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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:

  • 8 Treadmills
  • 2 Stationary bikes
  • 6 Elliptical trainers
  • 1 Ergometer
  • 1 Sci-fit Full Body Machine
  • Free weights
  • Weight machines
  • Rowing machine
  • Stairmaster
  • Exercise and medicine balls
  • Stretching and ab area
  • Ping pong tables

The exercise room is open 6 am – 11:30 pm Monday through Sunday during academic 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 fosters conversation, collaboration, and critical reflection on writing. Open to all members of Vanderbilt’s scholarly community, the Studio provides opportunities to receive constructive feedback from trained consultants and to develop strategies for all stages of the writing process.

Located in the academic support space in room 217, the Writing Studio is open for individual appointments weekly. The Studio also hosts special events throughout the academic year. For more information about the Studio, click here.

Career Center

The Career Center in Room 217 of The Commons Center offers first- and second-year undeclared 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 individual coaching appointments focused on career exploration, resume/cover letter review, mock interview preparation, job and internship search, as well as through larger programs such as Professional Development Workshops, Networking Events with VU Alumni, Career Fairs, and more.

First-year students are encouraged to visit The Commons Career Center during the walk-in hours listed below, or they may schedule an appointment during the general office hours through Handshake. Students are able to join Handshake using the following link:

Wednesday – Thursday 

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, CST

The Commons Center, Room 217

Additionally, the Career Center is proud to have two Career Coaches dedicated to serving first-year students. Schedule an introductory appointment via Handshake with your assigned Career Coach or drop in during our walk-in hours to get started.

Alexis Coulter ( – Career Coach for first-year students living in East, Hank Ingram, Memorial, North, and Sutherland Houses

Christopher Stockdale ( – Career Coach for first-year students living in Crawford, Gillette, Murray, Stambaugh, and West Houses

More information about the Career Center is available here.