date will be listed in the email you receive granting your request to live off-campus. If you choose to decline your off-campus housing authorization offer by the deadline, you can continue to participate in the on-campus housing assignment process. If you do not decline the off-campus offer by the deadline, you will not be eligible for on-campus housing.

Please understand that your housing decisions, both with regard to accepting a housing assignment or being granted off-campus authorization, will be final. Once you select a room in the housing assignment process, you are no longer eligible for off-campus authorization. If you have been granted and accepted off-campus authorization, you are no longer eligible to participate in the housing assignment process.

CHAFFIN PLACE AND OHARE AT THE VILLAGE AT VANDERBILT REASSIGNMENT

Chaffin Place and OHARE at the Village at Vanderbilt will be removed from the housing assignment process. We know this change is disruptive for you as you were assigned to live in one of these two locations, and we regret this additional change to your plans during an already incredibly challenging time. Please know that we are committed to working with you to ensure a smooth reassignment to a new residential space on campus. You will hear directly from OHARE staff with next steps—you will have one point of contact during this reassignment process.

If you would like to instead apply for off-campus housing authorization, you can apply in the Student Housing Portal under the “Applications” menu. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. CDT Friday, July 31, 2020.

CHANGES TO HOUSING ASSIGNMENTS

In most cases, housing assignments will not be changed upon arrival. In some rare instances, students who already have a housing assignment for the fall semester may need to move based on their requests for housing accommodations and our ability to fulfill their needs in their currently assigned space. In other words, students may need to be moved so that we can honor their accommodation. All housing assignments will be completed by early August at which point no changes will be made for the fall 2020 term. Upon arrival, students cannot request room changes until after the second week of classes and will only be granted if space is available.

Common area spaces in the residence halls like study spaces and lounges will be open. We have rearranged furniture in those spaces so that it is set in accordance with physical distancing guidelines.

Students are expected to abide by physical distancing protocols when in commons spaces. In an effort to assist students with distancing, we have reduced and rearranged furniture in commons spaces. Students should follow posted guidelines that will help identify ways to yield to others and outline maximum capacity in various space. The success of our Return to Campus Plan will hinge on all of us working together to follow posted guidelines and practice healthy behaviors like wearing a mask in public spaces.

Due to challenges with appropriately sanitizing these spaces, shared kitchen spaces in residence halls will be closed. Campus Dining has announced their fall semester plans.

In residential bathrooms, students should practice physical distancing and follow any additional posted guidelines for use. Common area bathrooms will be cleaned twice a day. Bathrooms will have a standard cleaning in the morning and a deeper cleaning and sanitization in the evenings.

We are balancing the health, safety and comfort of our constituencies and our community with providing the meaningful experiences for students traditionally associated with Vanderbilt. These are temporary measures to deal with the challenging circumstances in which we find ourselves. 

Although students will be assigned to single occupancy in residence hall rooms, we expect that they will make friends on their residence hall floors, sitting in their doorways talking late into the night, or lounging on one of our various campus outdoor areas while physically distancing. Students will also be able to interact with their virtual roommates and other friends in person throughout the academic year, while still following the university’s protocols. We are also working to define gatherings for the fall semester, in which there may be opportunities for in-person engagement for campus groups and organizations while following campus protocols. 

We hope that community members will be active participants and bystanders in keeping the community healthy, safe, and accountable.  

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is partnering with the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence to create more opportunities for our Black and Brown faculty and students to express themselves and for us to hear them.

More details on those opportunities will be shared as plans are finalized.

Additionally, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor August Washington is working with our campus police department to review, revise, and adopt policies and protocols that underscore the department’s commitment to protecting all members of the diverse Vanderbilt University community and to maintain an environment of trust that respects and safeguards the dignity and rights of all individuals.

Athletics will follow a staged approach that relies on a diversity of expertise and broad collaboration with the NCAA, SEC, university leadership, health experts and others, and will adhere to local public health guidelines and protocols, as well as university specific mandates. Based on these recommendations, the return to campus plan for Vanderbilt Athletics includes a temporary COVID-related exception permitting student-athletes who live on-campus to reside in the same residence hall. We remain committed to the student-athletes being fully integrated in all aspects of campus life. Their housing arrangements are not mutually exclusive to other arrangements recommended by health officials for segments of the student population. This housing plan is flexible, and adjustments will be made as necessary, based on data.

Move in dates will be announced in July. We anticipate multiple move in days this fall in the week before classes begin. While a move in crew will not be provided in order to provide students and families space to unpack, staff will be on hand to answer questions and handle specific concerns.

BELONGINGS STILL IN STORAGE

Belongings are being stored in multiple locations and OHARE will provide you with information regarding the facility your items are stored in; email ohare@vanderbilt.edu and someone will assist you.

MIDYEAR MOVE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS

Students will be provided packing supplies near the end of the fall semester. They will pack their items and label their boxes. Over the winter break, Vanderbilt will move students’ belongings to their new assignment. Students will be clustered together and moved in groups so that upon their move to their spring assignment, they will continue to live near students they lived near in the fall.

Vanderbilt will have robust in-house contact tracing capabilities developed as a collaboration with experts at VUMC, VUSN and Metro Public Health to coordinate timely contact tracing between campus and the Nashville community.

We are balancing the health, safety and comfort of our constituencies and our community with providing the meaningful experiences for students traditionally associated with Vanderbilt. These are temporary measures to deal with the challenging circumstances in which we find ourselves. 

No guests will be allowed within residence hall rooms. Although first-year students will be assigned a single room, we expect that they will make friends on their residence hall floors, sitting in their doorways talking late into the night, or lounging on one of our various campus outdoor areas while physically distancing. Students will also be able to interact with their virtual roommates and other friends in person throughout the academic year, while still following the university’s protocols. We are also working to define gatherings for the fall semester, in which there may be opportunities for in-person engagement for campus groups and organizations while following campus protocols. 

We hope that community members will be active participants and bystanders in keeping the community healthy, safe, and accountable.  

We realize how important community and social bonds are to good mental health, and we have three distinct groups of people working on plans and practices to promote interaction. More details will be shared here as those plans are developed.

  • Orientation group leaders for new students: These leaders are thinking about how to utilize Vanderbilt’s history of connecting with new students even before they are on campus through VUcept, Transfer Student Leaders, and International Orientation Leaders to make sure all students already know other students before they arrive.
  • Faculty: Residential Faculty are thinking about how to build community in their houses and colleges, and also the undergraduate and associate deans in the four undergraduate schools are thinking about ways to strengthen ties to classmates in majors or area of studies.
  • Student Affairs: Our colleagues in the Dean of Students office are talking with student leaders already to talk about what student organizations and involvement with campus groups will look like this year so that undergraduate students still have opportunities to connect with other students who share similar extracurricular interests.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Vanderbilt will continue to provide strong support to our incoming transfer students even as they live in off-campus residences. Through our transfer orientation program, students will interact with others through informational sessions and small-group discussions that will help you navigate your academic program, campus resources and student life on Vanderbilt’s campus. Through TSO, you’ll also have the opportunity to connect with Transfer Student Leaders (sophomores, juniors, and seniors who transferred to Vanderbilt themselves) and other incoming transfer students.

Full details of the 2020 Transfer Student Orientation program, which will be conducted through Brightspace, will be released in early August.

Additionally, the new Campus Connection Program will provide undergraduate students with personalized support and guidance as they navigate the various experiential learning and campus services that are part of their collegiate experience at Vanderbilt. The program will engage Campus Connectors, professional staff from Academic Affairs, to serve as liaisons who directly support personal and professional development for their cohort of students from enrollment to graduation.

Classrooms will not be disinfected in between each class, but will be disinfected during routine cleaning. Plant Operations, a unit within the Vanderbilt University Facilities Department, will operate in accordance with the increased cleaning and disinfection protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, using Environmental Protection Agency-approved products that are effective against the COVID-19 virus. Throughout the pandemic, Plant Operations has monitored and adopted CDC recommendations.  Details on cleaning protocols, including classrooms, can be found on the Facilities: Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfectant Protocols FAQ.

On July 9, officials from Metro Nashville Public Schools announced their academic year will begin remotely for all MNPS students on Aug. 4, and Williamson County Schools shared their plans to allow families to choose on-campus or remote instruction for their students for the start of the school year. We will continue to closely monitor for announcements from other area school districts and K-12 schools.

We want you to know that we fully recognize the challenges that this news poses for members of the Vanderbilt community with school-aged children, many of whom already have been balancing work and class schedules with homeschooling and/or child care since early March. These families are a significant part of our community: Our data indicates that more than 1,000 Vanderbilt community members have children under the age of 14, and there are more than 1,800 children in total amongst these families.

We also understand that children thrive when the adults in their lives are able to model calm, compassion and resilience, and we realize achieving this balance can be extraordinarily challenging in the present moment. Your well-being is a top priority, and we are committed to continuing to help you navigate the ever-changing impacts of the pandemic on your daily life.

We further appreciate that each caregiver’s and each child’s personal considerations vary widely. We also each have different requirements with regard to whether our work or classes need to be conducted in person or remotely.

In response to these diverse circumstances and challenges, we have launched several initiatives that provide additional support to the Vanderbilt community during this challenging time.

  • Last month we launched a University Working Group on Schools and Childcare, which is charged with assessing our community’s needs in response to any significant changes in K-12 schools and child care facilities due to COVID-19. The group, which includes faculty, staff, students and postdocs, is examining the child care structures already in place at Vanderbilt while also exploring community resources and additional ways to expand upon these services.
  • We are creating a message board where members of our community can connect and exchange ideas and resources regarding child care solutions and arrangements beyond Vanderbilt’s campus. We will share more information about how to access the message board when it launches.
  • We are conducting a survey regarding current child care needs, which will help us identify additional resources that might be helpful. Take the survey now. >>

In addition, please be sure to consider our many existing resources, including family life resources available through the Child and Family Center and the support for remote work and employee engagement recently announced by Human Resources, along with the HR Guide to Supporting Leaders and Staff, which encourages flexibility with staff work schedules. For staff, as always, we encourage you to talk to your supervisor or your HR consultant if you have any questions about your particular situation. For faculty, we encourage you to reach out to your department chair or dean. For students and postdocs, we encourage you to talk with your mentor and dean’s office.

The Vanderbilt Visions program will take place virtually this fall. In late July, when you are enrolled in your assigned section, you will also be granted access to a corresponding Brightspace course, which your VUceptors will use to facilitate weekly sessions. Visions sessions will couple activities that you can do on your own time with regular Zoom discussions with the group. Your faculty and student VUceptors will provide more information on individual or small group meetings as well. VUceptors will be reaching out in late July/early August to introduce themselves and begin getting to know you. 

Information about our campus meeting and gathering guidelines can be found on the Specific Campus Scenarios: Meetings and Gatherings FAQ.

Undergraduate residential students who are able to do so will leave campus for the Thanksgiving holiday and will not return to campus until the start of the spring semester. Those who cannot leave due to certain circumstances should work with the Office of Housing and Residential Experience to make accommodations.

We are adopting this plan based on current public health guidance regarding risks associated with coming and going to and from campus, and models suggesting a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases with the onset of influenza season.

Our plan for Vanderbilt-controlled housing is student focused. Given COVID-19 conditions, this means we will de-densify residential spaces to provide housing that is as safe as possible. We are also identifying self-isolation and quarantine locations for members of our residential community. 

To meet these goals, we have customized plans for three cohorts of students with different on-campus living needs: first-year students, returning upper-division students, and student-athletes. We are deploying a mix of new approaches, including authorizing more upper-division students to live off campus and securing additional Vanderbilt-controlled housing options near campus.

Public health guidance recommends students reside either in single rooms or in a family-unit model (roommates and suite mates considered a family unit are exempt from physical distancing) with bathroom considerations such as the student-to-fixture ratio and enhanced cleaning schedules.

Some rooms that we are reducing occupancy for will have two sets of furniture. We are not removing the excess furniture. Students should not bring their own furniture.

Details regarding specific housing options and room assignment procedures will be communicated to students prior to the resumption of the housing assignment process, which will begin on July 5, 2020. We anticipate multiple move-in days this fall. Move-in dates will also be announced in July.

FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS

First-year students will be assigned one student per room and will be housed in The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, Branscomb Quadrangle and Carmichael Towers East using a random assignment process. Requests for specific residence halls will not be considered. All first-year students will be housed in single rooms in order to reduce the density in our residence halls.

First-year students will switch housing assignments at the transition between fall and spring semester, so all first-year students are able to live on The Commons for part of the year. In the fall semester, half of the first-year students will reside on the Ingram Commons and the other half will reside in Branscomb Quadrangle or Carmichael Towers East. In the spring, their assignments will be reversed.

Regardless of where they live in the fall, all first-year students will be assigned a Commons house affiliation and Faculty Head of House. All students will also be supported by Residential Experience Area Coordinators, Graduate Area Coordinators and Resident Advisers.

Additionally, students will be assigned a “virtual roommate” (e.g., a student living on The Commons will be paired with a student living in Branscomb Quadrangle or Carmichael Towers East). Virtual roommates allow students to connect with another person across campus to create a larger sense of community for new students. It also gives them an opportunity to connect with that person before arriving on campus and throughout the first year, as students begin to build their network at Vanderbilt. 

First-year housing assignments and virtual roommates will be announced on Monday, August 10. Instructions for move-in will be available at that time as well.

RETURNING UPPER-DIVISION STUDENTS

Returning upper-division students who do not already have a room assignment, and who are seeking on-campus housing, will receive an assignment through the Housing Assignment Process. Pending space availability, students will be assigned as individuals to traditional singles or as groups—per the family unit model—to traditional doubles and apartments.

In response to the need for distancing and reduction of density, the university is lowering the number of occupants in Morgan and Lewis house, allowing family-unit models if students select and acquiring additional VU-controlled properties.

Upper-division residence halls for the 2020-2021 academic year will include Warren and Moore Colleges, Zeppos College, Carmichael Towers I, E. Bronson Ingram College, Cole, Tolman, McGill, McTyeire, Morgan, Lewis and Mayfield.

An updated Guide to the Housing Assignment Process, which details specific housing options and room assignment procedures, is available on the OHARE website.

STUDENT ATHLETES

Student-athletes (first year and upper division) will be housed together in Morgan House and Lewis House on Highland Quad per the family unit model, sharing rooms with teammates and classmates (e.g., first-year students with first-year students and upper-division students with upper-division students). First-year students will also be assigned an Ingram Commons house affiliation.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Incoming transfer students seeking off-campus housing and roommates can use the Off-Campus Housing Service. We will also provide programming to ensure transfer students are fully connected to and integrated with our community.

QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION

Our plan for Vanderbilt-controlled housing for the 2020–21 academic year is student focused. COVID-19 conditions mean we needed to identify quarantine and isolation locations for our undergraduate residential community and to de-densify residential spaces to provide housing that is as safe as possible. The CDC defines isolation as separating sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick and quarantine as separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. 

Blakemore House, Chaffin Place, OHARE at the Village at Vanderbilt Townhouses and South Tower and Scarritt Bennett Center (an off-campus property operated by the university and located in close proximity to campus) will be used for campus resident isolation and quarantine space.

University health officials will make medical determinations and assign campus residents to either diagnostic quarantine or COVID-positive isolation to sites specifically designated for these purposes. University health officials will make medical evaluations and release campus residents from quarantine or isolation to return to their campus residence hall room when deemed medically appropriate.

For student living off campus, university health officials will make medical determinations and direct students to quarantine or isolate at their off-campus residences. When deemed appropriate after medical evaluations, university health officials will release students from quarantine or isolation in their off-campus residences.

Student Health will work with all such students to do regular symptom monitoring and will hospitalize anyone who becomes seriously ill.

SUPPORT FOR RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

We are developing a robust virtual programming/community building model lead by Residential Experience. Resident Advisers will do regular one-on-one communication with residents and provide resources to assist them. All first-year students will spend at least one semester on the Ingram Commons and will be assigned a Faculty Head when they live in either Branscomb or Towers. All first year students will also be assigned a virtual roommate. Additionally, our Student Care Network will be providing support if we receive information that a student is struggling with adjustment to these challenging times.

The university is implementing a number of practices to support the health and wellness of residential students. These practices include enhanced cleaning and sanitization, physical distancing guidelines for commons spaces, the de-densification of residence halls and the development of virtual programming models:

  • In order to maintain lower density in residential spaces, students will only have access to their assigned residential building and floor; students are encouraged to socialize outdoors or in commons areas, while practicing physical distancing.
  • High touch areas like door handles and elevator buttons will be cleaned throughout the day. We are installing foot pulls or arm pulls on many doors within the residential building. Hand sanitizer stations will be posted at all building entrances, exits, and near elevators.
  • Common area bathrooms will be cleaned twice a day. Bathrooms will have a standard cleaning in the morning and a deeper cleaning and sanitization in the evenings.
  • Common area spaces in the residence halls like study spaces and lounges will be open; to encourage physical distancing, we have rearranged furniture in those spaces. Students should follow posted guidelines that will help identify ways to yield to others and outline maximum capacity in various space.
  • Students will be expected to wear face masks in public spaces like hallways and common areas. In residential bathrooms, students should practice physical distancing and follow any additional posted guidelines for use.
  • We are developing a robust virtual programming/community building model lead by Residential Experience. Resident Advisers will do regular one-on-one communication with residents and provide resources to assist them.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Each fall, the university welcomes a diverse cohort of more than 1,800 new undergraduate students, inviting them to join the Vanderbilt family by providing support in the transition process and showcasing the vast network of resources available to ensure success. All new undergraduates—first-year and transfer—participate in new student orientation and receive support from the Vanderbilt community.

Orientation for first-year and transfer students will be held virtually prior to arrival on campus and the start of fall classes. More information and an orientation schedule are forthcoming.

GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS

Orientation planning for graduate and professional students is underway, but we anticipate that orientations will be provided in a remote format in advance of campus arrival. More information will be shared directly by the dean and/or program director for each specific graduate or professional degree program.

Student life on campus is an important part of the college experience. There is no denying that the ways in which we live, learn, interact and study will continue to evolve and change in the coming months. Many of these experiences will be new for all of us, and we fully understand that the dynamics of the fall semester may not be what any of us would desire or expect. We share in the feeling that there is a long road of uncertainty ahead, but the collaborative and caring culture of Vanderbilt positions us well to thoughtfully travel it together.

The Office of the Dean of Students will use the parameters and protocols set forth as a part of the university’s Return to Campus Plan as a basis for guidelines for student life on campus and will determine how staff and students will engage in various activities and programs.

STUDENT PROGRAMMING AND ORGANIZATIONS

With distancing measures in place, student life professionals across campus are engaging directly with students to receive input on the best ways to build virtual communities and implement programming for students. Several ideas that are in development are virtual sing-a-longs, board game tournaments, watch parties and meals. The university is also asking student organizations to come up with creative engagement plans that accommodate safety and other health-based protocols. Our current approach is designed to create living-learning environments that allow Vanderbilt’s values to thrive under COVID-19 conditions.

We continue to define what a gathering can look in the fall. We anticipate coming up with some guidelines specifically for performing groups that would allow for some rehearsals and performances, even if no audience can be present. We will strongly recommend that all events, even those that allow in-person attendance, livestream or provide some form of virtual viewing (Facebook Live, Zoom, YouTube, etc.). Our Production Services staff is gearing up to be able to do remote livestreaming of student organization events, allowing students who are not comfortable attending or who may be doing remote learning to still be able to watch.

Student Involvement Fair

We are currently evaluating how we will execute the student involvement fair. We will have some form of fair, but are still collecting input and feedback from students about how best to execute this event. In addition, we are looking more broadly about how we can introduce incoming first-year and transfer students to the many opportunities for involvement on campus. 

Reserving Space

Student organizations will be able to reserve space, but we anticipate those spaces to be more limited. As soon as we have a better understanding of which rooms will be used as classrooms, we will be able to open reservations for student organizations. We will have specific physical distancing set-ups for all spaces and will follow all university guidelines.

RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

We hope to be able to provide some in-person gatherings in the fall for all student organizations, but would be subject to broader university guidelines and greater Davidson County guidelines. We will certainly work with our religious organizations to help facilitate any special needs they have if possible. For example, we will work with religious life leaders to find creative ways and alternative spaces to observe religious rituals (e.g. coordinating a larger meeting space to allow for physical distancing).  

MEETINGS AND SOCIAL EVENTS

Vanderbilt will follow a phased approach with restrictions on in-person meetings
and social events on or off campus. Each of Vanderbilt’s phases will outline specific guidance on the protocols for face masks/coverings, physical distancing, symptom monitoring and testing, event allowances, occupation of student centers and residential housing, student engagement, the Student Care Network and the Project Safe Center.

Student life on and off campus will be subject to limitations on gatherings and residential programming will be modified to alternative/virtual formats. Student organizations will modify operations for service/work. Common area access will be restricted and cleaning protocols will be put in place.

Student organizations will be able to reserve space, but we anticipate those spaces to be more limited. As soon as we have a better understanding of which rooms will be used as classrooms, we will be able to open reservations for student organizations. 

Vanderbilt currently allows gatherings of up to 10 people with physical distancing. As guidelines change, we will work closely with student organizations to plan events and activities accordingly. Meanwhile, we will work with student leaders to come up with creative ways to engage their organizations and broader university community virtually through various platforms. A best practices guide for operating virtually is being developed for student organizations and will be publicized as we get closer to the start of the fall semester.

COMPLIANCE

Student Accountability will oversee compliance. Students are expected to comply with all university policies and protocols designed to facilitate physical distancing, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and promote the health and safety as much as possible of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities. Any intentional or reckless disregard for these policies and protocols will be addressed through the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity, using the existing sanctioning considerations found in the Student Handbook, including a review of the potential impact based on the nature and severity of the incident, which may support an enhanced sanction. This also applies to both unofficial on- and off-campus parties.

SPRING EVENTS

Vanderbilt will follow a phased approach with restrictions on in-person meetings and social events. Guidelines for the spring will be dependent on the success of the fall semester and subject to broader university guidelines and greater Davidson County guidelines at that time.

Vanderbilt University’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be rooted in safety for staff, faculty, students, invited guests (e.g., contractors), and the public with whom we interact. The health and well-being of our community are critical.

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY PUBLIC SAFETY

Vanderbilt University Public Safety (VUPS) is committed to the safety of students, faculty and staff. The people within VUPS work diligently to maintain a safe and secure campus, and they are committed to doing so with the utmost care and compassion and under the highest standards of conduct.

More than 300 staff serve in the department, which includes 100 police officers, 135 community service officers and 80 security personnel. The department also continues to protect members of our campus community during the pandemic.

CORE Committee

The Community Oriented Result and Expectation (CORE) Committee continues to meet to make recommendations to the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) regarding safety and security on campus. The committee discusses issues including suspected bias, VUPD’s ongoing community relations efforts, police accountability and transparency, pedestrian and bicycle safety and other traffic concerns, and the handling of significant events and incidents on campus while addressing concerns and planning solutions for those issues. 

Representation on this committee includes the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Multicultural Leadership Council, the Graduate Student Council, Vanderbilt Student Government, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, the Office of Residential Education, the Faculty Senate, the Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response, the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, the Office of LGBTQI Life, Athletics, International Student and Scholar Services, a community/neighborhood representative, the University Staff Advisory Council (USAC), the Division of Communications, the Office of Risk and Insurance Management, and the Office of the General Counsel.

Vanderbilt Athletics’ plan for returning to campus is guided by the university’s Return to Campus and Return to Classes Plans. The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff are paramount. Athletics will follow a staged approach that relies on a diversity of expertise and broad collaboration with the NCAA, SEC, university leadership, health experts and others, and will adhere to local public health guidelines and protocols, as well as university specific mandates.

Student-athletes will return to campus in stages to allow for a transition period for medical clearance, accommodation of new protocols, and adequate time for education and reinforcement of new norms. We will use data to inform next steps. The plan is flexible and allows for sport-specific adaptation.

The Return to Campus Plan for Vanderbilt Athletics includes:

  • COVID-19 testing and pre-participation physicals
  • Daily screening and symptom monitoring
  • Enhanced disinfecting protocols
  • Locker rooms closed
  • Virtual team meetings
  • Face mask/covering and physical distancing protocols

Athletics Return to Campus Stage A:

  • Football will be the first sport to return to campus.
  • Football players will begin voluntary workouts in June with limited Athletics staff on site (SEC regulations permit voluntary workouts starting June 8), in alignment with Vanderbilt’s Phase 2 launch.
  • Activities will ramp up throughout the summer, and on-site coaching and staffing will expand as allowed by the university guidelines.
  • Preseason practice is expected to begin in early August.

This plan is flexible, and adjustments will be made as necessary, based on data.

Every patron visiting the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt bookstore located at 2525 West End Avenue is required to wear a face mask/covering. Follow directional signage and stand on decals signifying 6 feet of distance from the person in front and behind while in line.

PHASE 2 (CURRENT) DINING OPERATIONS

During Phase 2, Rand walk-in dining has ended and has switched to online ordering/meal delivery only. Meals must be ordered the day before via the GET app. Residential student pick-up location is at Highland Quad. Faculty and staff pick-up location is at Rand. Follow directional and physical distancing signage during pick-up to ensure paths do not cross and physical distancing is always maintained.

Students

  • Pre-ordered breakfast pick-up times: Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
  • Pre-ordered lunch pick-up times: Monday–Friday from noon to 12:15 p.m.
  • Pre-ordered dinner pick-up times: Monday–Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • Pre-ordered brunch pick up times: Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.

Faculty and Staff

  • Pre-ordered lunch pick-up times: Monday–Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

FALL SEMESTER DINING

Campus Dining is adapting its operations to the new reality of physical distancing, enhanced sanitization protocols, and modified service style. While our dining facilities may look different, know that our focus on the safety and well-being of the Vanderbilt community has never been stronger.

Despite the myriad challenges posed by this public health event, Campus Dining is fully committed to providing a wide variety of healthy and nutritious meal options to the Vanderbilt community. In addition to a network of residential dining halls, retail markets, and cafes, we are proud to announce the following enhancements to our dining program for the 2020-2021 academic year:

  • The Nicholas S. Zeppos College dining hall will be opening in August 2020 and adds another option to the Vanderbilt West End neighborhood.
  • Broad expansion of mobile ordering options, including all Munchie Mart convenience stores and Suzie’s Cafes. Students will have the option to use meals or meal money in these locations. Options include a rotating menu of chef-inspired sandwiches, wraps, and healthy bowls, in addition to market and convenience items.
  • To further support physical distancing efforts, and to reduce congestion in high-traffic dining halls, Campus Dining Pick-up Spots will be located in key places across campus; students can order meals online, then pick up at a convenient location.
  • Students can use their Meal Money or Commodore Cash to purchase food at any one of the Taste of Nashville partner restaurants, all located near campus. In addition, Campus Dining will host a rotation of food trucks on a daily basis, further adding value and variety to a student’s Meal Money or Commodore Cash.

Ranked #7 Best Campus Food, 2020 by the Princeton Review, Vanderbilt Campus Dining serves up a globally-inspired menu, with exciting new cuisines and healthy options that support a diverse array of dietary preferences and restrictions. Our award-winning chefs are proud to offer a comprehensive meal plan that supports community, sustainability and healthy living.

Meal plans are available to all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff. All Vanderbilt students living on campus are required to participate in a meal plan based on their cohort year. See below for meal plan components and rates for the 13-week semester between August 24 and November 20.

FIRST-YEARSSOPHOMORESJUNIORSSENIORS
The 21 PlanThe 19 PlanThe 19 PlanThe 14 Plan
21 on-campus meals per week19 on-campus meals per week19 on-campus meals per week14 on-campus meals per week
$ 225 Meal Money per semester$ 275 Meal Money per semester$ 275 Meal Money per semester$ 325 Meal Money per semester
$ 2,686 per semester$ 2,666 per semester$ 2,666 per semester$ 2,385 per semester

Nonresidential students, including undergraduates opting out of on-campus housing, will have the ability to purchase any of the above meal plans, but will not be required to do so. In addition, nonresidential students, faculty, and staff have the option to purchase flex meals which are prepaid blocks of meals, redeemable at any Campus Dining location.

These are unprecedented times, and terms such as “physical distancing” and “the new normal” have become part of our everyday lexicon. Vanderbilt, like most institutions, has adapted in significant and profound ways. What won’t change, however, is our commitment to clean, safe dining facilities, convenient dining options, and excellent-quality food. As an integral component of campus life, Campus Dining takes pride in fueling our students’ academic pursuits, and we look forward to serving you soon.

Campus Dining is committed to meeting the dining needs of all residential students, regardless of disability or dietary restrictions/allergies. With limited exceptions due to physical distancing requirements and modified circulation plans, our dining halls will remain accessible for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

To maintain maximum physical distancing, the initial phase of Campus Dining’s reopening plan does not include seating in dining halls. Meals will be served to-go style, to be eaten in academic or residential areas. In close collaboration with campus partners, Campus Dining is currently exploring alternate seating models utilizing flexible outdoor spaces.

FOOD PICKUP TIMES

Students will preorder and specify a 15 minute pickup window, convenient to their unique class schedule. This is similar to how mobile ordering functions at The Pub and Local Java under normal circumstances. Campus Dining is currently working through details on timing for ordering food. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Every patron visiting Station B to collect or send package(s)/mail will be required to wear a face mask/covering. The entrance to the operation is through the Rand door, while exit will be accommodated via the fire lane side facing Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. While standing in line, stand on decals signifying six feet of distance from the person in front and behind.

Campus buildings and exterior spaces will include signage that should be followed by community members at all times. This includes directional and physical distancing signage signifying flow and where people should stand, as well as informational signage regarding protocols in the Return to Campus Plan.

Examples of the signage community members will see on campus are outlined below.

Accessible Route Signage

 

Accessible route signage

Accessible Route: Sidewalk stickers that signify accessible routes around campus

 

GENERAL ROUTE SIGNAGE

 

Left turn arrow

Left turn:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should turn left.

 

 

Right turn arrow

Right turn:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should turn right.

 


 

Roundabout

 

Roundabout:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should walk counterclockwise to maintain physical distancing.

 

Exterior Signage

 

Dismount and walk your bike signage

Dismount & Walk:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing when you should dismount and walk your bike or scooter

 

General etiquette and protocols

 

General Etiquette:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing general etiquette and safety protocols

 


 

Lawn etiquette and protocols

Lawn Etiquette:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing lawn etiquette and safety protocols

 

6 foot distance signage

6” Distance:
Sidewalk stickers marking 6” distance between two points

 


 

One way signage

One Way Only:
Sidewalk stickers and sandwich boards showing one way routes

 

Entry/Exit Building Signage

 

Entrance only signage

Entrance Only:
Building signs showing entrances to buildings

 

Exit only signage

Exit Only:
Building signs showing exits to buildings

 


 

 No entry sign

No Entry:
Building signs showing areas where you should NOT enter

 

Yield to others sign

Yield:
Sandwich boards and building signs reminding individuals to yield and maintain 6’ distance from others

 

General Signage

 

General break space protocols

Break Space Guidelines:
Posters outlining main break space protocols

 

Disinfection Guidelines:
Posters outlining disinfection protocols for both public and private spaces

 


 

Elevator Guidelines:
Posters outlining elevator protocols that will be placed outside and inside elevators

 

Face mask/covering protocols

Face Mask/Covering Guidelines:
Posters outlining protocols for face masks/coverings

 


 

Meeting and conference room protocols

Meeting/Conference Room Guidelines:
Posters outlining meeting and conference room protocols

 

General guidelines to slow COVID-19 spread

Help Slow the Spread:
Posters reminding the general public how to slow the spread

 


 

Restroom guidelines

Restroom Guidelines:
Posters outlining restroom protocols that will be placed near restrooms.

 

RESEARCH Signage

Signage specific for research spaces on campus can be found on the Research at VU website.

Entry to buildings will be regulated and monitored in alignment with ACHA guidance. Where applicable, your Vanderbilt card/badge is required for entry to all buildings, and you may not hold or prop open exterior doors for any other person. After entering a building, sanitize your hands at the nearest sanitizer station and follow signage and all physical distancing guidelines outlined herein.

The university will identify suitable building access points. In alignment with CDC employer guidance, where appropriate, departments and building coordinators should attempt to coordinate arrival and departure times of faculty, staff, postdocs and students to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of a day’s schedule. For example, staff arrival and departures should be scheduled in 15-minute increments to reduce personal interactions at building access points, hallways, stairs/elevators, etc. Staggered schedules should be considered for lunch and break times.

Once you have been authorized to return to campus, you should arrive and depart campus through the designated building access points. Staff should also report at the designated time, where applicable, to limit the number of people entering and exiting buildings at any one time.

Building entrance and exit points are being mapped for every building on campus, including ADA accessible circulation. In alignment with CDC and ACHA guidance, buildings will include signage and visual markers, including directional signage signifying flow, physical distancing signage showing where people should stand (in certain buildings), and informational signage regarding protocols in the Return to Campus Plan. Be mindful of following the directional signage, and be prepared to change your daily routine to adhere to the new circulation patterns. As building maps are finalized, they will be added to the list below.

Buildings in which signage and visual markers have been installed will also be noted in the list below with this symbol .

Please contact your building manager or facility officer with any questions or feedback on these plans.


BuildingSignage?
1025 16th Ave S (ISIS Labs)
1202 18th Ave S
1207 17th Ave S
17th Ave MUMS Lab
Admissions & Financial Aid
Baker Building
Benson Old Central
Biomolecular NMR
Branscomb Market - Dining
Buttrick Hall
Calhoun Hall
Center Building
Central & Divinity Libraries
Commons Dining
Cohen Memorial
Crawford
Divinity School
Drug Discovery - Cool Springs
East
E. Bronson Ingram 1st Fl Dining
E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts
Engineering Science Building (ESB)
Eskind Medical Library
Featheringill-Jacobs Hall
Furman Hall
Garland Hall
Gillette
Godchaux Hall
Godchaux Nursing Annex
Hank Ingram
Hobbs HDL
Jesup Psychology
Keck FEL
Kirkland Hall
Kissam Market - Dining
Kissam Center
LASIR at MetroCenter
Law Cafe - Dining
Law School
Memorial
Moore College
MRB III and Learned Lab
Murray
Old Gym
Olin Hall
One Magnolia Circle
Owen Graduate School of Management
Payne Hall
Peabody Administration
Peabody Library
Sony BMG
Stevenson Center Complex
The Commons Center
The Hill Center
Warren College
Wilson Hall
Wyatt Center
Vaughn Home

Maintaining space between you and others is a best practice according to the CDC and is required on the Vanderbilt campus to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Because people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others whenever possible, even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing and face mask/covering wearing is especially important for people who are at higher risk.

Everyone on campus should follow these physical distancing practices:

Physical distancing practices and face mask/covering wearing should be followed in all outdoor spaces. Appropriate use of face masks/coverings is important in minimizing risk to the wearer and those around them. A face mask/covering is not a substitute for physical distancing.

In the interest of creating a culture where health and safety are promoted and realized, face masks/coverings must be worn by all individuals on campus in public indoor settings (e.g., common workspaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, break-rooms, restrooms, etc.).

Physical distancing must be maintained at all times when outdoors. Face masks/coverings must be worn at all times when outdoors, with the following limited exceptions:

  1. While engaged in vigorous outdoor recreation, such as biking or running, so long as physical distancing is maintained at all times including with those walking on campus paved paths, sidewalks, plazas
  2. While actively engaged in eating/drinking outdoors, so long as physical distancing is maintained
  3. While outdoors and sitting in one spot, so long as physical distancing is maintained

Goals for outdoor spaces on campus include:

  • Creating an environment that maximizes safety and legibility while moving through campus
  • Making it possible on major routes to maintain a 6-foot distance while moving through campus
  • Using minimally invasive, maximally effective techniques
  • Designing all indoor and outdoor circulation plans with accessibility and mobility needs in mind

Wayfinding will be phased in aligned with the Vanderbilt Return to Campus phases. This allows for the university to observe and adjust. The university is aiming to give people room and give people time to react.

The “Gold Path” network is a planning concept Vanderbilt is using to focus its wayfinding and signage efforts and coordinate with similar efforts within buildings. Paths designated as part of the “Gold Path” represent commonly used pedestrian paths. As the community continues to return to campus, the university will place its signage and monitoring efforts on these corridors.

Signage has been prepared aligned with CDC and ACHA guidance and will be placed along the “Gold Path” network. Be mindful to follow the directional signage and be prepared to change your daily routine to adhere to the new circulation patterns.

The following map shows the “Gold Path” network for the current university Phase 2.  Parking locations are noted with non-colored circles and popular destinations with colored circles. Major circulation routes are noted in gold.

 

We are following developments in decision making regarding local public schools and childcare facilities closely and will develop contingency plans around different potential outcomes. On Monday, June 8, the State of Tennessee Department of Education issued guidance on reopening schools. On Tuesday, June 9, Metro Nashville Public Schools issued its plan for the upcoming academic year.

In response, we plan to convene a group of faculty and staff to determine how we need to inform our approaches as local school leaders formulate plans for the upcoming school year. This is now one of our top priorities. Vanderbilt Child and Family Center Executive Director Kathleen Seabolt and incoming Faculty Senate vice chair Ben Harris will lead a working group on this topic.

If you have been impacted by the closing of schools and childcare facilities, please share with us your feedback or concerns by completing this form. We welcome engagement from faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate/professional students.

If obtaining food from dining sites on campus, you should wear your face mask/covering when picking it up. In alignment with ACHA guidance, if you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Eating alone is encouraged. Observe occupancy limits, and avoid crowding of break rooms. Remove your face mask/covering only in order to eat, then put it back on. Wipe down the table and chair you used once you are done. Common break room food and beverage items should not be used (e.g., shared coffee pots, shared water pitchers, etc.). Reusable kitchenware (e.g., forks, plates) should not be used and should be replaced with disposable options.

MEETINGS

Based on CDC college and university and ACHA guidance, convening in groups carries a high risk of viral transmission. Gathering sizes are governed by university restrictions determined at each phase. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or in part using online collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom). When allowed, in-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of gathering sizes, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation for physical distancing requirements. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables (e.g., consider staggering seats) or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support physical distancing practices between attendees. During your time on site, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, Skype messenger, telephone or other technology. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom).

GATHERINGS

Vanderbilt is currently in phase 2 of its ramp-up, and gatherings up to 10 people are allowed as long as CDC-recommended physical distancing can be maintained, and safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings) are followed. Changes to gathering size restrictions will be communicated as the university continues to ramp up operations and prior to the start of the fall semester. Changes will be evaluated based on state, city and health guidance.

A definition of gatherings will be available in July.

If you drive to and park on campus, you will be required to have a parking permit; violations are subject to fines and towing. If you need to purchase a campus parking permit, please contact Parking Services. Learn about additional transportation options available to you on the MoveVU website. Once you exit your car, please follow physical distancing and face mask/covering guidelines.

Based on CDC transportation guidance, if you must take public transportation, wear a face mask/covering before entering the bus or train, space out as much as possible, and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol as soon as possible. Through Vanderbilt’s recently expanded EasyRide program, full-time and part-time faculty, staff and students are eligible for free rides on all WeGo Public Transit local and regional buses and the WeGo Star train. Swipe your ID card to ride on buses and show your ID card on train. View WeGo’s enhanced modified service plan at WeGoTransit.com.

Based on CDC employer guidance, elevator usage should ensure physical distancing is achieved. Using stairs whenever possible will assist vertical circulation given that elevator capacities may be challenged. If you are using the elevator, wear your face mask/covering and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol upon departing the elevator. Custodial crews will be wiping down elevator buttons more frequently during the day.

Restroom usage should ensure physical distancing is achieved. This may require the use of signage to indicate when a restroom is occupied.

  • Wear a face mask/covering.
  • Wait outside the restroom in a physically distanced line until physical distancing inside the restroom can be achieved.
  • Avoid touching your face after touching door handles.
  • Wash with soap or sanitize your hands after using the restroom.

We are considering VandyRide options for the upcoming academic year that will allow us to provide late night transportation service to students following safety protocols. Plans will be finalized by August 24.

If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from any others. Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, consider staggering chairs or desks to achieve 6 feet of distance. You should wear a face mask/covering at all times while in a shared workspace/room. You should use your own computer, phone, headset and equipment, and not use colleagues’ equipment.

Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees and other co-workers such as:

  • Placing visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape or signs to indicate where people should stand while waiting
  • Placing one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between employees moving through the space
  • Removing shared resources (e.g., community pen holders and pens, magazines in main office areas, etc.)

If you work in a personal office, no more than one person should be in the office unless the required six feet of distance can be consistently maintained. If more than one person is in a room, face masks/coverings should be worn at all times.

Face masks/coverings must be worn by every person in a reception/receiving area. Face masks/coverings protocols should be followed at all times.