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The Commons Center

The Commons Center

The Commons Center is the community crossroads of The Ingram Commons living and learning community. It has it all: the Dining Hall and great food; a living room with a concert grade grand piano, and the occasional live musical performance; a small rec room with cardio equipment, free weights, and weight machines; meeting and study rooms; and academic support services like the Writing Studio, the Career Center, and the CASPAR premajor advising center. Students from across campus come here for a meal, a quiet place to study, an event, or a meeting with a professor. The third floor of The Commons Center is the home of the Department of Political Science.

From the lights to the layout, The Commons Center was designed to be extremely eco-friendly and efficient. The building has been awarded a Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

For more information about Vanderbilt’s sustainability efforts, visit FutureVU. Click on the links below to navigate and learn more about different campus services and resources offered in The Commons Center.


Located in Suite 225 of The Commons Center, the College of Arts and Science Pre-major Academic Advising Resource office (CASPAR) provides academic advice, information, and support to all students in the College of Arts and Science until they declare a major.  CASPAR advisers help students make sense of incoming credit, interpret academic requirements, select appropriate courses, develop a workable schedule each semester, and make long-term plans for a successful college career and beyond.  CASPAR advisers also help students identify other campus resources that will encourage their academic success at Vanderbilt – like the Writing Studio just down the hall. For more information on CASPAR, visit their website.

The Dining Hall

The dining hall is a meeting place for students from all ten houses. By day, natural light flows through five skylights and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows as students enjoy their meals from the nationally recognized Food Gallery.

The dining hall isn’t limited to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has served as venue to dozens of concerts, and is the home of each year’s Commons Ball. Beyond its role in the social fabric of The Ingram Commons, the dining hall is open to students all night, every night as a group collaboration and study space.
View more information on today’s menu or the Dining Hall hours >

Commons Fitness Center

The Commons Center exercise room offers students a convenient place for both cardiovascular and anaerobic exercise. The facility features:

  • Treadmills
  • Stationary bikes
  • Elliptical trainers
  • Sci-fit Full Body Machine
  • Free weights
  • Weight machines
  • Rowing machines
  • Powermill
  • Exercise and medicine balls
  • Stretching and ab area

The exercise room is open 24 hours Monday – Thursday.  Closes at 11pm on Friday.  Saturday open 9am – 11pm.  Sunday opens at 9am.  Hours vary during nonacademic periods.

Post Office

The Commons Center is home to a full-service USPS branch.  All first-year students are assigned a mailbox, though it is located in Station B in Rand. To send mail to a current first-year student, use the following address format (you must get the four-digit PMB number directly from the student):

Student Name
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-XXXX

The Commons Center satellite branch handles incoming and outgoing mail, campus mail, metered mail, and packages for Vanderbilt offices. This location also offers: stamp sales, express mail, certified mail, registered mail, insured mail, parcel post, international mail, global priority, after-hours drop boxes, and transferred package pick-up from Station B for residents of The Commons.

Additional VU Mail Services information is available here.

The Writing Studio

The Writing Studio’s satellite office in Commons Center Room 217 is one of several convenient spaces on campus where you can connect with our writing consultants—many of them your peers—as readers and resources for your college writing.

Your writing and your voice matters. Whether you are drafting a course paper, podcast, presentation, personal statement, creative piece, or any other project that involves writing, a one-on-one appointment with the Writing Studio is available at no cost to students and will provide you with constructive feedback on your project as well as opportunities to sharpen your skills and continue your growth as a writer. Come at any stage in your writing process—from brainstorming to revision, editing, and final polish—and our writing consultants will be ready to assist you in reaching your writing goals.


Hours for Commons Center 217 (satellite office)*

Sundays 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Mondays 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tuesdays 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm


*Additional writing consultations are available Sunday through Friday each week—at multiple in-person locations and online—as early as 9:00 am and as late as 10:00 pm.

To reserve a 50-minute appointment at any location up to 7 days in advance, follow the “Schedule an Appointment” link on the Writing Studio website:


Online Resources and Special Events

Through the Writing Studio website students can access a wide selection of handouts and resources for college-levels writers as well as the digital collection Scaffold: A Showcase of Vanderbilt First-Year Writing. The Writing Studio also hosts special events throughout the academic year.

To learn more, visit Get to Know the Writing Studio: Undergraduate Edition.

Tutoring Services at Commons Fireside Lounge

At the Commons Fireside Lounge, a limited number of tutors will hold an hour long Weekly Learning Roundtable group session in CHEM 1601 for a maximum of ten students. This will be followed by an hour of drop-in sessions for a wider selection of courses, not necessarily just CHEM 1601 students, and is capped at a maximum of five students. These drop-in hour sessions are designed to allow for individual questions that a student may have for the tutor in a quick question setting.

  • Sundays 6:00 – 8:00pm with Mike (CHEM 1601 Roundtable + Drop-In Hour)
  • Mondays 7:00 – 9:00 with Rishik (CHEM 1601 Roundtable + Drop-In Hour)
  • Wednesdays 7:00 – 9:00 with Nathan (CHEM 1601 Roundtable + Drop-In Hour)

Career Center

The Career Center offers frequent pop-up drop-ins and workshops in the Commons Center for first and second-year undeclared students. We want to give students a chance to utilize all the resources of the Career Center without having to leave The Commons. Our goal is to assist you in reflecting on what you know about your interests, skills, and dreams; what you cannot know about the unplanned events and unforeseen conditions of the future; and what you can learn to put yourself in the best position to combat adversity and find personal fulfillment. We seek to accomplish these goals through workshops focused on career exploration, resume/cover letter review, interview preparation, job and internship search, and other large-scale events. First-year students are encouraged to visit Career Coaches during pop-up drop-in hours which will be advertised throughout the semester.

Hours for Commons Center 217 (satellite office)

Wednesdays (bi-weekly) 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (9/7, 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 11/30, 12/14)

The Career Center has one Career Coach dedicated to serving first-year students: Alexis Coulter (