Chapter 1: University Policies and Regulations
Address and Name Change / Aerial Devices, “Unmanned” (Drones) / Alcohol: See Chapter 6 / Assistance Animals / Athletics, Student / Communications, Official University / Complaint and Grievance Procedures / Computer Privileges and Responsibilities / Conduct: See Chapter 3 / Copyright Infringement / Dining / Discrimination: See Chapter 8 / Fees, Student Services & Student Health / Financial Aid, Student / Financial Responsibility / Hoverboards & Urban Mobility Devices / Identification Card / Mail Services / Missing Student Notification Policy / Name and Logos / Nonacademic Undergraduate Class Designation / Parking and Transportation / Police Department, Vanderbilt University / Political Activity / Protection of Minors / Recreation and Wellness Center, David Williams II / Refunds of Tuition and Residence Hall Charges / Religious Holy Days & Practices / Residential Requirement / Sexual Misconduct: See Chapter 7 / Smoke-Free Campus / Solicitation: See Chapter 5 / Student Access / Student Records (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) / Student Spouse Privileges and International Student Same-Sex Domestic Partner Registration and Privileges / Student Wellbeing / Study Abroad / Technology and Literary and Artistic Works / Universal Waiver / University Calendar / Vanderbilt Visions
NOTE: During the 2021-2022 academic year, the University will be establishing and operating under guidelines and protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which may change over time in light of the evolving nature of the pandemic. These guidelines and protocols will be communicated to students through other mechanisms and not through the Student Handbook. Students are expected to abide by any and all University guidelines and protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In some circumstances, these guidelines and protocols may supersede provisions in the Student Handbook.
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 provide 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 either the Office of the University Registrar or the offices of academic services within their respective schools, 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) and selecting the Personal Information link.
Students who wish to change any part of their names as they appear in the student information system must provide official documentation supporting the requested change to the Office of the University Registrar. More information on name changes may be found on the Office of the University Registrar's website.
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Aerial Devices, “Unmanned” (Drones)
The University prohibits students from operating or using unmanned aerial devices (commonly called drones) on campus. Students seeking exceptions for the use of such devices in teaching or research may apply to the Provost’s office. Students seeking exceptions for use of such devices for co-curricular purposes may apply to the Office of the Dean of Students.
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Vanderbilt University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended (ADA) in allowing use of Service Animals for students. Emotional Support Animals may also be used if approved as a reasonable accommodation. Vanderbilt University complies with the Fair Housing Act in allowing students the use of Emotional Support Animals that are approved as a reasonable accommodation. This policy applies only to a) Service Animals and b) approved Emotional Support Animals that are documented with Student Access and the Office of Housing and Residential Experience. Emotional Support Animals are not permitted in University residences prior to approval from Student Access and completion of all other required steps, as outlined below.
Service Animal: A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition. Other species of animals, other than miniature horses, are not considered service animals for the purposes of this definition.
Emotional Support Animal: An emotional support animal is any animal that provides emotional support, well-being, or companionship that alleviates or mitigates symptoms of an individual’s disability. The animal need not be individually trained. Emotional support animals are not limited to dogs and can be other species of animal. Emotional support animals are not considered service animals.
Handler: A person with a service or emotional support animal.
Qualifying to Have a Service or Emotional Support Animal On Campus
Service Animals are permitted on campus and in University residences when:
- The Handler has a disability as defined by the ADA; and
- The accompanying Service Animal is trained to do a specific task for the Handler.
- If the Handler is living on campus, the Handler must provide to the Office of Housing and Residential Experience proof of the animal's current vaccination and registration in Davidson County, TN as required by state and local law.
Emotional Support Animals are permitted in University residences when:
- The Handler has a disability as defined by the ADA;
- The Handler provides Student Access with reliable documentation of their disability and their disability-related need for the animal (NOTE: Generally, documentation from mental health care professionals who have had only limited encounters with the student specifically intended to produce an Emotional Support Animal letter is not considered reliable as the professional-client relationship will often lack diagnostic rigor and the level of familiarity with the functional limitations arising from the diagnosis to support robust recommendations.);
- Once the animal has been approved by Student Access as an Emotional Support Animal, Student Access will notify the Handler and the Office of Housing and Residential Experience of the approval. A representative from the Office of Housing and Residential Experience will contact the Handler to provide necessary documentation, including, but not limited to, current vaccination and registration records.
For Service Animals on campus and in University residences, the Handler is responsible for:
- attending to and being in full control of the Service Animal at all times. A Service Animal must have a harness, leash, or other tether unless: a) the Handler is unable to use a harness, leash or tether; or b) using a harness, leash, or tether will interfere with the animal’s ability to safely and effectively perform its duties.
- the costs of care necessary for a Service Animal’s well-being. The arrangements and responsibilities for the care of a Service Animal are the sole responsibility of the Handler at all times, including regular bathing and grooming, as needed.
- independently removing or arranging for the removal of the Service Animal’s waste.
- complying with local and state licensing laws for animal rights and Handler responsibilities. Service Animals should be current with immunizations and wear a rabies vaccination tag.
- paying for any damage to University property caused by the animal.
- NOTE: The University may prohibit the use of Service Animals in certain locations due to health and safety restrictions or potential danger to the animal. Restricted areas may include, but are not limited to, food preparation areas, research laboratories, boiler rooms, and other areas prohibited by law.
For Emotional Support Animals in University residences, the Handler is responsible for:
- keeping the animal within their residence hall room. Emotional Support Animals are not permitted in University buildings, other than the Handler’s residence hall unless approved as a separate accommodation by Student Access. Emotional Support Animals are only permitted on campus where other animals are allowed. In shared living spaces, the Emotional Support Animal should be in an appropriate container if the Handler is not in the room with the animal.
- attending to and being in full control of the Emotional Support Animal when transporting the animal for elimination. The Emotional Support Animal must have a harness, leash, tether, or be transported in an appropriate enclosure whenever it is outside of the residence hall room where it is housed.
- the costs and care necessary for the Emotional Support Animal’s well-being. The arrangements and responsibilities for the care of an Emotional Support Animal are the sole responsibility of the Handler at all times, including regular bathing and grooming, as needed.
- independently removing or arranging for the removal of the Emotional Support Animal’s waste.
- complying with local and state licensing laws for animal rights and Handler responsibilities. Emotional Support Animals should be current with immunizations and wear a rabies vaccination tag if appropriate.
- not leaving the Emotional Support Animal unattended for an unreasonable length of time. Emotional Support Animals must leave campus with the Handler if the Handler leaves overnight and during all University breaks, if the Handler leaves campus.
- paying for any damage to University property or pest treatment caused by the animal.
- notifying Student Access and the Office of Housing and Residential Experience if the Emotional Support Animal is no longer needed.
Community Disruptions by Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals
First Complaint: The Handler will receive a warning from the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, & Academic Integrity (Student Accountability). The Handler will rectify the situation and correct the behavior.
Second Complaint: Student Accountability, Student Access, and the Office of Housing and Residential Experience will conduct further assessment of the situation and the extent of impact to the community, and the Handler will be referred to Student Accountability. The Handler will rectify the situation and correct the behavior.
Third Complaint: The Handler will be referred to Student Accountability and will remove the animal from campus.
NOTE: Depending on the severity of the incident, the Handler may be referred to Student Accountability and the animal may be removed from campus immediately without proceeding through the steps outlined above.
Service Animals in Training
Tennessee state law (Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-7-112) provides that persons accompanied by a dog guide in training may not be refused entrance to a place of public accommodation for the reason that the dog guide trainer is being led or accompanied by a dog guide in training, provided:
- the dog guide in training, when led or accompanied by a dog guide trainer, is wearing a harness and is held on a leash by the dog guide trainer or, when led or accompanied by a dog guide trainer, is held on a leash by the dog guide trainer; and
- the dog guide trainer has first presented for inspection credentials issued by an accredited school for training dog guides.
Service animals in training cannot be in residence halls or be present in other areas of campus except those places where all students are welcome to bring pets unless accompanied by a dog guide trainer.
For more information on service animals and emotional support animals, please contact Student Access at 615-343-9727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Vanderbilt University competes in varsity athletics at the highest level sanctioned by the NCAA (Division I) within the highly regarded Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Commodores have experienced unprecedented success across its various sports, having garnered dozens of conference championships and five national championships. Vanderbilt fields 16 intercollegiate sports programs: football, baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s bowling (in the Southland Conference), men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s lacrosse (in the American Athletic Conference), women’s soccer, women’s swimming, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field.
During the 2020/2021 academic year, approximately 350 student-athletes competed in varsity athletics at Vanderbilt. Further information regarding Student Athletics can be found on their website or by calling 615-322-6085.
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Communications, Official University
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: email@example.com. 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.
Colleges and schools have additional policies regarding confidential communications initiated with the YES (Your Enrollment System) communications tool. These policies may be found in their respective catalogs.
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.
See also the "Student Computing Policy" in the Enrollment Bulletin.
Complaint and Grievance Procedures
Scope of Policy
Certain decisions and student concerns are excluded from the Complaint and Grievance Procedures. Some student concerns may be addressed through other processes at the University. The following categories, for example, are excluded from the Complaint and Grievance Procedures:
- Decisions of the Appellate Review Board and the Appellate Officers for Sexual Misconduct;
- Treatment plans, decisions, and recommendations related to medical care, mental health and wellbeing, and care coordination by, for example, the University Counseling Center, the Office of Student Care Coordination, and the Center for Student Wellbeing;
- Student concerns regarding the results of the housing assignment process;
- Student concerns regarding the content of a University policy, which should be directed to the head of the appropriate administrative area;
- Eligibility determinations and other matters exclusively within the purview of the Department of Athletics;
- Financial Aid award decisions;
- Accommodations for students requested through Student Access;
- Allegations of discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation based on a protected status under the Student Discrimination Policy;
- Allegations of violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Intimate Partner Violence Policy and related retaliation, as well as student concerns regarding interim measures under the policy;
- Issues related to a student’s employment at Vanderbilt University;
- Student concerns regarding matters addressed under the Policy on Technology and Literary and Artistic Works; and
- Decisions of external governing bodies.
A student or former student who has a complaint about the performance, action, or inaction of a member of the staff or faculty affecting the student during the period of their enrollment may utilize this process unless the complaint is addressed through another process at the University, such as the examples above. Students uncertain about whether the complaint process should be utilized and/or the steps in the process outlined below are encouraged to seek advice from the Office of the Dean of Students. A student who wishes to have a complaint addressed by the University should:
Direct a complaint as soon as possible, but not later than ninety (90) days after the event, to the person or persons whose actions or inactions have given rise to the complaint. If the complaint is in writing, it must be no more than ten (10) double-spaced pages with one (1) inch margins and twelve (12) point font and may include attachment
- The person or persons notified of the complaint should make every effort to resolve the problem fairly and promptly (usually within thirty (30) days) at this level and must issue a written decision to the student.
- If this interaction would give rise to a possible concern related to safety or retaliation, the student may submit a written complaint directly to the chair or department head of the appropriate academic or administrative unit within the ninety-day period that meets the requirements outlined above.
- If the complaint involves allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or related retaliation based on a protected status, as defined in other sections of the Student Handbook, this step is not appropriate and the complaint should be directed to the Title IX and Student Discrimination Office.
Should the student and the person or persons notified of the complaint be unable to resolve the complaint satisfactorily, the student may appeal the decision in writing within thirty (30) days to the chair or department head, or other designated individual of the appropriate academic or administrative unit. The appeal must be no more than five (5) double-spaced pages with one (1) inch margins and twelve (12) point font and may include attachments, including the original complaint and associated documentation. The person to whom the appeal is directed may grant exceptions to these length and formatting requirements or give the student additional time to conform the complaint to the requirements. The chair or department head will request any relevant documentation from the process below. The chair or department head should make every effort to resolve the appeal promptly and fairly (usually within thirty (30) days) at this level and must issue a written decision to the student.
Should the appeal not be resolved satisfactorily with the chair or department head, the student may further appeal the decision in writing within thirty (30) days to the next level within the academic or administrative unit all the way up to and including the Vice Chancellor (a graduate student should seek the assistance of both the dean of the relevant school and the dean of the Graduate School). The appeal at each level must be no more than five (5) double-spaced pages with one (1) inch margins and twelve (12) point font and may include attachments, including the original complaint and documentation from each prior step in the process. The person to whom the appeal is directed may grant exceptions to these length and formatting requirements or give the student additional time to conform the complaint to the requirements.
- At each level, the relevant administrator will confirm that the student has exhausted the options below before reviewing the appeal, except where the initial complaint is submitted directly to a chair or department head due to a concern related to safety or retaliation. The administrator will also request any relevant documentation from the process below.
- At each level, the relevant administrator should make every effort to resolve the appeal promptly and fairly (usually within thirty (30) days) and must issue a written decision to the student.
The decision of the Vice Chancellor is final with the exception of complaints that are subject to the Grievance Procedure below. If the initial complaint is against a Vice Chancellor, the student may appeal to the Chancellor within the same timeframes and using formatting requirements outlined above. The Chancellor’s decision will be final.
A student or former student who believes that he/she/they has not received appropriate redress through the general Complaint Procedure or through a School or College’s specified complaint process may file a grievance on one or more of the following three grounds:
- Procedural irregularities sufficient to affect the outcome;
- New information that was not reasonably available at an earlier stage of review that could reasonably be expected to affect the outcome; or
- A clear error of judgment in the conclusion reached by a decision-maker at an earlier stage of review resulting in insufficient information to support the decision.
A student or former student must file a written grievance with the Office of the Chancellor within thirty (30) days from the completion of the Complaint Procedure. The grievance must be no more than five (5) double-spaced pages with one (1) inch margins and twelve (12) point font and may include attachments. The Office of the Chancellor may grant exceptions to these length and formatting requirements or give the student additional time to conform the complaint to the requirements.
Upon ascertaining that all avenues under the Complaint Procedure and/or through any required alternative processes have been exhausted, the Office of the Chancellor will refer the grievance to the Faculty Senate Committee on Student Life (the committee), usually within thirty (30) days during the academic year.
The parties, members of the committee, advisers, and others having knowledge of the grievance will maintain the confidence of the matter.
For consideration of grievances (i.e., preliminary assessment, meetings, etc.), a quorum, as defined in the Constitution of the Faculty Senate, of the membership of the committee will be augmented by three student members appointed by the Chancellor or designee 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.
- If a student member is unable to serve due to a conflict of interest, absence from campus, or other reason, the Committee Chair will select an alternate from the list of nominated students.
Committee members may recuse themselves if they believe their objectivity is subject to question, and the parties may request any committee member recuse himself/herself/themselves if the parties believe that a committee member will not view the grievance with sufficient objectivity. All recusals will be guided by the Conflict of Interest policy. If vacancies that affect the committee’s ability to achieve and maintain a quorum occur,
- The chair of the Faculty Senate (or the vice chair in instances where the chair is unavailable or has a conflict) will appoint Senate members to fill faculty vacancies, and
- The Committee Chair will appoint students to fill student vacancies from the list of nominated students.
Upon receiving the referral from the Office of the Chancellor, the Committee on Student Life will inform, in writing, the parties to the grievance that a preliminary assessment will take place to determine whether the grievance was timely filed, made in good faith, and falls within the scope of the Grievance Procedure.
- Prior to beginning the preliminary assessment, the committee may consult with the Office of the General Counsel or other offices regarding review processes, as deemed appropriate by the chair of the committee. During the course of the preliminary assessment and any subsequent proceedings, the committee may also consult with these offices, as needed.
- The preliminary assessment will usually be completed within thirty (30) days during the academic year.
After the preliminary assessment, if the committee determines that the grievance should move forward, the committee will inform the parties and follow procedures necessary to ensure a fair review of the matter, including the opportunity for the parties
- To submit relevant evidence and identify potential witnesses,
- To review and respond to the committee’s preliminary report as described below, and
- To have the grievance reviewed by an impartial committee using the preponderance of the evidence standard.
The parties may be assisted during the review by a member of the University community (faculty, staff, or student) who is not related to them and not trained in the law (except in cases concerning students in the Law School in which Law School faculty, staff, and students may serve as an adviser), and are encouraged to seek such assistance.
- Although all parties to the complaint are free to consult with, and receive advice from, attorneys concerning the complaint, no party may be represented by an attorney at any meeting with the committee.
All communications with the parties will be directly between the Committee Chair and the parties.
The committee may interview or request information from any individuals who it believes may be helpful as witnesses. The committee, in its sole discretion, may conduct witness interviews with the entire committee or any subset of the committee. If a witness has concerns about sharing information with the committee based on University policy, legal requirements, or privacy, the witness and/or the committee may consult with the Office of the General Counsel. If the concerns remain unresolved following consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, the witness and/or the committee may request a decision on whether the committee should have access to the requested information by the Chancellor’s designee.
The parties and witnesses are expected to respond to all inquiries and requests from the committee in accordance with any established timelines in this policy or otherwise within two (2) weeks.
After the committee’s review is complete, the committee will write a preliminary report, which
- Will include a list of witnesses and a summary of the facts and information submitted to the committee and upon which the committee plans to rely,
- Will usually be completed within ninety (90) days after the preliminary assessment during the academic year, and
- Will be shared with the parties who will have one (1) week to provide comments on and/or challenge the information included in the preliminary report (up to ten (10) double-spaced pages with one (1) inch margins and twelve (12) point font not including attachments). The committee may grant exceptions to these length and formatting requirements or give the parties additional time to conform the comments to the requirements.
The committee will review the comments submitted by the parties and will engage in further fact-finding, if necessary, before completing a final report.
The student may withdraw the grievance at any time prior to the decision of the committee.
The final report will include a list of witnesses and a summary of the facts and information submitted to the committee and upon which the committee relied, a statement of the committee’s findings, the basis for those findings, and, if necessary, recommendations for any action that should be taken. The final report will be completed within three (3) weeks of the final committee meeting.
The final report, including the vote and any dissenting statements by committee members, will be sent to the Chancellor no later than one (1) week after its completion.
The Chancellor will communicate his/her/their decision to the committee.
- In any case in which the Chancellor does not follow the decision or the recommendation of the committee, the Chancellor will report to the committee his/her/their reasons for so doing.
The Office of the Chancellor will then notify the parties and other affected persons, including the dean of the relevant school and, in the case of a graduate student, the dean of the Graduate School, in writing, of the final decision, usually within thirty (30) days of receipt of the committee’s report during the academic year.
Where the Chancellor accepts a recommendation that disciplinary action may be appropriate, the Chancellor will refer the matter to the appropriate University authority for review and a determination of appropriate disciplinary action based on the applicable disciplinary policies and procedures.
Grievance Procedures in the State of Tennessee
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.
The student has the right to call on the state of Tennessee and its appropriate agency to determine the course of action. Complaints may be filed with the following agencies in Tennessee:
- Complaints related to the application of state laws or rules related to the approval to operate or licensure of a particular professional program with a postsecondary institution may be referred to the appropriate agency (e.g., State Board of Education, Department of Health, and so on) within the Tennessee State Government and may be reviewed and handled by that licensing agency. Contact information may be found by searching for the appropriate division at http://www.tn.gov.
- Complaints related to state consumer protection laws (i.e., laws related to fraud or false advertising) may be referred to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and may be reviewed and handled by that Unity. Contact information for the Consumer Affairs Division may be found on their website.
Distance Education Complaint and Grievance Procedures
Students enrolled in distance education programs offered by Vanderbilt University in states other than Tennessee should seek resolution for complaints through Vanderbilt’s complaint procedure. Distance education students may also contact the appropriate authority in their state of residence. For further information please visit their website.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Allegations regarding noncompliance with accreditation standards, policies, and procedures may be made to SACSCOC, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097. (The Commission’s complaint policy, procedures, and the Complaint Form may be found online .)
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See also the "Student Computing Policy" in the Enrollment Bulletin.
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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 Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity, which investigates, and where appropriate, initiates the University’s accountability process consistent with University policies and regulations. Vanderbilt’s information technology privileges and responsibilities are articulated in the University’s acceptable use policy.
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.
ASCAP Music Licensing
Vanderbilt maintains a music license with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) that grants Vanderbilt the right to publicly perform (live or mechanically) nondramatic musical compositions in ASCAP’s repertory. Maintenance of this license requires that Vanderbilt furnish quarterly to ASCAP copies of all programs prepared for distribution to an audience or for Vanderbilt or a Vanderbilt department’s internal use, of musical works performed at Vanderbilt, including all encores to the extent possible.
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First-year students living on campus participate in the First-Year Meal Plan of twenty-one meals per week. Second-year students living on campus participate in the nineteen-meal-per-week plan, third-year students living on campus participate in the nineteen-meal-per-week plan, and fourth-year students living on campus participate in the fourteen-meal-per-week plan. All plans include Meal Money. Fourth-year students may upgrade to the nineteen. Undergraduates living off campus may purchase any of the meal plans offered to on-campus students and Flex Meal bundles. Graduate and professional students may purchase Flex Meals online. Detailed information on Vanderbilt Campus Dining, meal plans, and allergen or nutritional needs may be found at their website.
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All registered students are assessed the Student Services Fee and the Student Health Fee, which are set by the Vanderbilt Board of Trust and billed through the Office of Student Accounts. These fees are mandatory and cannot be removed or waived. The summer Student Services Fee and Student Health Fee are determined during the spring semester and posted accordingly to the Office of Student Accounts website where the fall and spring Student Services Fee and Student Health Fee are also listed.
Some students may receive scholarships or awards that pay all or a portion of their tuition and fees. The terms and conditions of these awards vary, and it is each student’s responsibility to understand the awards’ cost coverage. Any portion of tuition and/or fees not covered by an award remains the student’s financial responsibility.
The Student Services Fee provides financial support, based on the University’s needs, for student co-curricular interests, organizations, events, and programs, as well as student support services and resources, which may be carried out through, among others, the following entities:
- Arts and Campus Events
- Career Center
- Experience Vanderbilt
- Graduate Student Council
- Greek Life
- Office of Immersion Resources
- Office of the Dean of Students
- David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center
- Student Centers
- Student Center for Social Justice and Identity
- Student Organizations, Leadership, and Service
- Tutoring Services
- Vanderbilt Student Communications
- Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
- Writing Studio
This list is merely intended to be representative of the type of co-curricular interests, organizations, events, and programs, and student support services and resources that may be funded through the Student Services Fee. Allocations are designated each academic year to best meet the needs of the University in serving and supporting students at that time.
For the funding of student organizations, the Student Services Fee Committee is a representative student group appointed by Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) through an application process. On an annual basis, the Committee makes recommendations to the Dean of Students for allocation of the designated funds collected as Student Services Fee to registered student organizations.
The Student Health Fee provides financial support for the Student Care Network, the holistic network of services and resources pertaining to health and wellness available to Vanderbilt University students, and the Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response. The primary offices of the Student Care Network include:
- Office of Student Care Coordiantion
- Student Health Center
- University Counseling Center
- Center for Student Wellbeing
Students also have access to a wide range of additional on-campus and community resources, including telehealth services, through the Student Care Network.
The Student Health Fee may be allocated to support:
- Staffing expansions across offices
- Satellite services and targeted outreach for schools and identity centers
- Educational and programmatic initiatives
- Specialized care options
- Elimination of routine fees at offices
- Faculty and staff partnership programs
- Peer support programs
- Technology and student portal upgrades
- Physical space upgrades
- Financial and transportation assistance
- Academic LiveCare telehealth services
- Virtual offerings (e.g., Headspace, The Shrink Space, MySSP, etc.)
This list is merely intended to be representative of the type of staffing, services, and programs that may be funded through the Student Health Fee. Allocations are designated each academic year to best meet the needs of the University in serving and supporting students at that time.
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The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships provides students and parents with information and assistance in their search, and application, and processing actions regarding financial assistance (federal, state, and institutional) available at Vanderbilt. To be considered for need-based financial assistance from Vanderbilt, a student must complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid Profile. To be considered for federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Upon the student’s completing the required financial aid application materials, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will provide information regarding a student’s financial aid eligibility and any additional steps required to finalize assistance for the student. Grants, scholarships, and Federal Work Study employment opportunities are available for eligible students. Students and/or parents may also be eligible for loans, if necessary. More information about both need-based and merit-based assistance is available on the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships website.
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Tuition, fees, and all charges associated with the beginning of each semester are due and payable in full at the beginning of each term. The payment deadline for fall 2021 is August 31; for spring 2022, the payment deadline is December 31. If a student adds courses after the initial billing period, it is the student’s responsibility to inquire of the Office of Student Accounts for due dates and amounts due related to tuition in order to avoid holds and/or late payment penalties. Unless a student's account is paid on time, a 1.5% late fee (minimum $5) will be charged to the student's account. In addition, YES (Your Enrollment System) and Commodore Cash may be suspended. Payment options can be found on the Office of Student Accounts website.
All Vanderbilt University students are required to acknowledge the terms and conditions of the online Student Account Agreement when logging into the YES portal. The acceptance of these terms and conditions is mandatory, and will be required on an annual basis. Failure to agree to these terms will prevent access to the YES landing page. Once the terms have been accepted, a copy of the most recently accepted form will be available for viewing and printing within the YES portal. These terms and conditions should be read carefully.
A Guarantor Authorization and Debt Repayment Agreement allows Vanderbilt University to release pertinent financial information to the guarantor(s) listed on the form (usually the student’s parents). Without proper signatures, no financial information can be disclosed to anyone other than the student. This form can be found by following the link, above, or at the Office of Student Accounts website.
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Hoverboards & Urban Mobility Devices
The use, possession, or storage of Hoverboards, Swagways, IO Hawks, Skywalkers, and similar devices, is prohibited inside all Vanderbilt buildings and facilities, including, but not limited to, residence halls, Greek houses, student centers, academic buildings, labs, and parking structures.
The possession, charging, or storage of personal or shared urban mobility devices, including dockless bicycles, electric bicycles, electric scooters, and similar devices, is prohibited inside all Vanderbilt buildings, including, but not limited to, residence halls, Greek houses, student centers, academic buildings, and labs.
Operators of such devices on University sidewalks must yield to pedestrians and must provide audible notice of their presence in close proximity of pedestrians.
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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 (for a fee) at the Vanderbilt Card Services. Students may chose to provision their Commodore Card in a mobile wallet on Apple and Android devices. Undergraduate students may have one active contactless credential at any time (Apple iPhone plus Apple Watch are considered one). Abuse of the mobile credential may result in the student being withdrawn from the program and issued with a plastic contactless card.
Students must comply with Vanderbilt Card Services’ policy and requirements regarding photos provided for Commodore Card identification. Failure to comply with such regulations and requirements may result in the disabling of a card, and referral of non-compliant students to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity for corrective action.
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, to gain admission to campus buildings such as residences, academic buildings, libraries, athletic events and the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center, and to gain admission or record attendance at events across the campus.
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, VUprint stations 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 the Commodore Card website.
To ensure that Commodore Cash debit spending funds and access privileges can be protected, students must report lost cards as soon as possible either to Vanderbilt Card Services during business hours, online, or in the GET app. Lost cards may also be reported to the Vanderbilt University Police Department at 615-322-2745.
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 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 name and picture are on the credential. Cardholders may not lend their cards or mobile devices to anyone or ask anyone to purchase items for them with their credentials. Violation of this policy may result in the disabling of credentials and in corrective action through the University’s accountability process. 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 international student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) may obtain a family identification card from the Vanderbilt Card Services 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, or libraries.
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Undergraduate students living on campus are eligible for mail and package deliveries, free of charge, to their VU Mail Services assigned campus PMB delivery address.
Postbaccalaureate students and nonresident undergraduates may obtain a PMB delivery address at the Station B Post Office in Sarratt | Rand, and will be charged a fee. (See “Fees,” below.)
Undergraduates typically retain their VU Mail Services PMB addresses for the duration of their undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt undergraduates who subsequently enroll in graduate or professional schools at Vanderbilt may keep the originally assigned address, but will be charged a fee while in the graduate or professional program. (See “Fees,” below.)
Students who leave the University for any reason (other than short, temporary period) may not receive VU Mail Services, and should submit a change of address card to the Station B, or complete the online form on the VU Mail Services website.
Receiving illegal items or substances through VU Mail Services is prohibited. Students who use VU Mail Services improperly, or who fail to return equipment they have borrowed to transport packages, or who fail to return items delivered to them in error, will be referred to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity.
Mailing Instructions and Shipping:
University policy prohibits residential staff from accepting package deliveries at residence halls due to the lack of storage space and concerns regarding liability. For package delivery, see the paragraph on packages, below.
First-class mail is available, daily, by 10am. Students receiving mail will be sent an email with the subject “You’ve Got Mail,” and may proceed to the “Mail Pick-Up, Only” window at Station B.
Packages, parcels, boxes and mail requiring signatures are inventoried when they arrive at Station B and Peabody mail centers. Email package notification is then sent to the recipient student’s Vanderbilt email address with the subject “Package Arrival Notification” and with an indication of the location where the package may be picked up. Students may also receive packages in the automated package lockers, in which case the student will receive an email with information about the automated package locker bank and a six-digit retrieval code. Students may also use their Commodore Cards instead of the six-digit code to open the automated package lockers. Students have 24-hour access to the automated package lockers, and packages for the automated package lockers are selected on a first come, first served basis according to size. Mail service does not take requests to place packages into the automated package lockers.
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 for specific move-in instructions.
Packages will be held for five days, at which time a second-notice will be emailed. Packages will be held three additional days, and if unclaimed, returned to the sender without further notice. Refrigerated items must be clearly marked as such, will be held no longer than five 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 to or from Vanderbilt may visit either the Station B Post office or the Peabody Mail Center, or visit the Mail Services website. Students with disabilities who need assistance with packages may inquire at either location.
Undergraduates who choose to study abroad or who have authorization to reside off campus, will be charged $25 for a PMB delivery address 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 PMB address be discontinued.
- Complete a mail-forwarding card with a valid U.S. address of where mail should be 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 the charge being assessed.
Graduate and professional students who wish to be assigned a PMB address on campus may make arrangements in person at the Station B Post Office in Sarratt | Rand. The fee of $25 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.
Candidates for student offices will not be granted authorization to distribute un-addressed mail.
A complete list of policies regarding campus mail may be found on the VU Mail Services website.
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. The confidential contact will be registered confidentially and only authorized campus officials will have access to this information. This information will be disclosed to no one outside law enforcement. 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) and selecting the appropriate process.
Once the Vanderbilt University 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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Name and Logos
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 Brand Engagement and Governance. This includes all merchandise (e.g., T-shirts, mugs, uniforms) that are used for internal use, sale, or promotional giveaway. Students may contact the Office of Brand Engagement and Governance at firstname.lastname@example.org. Policy governing the use of trademarks in URLs and acquisition of domain names can be found on the VUIT website. Policy governing the use of Vanderbilt's official marks can be found on the Office of Brand Engagement and Governance website.
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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 Experience in consultation with Vanderbilt Student Government.
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Motor vehicles operated on campus by Vanderbilt University faculty, staff, and students must be registered annually with Parking Services. 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 on the Parking Services website.
Motorcycles, Motorized Bicycles, Mopeds, and Motor Scooters
As above, motorized vehicles operated on campus by Vanderbilt University faculty, staff, and students, must be registered annually with Parking Services. The operation of motorcycles, motorized bicycles, motor scooters, and mopeds on sidewalks (walkways and similar paths) is prohibited, in keeping with Tennessee Code Annotated #55-8-101. Vehicles providing for accessibility (such as motorized wheel chairs), are exempt from the prohibition if approved in advance through Student Access. Complete regulations regarding motorcycles etc., can be found on the Parking Services website.
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 bicycle under certain circumstances.
- Cyclists on roadways must ride with traffic as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or roadway edge, except under one or more of the following circumstances:
when overtaking and passing a vehicle going in the same direction,
when preparing for a left turn,
when avoiding obstacles or hazards, or
when there is a designated bicycle lane.
- Cyclists on roadways may not ride more than two abreast, and cyclists on Vanderbilt sidewalks must ride in single file.
- Cyclists riding on sidewalks must yield to pedestrians, and must provide audible notice before passing pedestrians.
- Cyclists must walk their bicycles in congested areas and when traversing pedestrian bridges.
- The bicycle speed limit on campus roads is ten miles per hour.
Registration of bicycles through Operation ID at the Vanderbilt University Police Department helps to deter theft and helps to identify the owners of bicycles that have been recovered. Bicycles may be registered online. Bicycle owners should notify Vanderbilt Police if their bicycles are stolen or if they sell their registered bicycles.
To prevent theft, U-locks 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.
Persons involved in bicycle accidents that result in personal injury should report the accidents to the Vanderbilt University Police Department.
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 Student Access, 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 University
As one of Tennessee’s larger law enforcement agencies, the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) provides comprehensive and service-oriented law enforcement and security services to all components of Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and a variety of University-owned facilities throughout Davidson County. Both non-commissioned and commissioned officers staff the department.
VUPD maintains national, international, and state level accreditations through three governing bodies: CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies), IACLEA (International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators), and TLEA (Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation).
Commissioned officers are empowered to make arrests as “Special Police,” 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, operated or otherwise controlled by Vanderbilt. Non-sworn Community Service Officers (CSO) are vital to the security operations of the department and are empowered as unarmed security guards through the Tennessee Private Protective Services Agency.
Additionally, VUPD operates a 24/7 communications center maintaining all emergency and non-emergency calls, including 9-1-1; monitoring of the Video Patrol program, intrusion and panic alarms, and blue light emergency phones. The communications center has direct radio communications with the Nashville police, fire department, and ambulance services.
When a Vanderbilt student is involved in an off-campus incident, Vanderbilt police officers may respond and 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.
Metro Nashville police have primary jurisdiction in all areas off campus, but Vanderbilt police officers are often dispatched to respond to student-related incidents that occur in close proximity to campus. Vanderbilt officers have direct radio communications with the Nashville police, fire department, and ambulance services to facilitate rapid response in any emergency situation.
VUPD offers a wide variety of services to the community described in detail on its website. Services include the following:
- Emergency notification through the AlertVU system
- Timely security notices
- Educational programming
- Emergency phones (located across the campus)
- Lost & found
- Operation ID [Register Your Possessions under the Students pull-down menu]
- Self defense (RAD) for women
- VandyRide shuttle bus system
- Victim Services support for crime victims
VandySafe is a campus safety app that allows faculty, staff, and students to communicate with VUPD for non-emergency or emergency assistance while on campus or at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. VandySafe is available for download from the Apple and Google Play stores.
Users of VandySafe can:
- Contact VUPD via phone call or real-time chat
- Submit an iReport with a photo or video directly to VUPD Communications Officers
- Trigger a mobile BlueLight that shares their location instantly with VUPD
- Use Virtual Walkhome to have VUPD monitor their walk across campus
- Share their location with a friend
- Access support resources
- Receive AlertVU push notifications
- View campus emergency guides and more
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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, or in opposition to, 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, political parties, or organizations. Although every member of the academic community has a right to participate (or not to participate, 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.
Registered student organizations permitted to make use of the University’s name or marks should take special care to avoid implying University endorsement of--or opposition to--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 Division of Government and Community Relations 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 Division of Government and Community Relations 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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Protection of Minors
Vanderbilt believes strongly in educating individuals on best practices for keeping minors (defined as persons under the age 18) safe and the duty to report child maltreatment. For many Vanderbilt students, interaction with children and adolescents through service or academics is a vital part the Vanderbilt experience. And, students involved in research may also interact with minors as observers of--or participants in--the research.
Vanderbilt hosts thousands of minors in programs and activities. The Protection of Minors Policy was created to raise awareness of issues associated with minors, to standardize University practices and to establish expected codes of conduct when interacting with minors in Vanderbilt programs. The policy also includes individual compliance regulations and steps for program registration in a central repository managed by the Office of Risk and Insurance Management .
All students are required to complete Protection of Minors online training, and all students, who are participating in student organizations, courses, or other Vanderbilt activities with minors are required to be in compliance with the University’s Protection of Minors policy. Tennessee is a mandatory reporting state, which means all suspicions of child abuse must be reported. The Protection of Minors policy clarifies the reporting process for both internal and external reporting requirements at Vanderbilt.
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Recreation and Wellness Center, David Williams II
Vanderbilt’s David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center is a fully functioning facility for Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff. The facility features a 289,000-square-foot layout that houses four full-sized courts for basketball, volleyball, and badminton; five racquetball and two squash courts; a four-lane bowling alley; five group fitness classrooms; more than 14,000 square feet of weight and fitness room space; a rock-climbing wall; seven multipurpose rooms; and an indoor field house featuring 120-yard turf field surrounded by a 300-meter track. The exterior surroundings include more than seven acres of field space, including three natural grass fields and one turf field.
The David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center offers a variety of programs to students, including club sport teams, intramural sports, group fitness and wellness classes, such as healthy eating through Vandy Cooks, and personalized nutrition coaching. Students may also rent equipment from the outdoor rental center.
For additional information, please visit us at vu.edu/vandyrec.
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Refunds of Tuition and Residence Hall Charges
University policy for the refund of tuition 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 available on the Office of Student Accounts website.
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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 the University Chaplain and Religious Life, 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:
- understand their own faiths and the faiths of others;
- examine and affirm a personal faith or life philosophy;
- express these faiths and philosophies through association with others, through opportunities for worship, study, and service, and by engaging Vanderbilt’s religious pluralism through interfaith cooperation and dialogue;
- 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 will 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 catalogs, handbooks, and manuals, such as the Student Handbook, and the Faculty Manual . In particular, the University expects all religious groups to abide strictly by the policy on “Soliciting for Religious Activities,” 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 student organizations to comply with its nondiscrimination policy for student organizations as outlined in Chapter 5 of the Student Handbook “Student Engagement.”
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 accountability process, the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life, and/or the Title IX and Student Discrimination Office.
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 the University Chaplain and Religious Life website.
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The Residential Requirement, established by the Board of Trust in 1959, states that “All unmarried undergraduate students are required to 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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Vanderbilt University is a smoke-free campus. Smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, etc., are 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 the online map.
Locations of additional designated smoking areas for campus residents may be found on the Housing and Residential Experience website. Greek organizations may elect to designate outdoor smoking areas on their house grounds.
Designated smoking areas are marked by cigarette disposal urns.
Vanderbilt University is committed to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment and offers several resources for smoking cessation. Nicotine cessation information is available at the Center for Student Wellbeing, and links to other resources can be found on its website.
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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, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, 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.
Vanderbilt University aims to provide an accessible educational experience for all students. Student Access provides reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities who encounter barriers to access their educational experience. Reasonable accommodations are determined on an individual, case-by-case basis. To request reasonable accommodations, students should submit their disclosure forms and documentation to Student Access via the Commodore Access Portal. Once Student Access receives the disclosure form and documentation, an Access Specialist will review the request and request a follow-up meeting with the student. If the student is uncertain about navigating this process or has other concerns, he/she/they should contact Student Access. Please note it is the student's responsibility to request accommodations and to provide sufficient and appropriate documentation. Students are strongly encouraged to contact Student Access upon enrollment at Vanderbilt University or as early as possible to initiate the accommodation request process.
For additional information on academic accommodations, transitioning to college, documentation guidelines, and other accommodations, such as those for housing, dining, or mobility, please visit the Student Access website.
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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 FERPA). This act affords matriculated students certain rights with respect to their educational records. These rights include:
- 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 Office of the University Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Office of 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.
- 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/her/their right to a hearing.
- 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 health staff); contractors, consultants, and other outside service providers with whom the University has contracted; a member of the Board of Trust; or a student serving on an official University committee, such as the Honor Council, the Appellate Review Board, or a grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his/her/their tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her/their 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) 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 policy 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.
- Disclosure to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- Disclosure to various authorized representatives of government entities (compliance with SEVIS, Solomon Amendment, etc.).
FERPA 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, 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 information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Any student who does not wish disclosure of directory information should notify the Office of the University Registrar in writing. No element of directory information as defined above is released for students who request nondisclosure except as required by statute.
The request for nondisclosure does not apply to class rosters in online class management applications, or to residential rosters—or rosters of groups a student may join voluntarily—in online, co-curricular engagement applications, or rosters of other information on the websites of student organizations that a student may join. Neither class rosters in online class management applications, nor residential rosters in online co-curricular engagement applications, are available to the public. Students may configure their privacy settings in co-curricular engagement applications to further restrict availability of information in those applications.
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which students’ education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records—including Social Security Numbers, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to student records and PII without consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution.
Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to education records and PII without consent, to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the University objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the third parties that they authorize to receive PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over the third parties.
In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without student consent, PII from education records, and may track student participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
Students who believe the University has failed to comply with FERPA may file a complaint using the 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 Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.
Questions about the application of the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should be directed to the Office of the University Registrar or to the Office of the General Counsel.
Individual listings in the online People Finder Directory consist of the student’s full name, e-mail address, and campus mailing address, if available. Students may elect to add additional contact information to their listings, including school, academic classification, local phone number, local address, permanent address, or cell phone, pager, and fax numbers.
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), or to block individual directory items.
Students who have placed a directory hold with the Office of the University Registrar will not be listed in the online directory.
Students may report address changes, emergency contact information, and “missing person” contact information via the Web by logging in to YES (Your Enrollment Services) and clicking on the “Address Change” link.
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Student Spouse Privileges and International Student Same-Sex Domestic Partner Registration and Privileges
Vanderbilt University extends certain privileges to students’ spouses who are not enrolled at Vanderbilt. These same privileges are extended to the same-sex domestic partners of international students (whose countries prohibit same-sex marriage), who are not enrolled at Vanderbilt and who, on an annual basis, register with the Office of the Dean of Students. Such benefits include the following:
- Eligibility for Commodore Card identification, and, upon payment of appropriate activation and other fees, access to a number of services.
- Eligibility for discounted movie tickets and certain free/discounted event tickets through Sarratt Box Office.
- Reading and borrowing privileges at the Jean and Alexander Heard Library system. (Privileges may vary from library to library.)
- Eligibility for validation of ID for admission to athletic events though the Athletics Ticket Office.
- Eligibility to establish access to a declining-balance account for use with the Commodore Card for purchases in dining facilities, laundry machines, Commodore Cabs, copiers and printers, vending machines, and other locations that allow payment with a Commodore Card.
For Married Couples:
The student and the his/her/their spouse present their marriage certificate to the Card Services office to obtain a Vanderbilt ID for the spouse.
If at some point the marriage is dissolved, the student must notify the Office of the Dean of Students within 60 calendar days, and the non-student spouse must return the Commodore Card issued to him/her/them to the Office of the Dean of Students.
For International Student Same-Sex Domestic Partners
- The international student and his/her/their same-sex domestic partner visit the Office of the Dean of Students, each in possession of state- or federally-issued identification. 1
The international student and his/her/their same-sex domestic partner will complete an affidavit affirming that they meet the following criteria:
- that they are not related by blood in a manner that would prohibit them from being married under Tennessee state law. 2
- that they are at least 18 years of age. 3
- that they are not legally married to anyone else.
- that they reside in a common household and share responsibility for the household.
- Upon completion of the affidavit, a Dean of Students representative will notarize it, photocopy the affidavit and identification, and provide a paper or digital copy to the student and spouse/partner and the Vanderbilt Card Services.
- The student and partner then visit Vanderbilt Card Services together in order to obtain a Commodore Card for the registered partner.
- If at some point the marriage, civil union, or/or domestic partnership is dissolved, the student must notify the Office of the Dean of Students within 60 calendar days, and the non-student spouse/partner must return the Commodore Card issued to him/her/them to the Office of the Dean of Students.
Consistent with the practice of Vanderbilt Card Services, all spouses (partners) are required to re-register annually to renew the card and to continue these benefits.
1 A state driver’s license or non-driver ID; passport; a federal ID such as a military identification card, state, county or local government ID; or lawful permanent resident cards (often called “green cards”)
2 Tennessee code states, “Marriage cannot be contracted with a lineal ancestor or descendant, nor the lineal ancestor or descendant of either parent, nor the child of a grandparent, nor the lineal descendants of husband or wife, as the case may be, nor the husband or wife of a parent or lineal descendant.” Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-3-101 (2017)
3 For spousal or domestic partnerships involving a student or partner under the age of 18, the student and partner and parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the person(s) under 18 must meet with the Dean of Students or Dean's designee for a review of the proposed registration.
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Student Care Network
The Student Care Network is a holistic network of services and resources pertaining to health and wellness available to all Vanderbilt University students. Primary offices include the Office of Student Care Coordination, the University Counseling Center, the Student Health Center, and the Center for Student Wellbeing. Students also have access to a wide range of additional on-campus, virtual, and community resources through the Student Care Network - from the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center to the Project Safe Center - and a variety of community providers. To facilitate finding resources, students may refer to the Student Care Network website, or contact the Office of Student Care Coordination.
Medical Notification Policy
Vanderbilt University expects students to be honest with their instructors about their ability to attend class and/or complete course work, and asks instructors to work with students on these issues. Therefore, the primary offices of the Student Care Network (Office of Student Care Coordination, University Counseling Center, Student Health Center, and Center for Student Wellbeing) do not provide notes for minor illnesses or routine appointments that may lead to missed classes and/or a delay in completion of assignments. Instead, the primary offices provide students with cards documenting visits to their office, which the student may use in discussion with their instructors regarding absences and/or missed work to demonstrate that they sought care for medical issues. The reason for the visit and any details of minor illnesses or routine appointments are not provided on the card. A student’s right to privacy, particularly as it relates to medical information, 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 primary offices cannot always predict which students will miss assignments and/or classes in response to such ailments. Honest communication between students and their instructors can better address these situations.
In cases of more serious illness, injury, or crisis, especially those that may require prolonged bed rest or hospitalization, the primary offices or the Office of Housing and Residential Experience will notify a student's academic dean so instructors may be formally informed through a dean's notification that the student may need short-term consideration related to absences and/or course work as a result of such illness, injury, or crisis. It is the student's responsibility to follow-up with their instructors to establish a plan for any make-up work.
It is the instructor's prerogative to determine what, if any, alterations to course work are appropriate in either of the situations outlined above.
Office of Student Care Coordination
The Office of Student Care Coordination is committed to supporting undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in successfully navigating life events related to academic stress and/or medical, mental health, and/or other personal concerns that may interfere with a student’s ability to achieve their academic and personal goals. This team of Student Care Coordinators is the central and first point of contact for students to help identify needs and determine the most appropriate resources in Vanderbilt’s Student Care Network and in the Nashville community to address concerns. Student Care Coordinators collaborate with students to develop a student success plan, share education about and facilitate connections to appropriate on and off-campus resources, and provide accountability through supportive follow up meetings. Student Care Coordinators work closely with campus partners, including the Center for Student Wellbeing, the University Counseling Center, the Student Health Center, the Office of Housing and Residential Experience, and faculty and staff to help maintain the safety and health of Vanderbilt students. In addition, the Office of Student Care Coordination supports the Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation (CARE) Team and Welfare Panel and coordinates support for students returning from medical leaves of absence. The Office of Student Care Coordination’s goal is for students to have the right support, in the right place, at the right time.
Information about scheduling an appointment with the office of Student Care Coordination is available here.
Though staff typically have a background in mental health services, it is important to understand that work with a Student Care Coordinator is not counseling or therapy. The services of the Office of Student Care Coordination fall under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This means the content of the meetings with a Student Care Coordinator will be kept private to the extent possible; however, information may be shared on a need-to-know basis with appropriate personnel within Vanderbilt University in order to coordinate and provide you with the best care. If it is necessary to share information with off-campus providers or others, you will be asked to sign a written release.
Student Health Center
The Student Health Center provides primary care and some specialty services for students. Services include routine medical care, chronic disease management, office-based gynecology, travel medicine, nutrition services, and sports medicine. The Student Health Center also has a lab and can perform some office-based tests and can also send samples to the Vanderbilt Medical Center laboratory as needed.
The Student Health Center's hours of operation are posted on the center's website. Students seeking treatment should call ahead at 615-322-2427 to schedule appointments. Online appointments are available for most types of appointments. Telemedicine appointments are also available for some types of visits. Students with urgent issues will be seen on a "same-day" basis, and if no appointment time is available, will be worked in on a "first-come, first-served" basis, and triaged according to severity of illness.
Emergency on-call consultation services are available at 615-322-2427, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More detailed information about services and health related topics may be found at the Student Health Center website.
- Immunization Requirements
The State of Tennessee requires certain immunizations and tuberculosis screening for all students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional). Students not in compliance with these mandated immunizations and tuberculosis screening will NOT be allowed to register for classes. Waivers for required vaccines may be granted for religious or medical reasons. Waiver requests are reviewed by the Student Health Center and the Equal Opportunity and Access office or the Student Access office. Instructions for providing waiver request documentation can be found on the immunizations requirements website.
Immunization requirements include:
- Meningococcal meningitis vaccine (one injection after age 16) for all incoming students living in on-campus housing.
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (2 injections) for all incoming students.
- Varicella vaccine (two injections) for all students who have not had documented chickenpox.
- Tuberculosis screening, which includes an online risk assessment followed by blood testing or skin testing, when indicated.
All incoming students must upload a Student Health Center Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Requirements form. Instructions and further information are located on the immunizations requirements website. The completed Immunization and Tuberculosis Screening Requirements form must be uploaded to the Student Health Center immunization portal by May 15, 2021. The form also collects important health history information that enables the Student Health Center staff to better serve individual student needs.
- Student COVID-19 Protocol
Vanderbilt University has made the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and our surrounding communities a top priority. As part of that commitment, the University requires all students to (1) participate in routine on-campus COVID-19 testing or (2) show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
There are no office-visit co-pays for routine visits, but students will incur small charges for some medications that are dispensed; there are also small co-pays associated with some office procedures or specialty visits (such as colposcopy). Many of the supplies, medications or in-house lab tests are free of charge. If charges are incurred, credit cards and the Commodore Card may be used for payment at the Student Health Center. Cash is not accepted as a form of payment.
Any lab tests not performed at the Student Health Center are sent to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and are 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 by that clinic 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/their insurance company.
Sports Medicine specialists from the Medical Center come to Student Health for the convenience of the students, but these visits are not free of charge; the Sports Medicine specialists will bill the insurance on file for the student. The applicable co-pays will be billed by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (not Student Health) after the visit.
Care provided at the Student Health Center is confidential in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. It is only with explicit written consent from the student that the Student 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 Housing and Residential Experience 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.
Vanderbilt University must enforce public health mandates as required by public health authorities, and may also follow Medical Center and Student Health Center recommendations when the University determines them to be in the best interest of the Vanderbilt community and the public. Based on the aforementioned mandates and/or recommendations, the University may issue directives to students regarding isolation and/or quarantine. As a result, among other needed interventions, students in campus housing, or students traveling as part of Vanderbilt programs or activities, may be required to relocate so that appropriate isolation and/or quarantine can be accomplished. Failure to comply with University directives may result in corrective action through the University’s accountability process.
University Counseling Center
The University Counseling Center (UCC) provides mental health assessment, support, and treatment for students. The team of clinical professionals includes psychologists, licensed counselors including substance use specialists, psychology interns, practicum students, and psychiatric medical providers who all have specific expertise and training in working with Vanderbilt’s diverse community.
Services within our flexible care model include in-person and telehealth short-term individual therapy, a variety of group therapy options, daily informal drop-in consultation options, psychiatric screening and assessment, and urgent care services.. The UCC also provides psychological assessment to screen for ADHD and learning disabilities.
Students with urgent issues may visit or contact the UCC without appointment to meet with the Urgent Care Counseling clinician. If there are multiple students seeking Urgent Care Counseling services, the students will be seen on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Flexibility is maintained to address student needs according to level of urgency and need.
The UCC staff is available to consult with students, faculty, and staff who are concerned about a student’s mental health. Consultations are available through the UCC’s Urgent Care Counseling, or by calling 322-2571.
The UCC is open according to the schedule posted on the center’s website. Students seeking to schedule an initial appointment should visit the Office of Student Care Coordination’s website at www.vanderbilt.edu/carecoordination or call 615-343-WELL (9355).
Students may seek brief support for distressing situations and may take advantage of the UCC's drop-in services on campus at various locations as detailed on the website. This program enables students to have rapid access to a counselor for support.
The UCC collaborates with the Center for Student Wellbeing to provide outreach, prevention, and education, with one specific focus being suicide prevention through MAPS (Mental health Awareness & Prevention of Suicide) training for students, faculty, and staff. These resources are provided to facilitate stress management in order to minimize or prevent mental health concerns. In addition, the UCC offers workshops about academic support and ADHD in collaboration with the Center for Student Wellbeing.
More details about services may be found at the UCC website.
The UCC is a confidential setting under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). To the extent permitted by law, the UCC does not share information about students or anything discussed in session, with the exception of safety concerns, which may override the confidentiality policy. For example, limits of confidentiality include situations that involve imminent risk to a client or another individual, and situations involving elder or child abuse. The UCC encourages students to sign a written release of information form if they would like for the UCC to share information with members of the student's family or others. The UCC may share attendance and additional minimally necessary information with the other primary Student Care Network offices, including the Office of Student Care Coordination, Student Health Center, and Center for Student Wellbeing for the purposes of care coordination.
Center for Student Wellbeing
The Center for Student Wellbeing cultivates engagement in lifelong wellbeing practices and endeavors to create a culture that supports students’ personal development and academic success through a holistic and integrative framework. The Center’s areas of focus include, for example, alcohol and other drug education and recovery support, self-care and personal growth, strengthening physical and emotional health, and support for students in distress. The Center provides prevention programming, individual coaching, skill building workshops, substance use screenings, meditation and yoga, and referrals to campus resources.
New appointments for Center for Student Wellbeing services may be scheduled through the Office of Student Care Coordination. Information is available at their website.
Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
Degree and non-seeking students (excluding Division of Unclassified (DUS) and Consortium students) enrolled in 4+ credit hours, a 0-credit research/dissertation course, or any other course that is considered to equate to full-time enrollment are automatically enrolled in and will be billed for SHIP underwritten by Aetna and administered by Academic Health Plans (AHP), unless they complete the online waiver process. Information about the plan is available online at https://vanderbilt.myahpcare.com/. In addition, students may email SHIP@vanderbilt.edu with questions.
The annual premium, which is approved each year by the Board of Trust, is billed to students through their student account. The premium is a separate charge from tuition.
Coverage for students begins August 12 and extends through August 11 the following calendar year. If a student withdraws from school within the first 31 days of a coverage period, they will not be covered under the Policy and the full premium will be refunded, less any claims paid. After 31 days, the student will be covered for the remainder of the Plan year providing plan premiums are paid, and no refund will be allowed. Graduating within 31 days of the start of the coverage period shall not be considered a withdrawal from school.
SHIP provides hospital, surgical, and major medical benefits. A brochure explaining the limits, exclusions, and benefits of the plan is available online at https://vanderbilt.myahpcare.com/ and on the Student Care Network website. SHIP 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 referral is made by a Student Health Center provider. SHIP does not require referrals for behavioral health.
Waiver of Insurance Plan
A student who does not wish to subscribe to SHIP must notify the University of comparable coverage under another policy. Comparable criteria coverage for domestic and international students is found at https://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentcarenetwork/waive/. Waiver of the student insurance plan does not affect eligibility for services at the Student Health Center. The online waiver process may be found online at https://vanderbilt.myahpcare.com/waiver. The insurance charge will not be waived if the online process is not completed by the applicable deadline outlined in the SHIP waiver policies. The waiver process must be completed each academic year. Additional information about the waiver process may be found on the Student Care Network website.
An additional premium is charged for family insurance coverage. An eligible student who wishes to provide coverage for his/her/their spouse and/or children, may do so at https://vanderbilt.myahpcare.com/. It is the student’s responsibility to enroll their eligible dependents each year. Dependents are not automatically enrolled.
Qualifying Events for Students and Dependents
Students who initially waive coverage can request to add coverage if they experience a qualifying event. Examples of a qualifying event include a) reaching the age limit of another health insurance plan, b) loss of health insurance through marriage or divorce, c) involuntary loss of coverage from another health insurance plan, and d) entering the United States of America. A qualifying event does not include a student who is seeking enrollment to gain access to a benefit that was exhausted under their private insurance plan. Coverage will be effective beginning the first day following the loss of coverage, and the charges will be added to the student’s account. Eligible dependents may also be added if the student experiences one of the following qualifying events: (a) marriage, (b) birth of a child, (c) divorce, (d) the dependent entering the country for the first time, or (e) the dependent losing coverage under another insurance plan. Requests to add coverage based on a qualifying event must be received within 31 days of the qualifying event. Forms received more than 31 days after the qualifying event will not be processed.
Conduct Endangering Health & Safety
Students who engage in a pattern of conduct that endangers the health and safety of themselves or others may be expected to participate and make satisfactory progress in a program of medical evaluation and/or treatment, or a program of psychological evaluation and/or treatment. The Office of Student Care Coordination, the University Counseling Center, the Student Health Center, and the Center for Student Wellbeing make every effort to provide a mental health safety net to support students who are at risk for self-harm or harming others. The University reserves the right to require the immediate withdrawal via a medical leave of absence of a student whose continuation in school—in the University's judgment—is detrimental to the health or safety of others. The University may also recommend an immediate withdrawal via a medical leave of absence for students whose continuation in school may be detrimental to their own health and safety. Students who withdraw—voluntarily or involuntarily—under these circumstances, may be considered for readmission following a finding by the University that the condition requiring withdrawal has been corrected sufficiently to remove the threat to others. The University maintains two primary means of institutional review for assessment and implementation of this oversight process.
Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation (CARE) Team
The Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation (CARE) Team is a multidisciplinary team of campus professionals (faculty and staff) dedicated to a proactive and collaborative approach for the prevention, identification, assessment, and management of challenges impacting student success. The goal is to facilitate purposeful information sharing regarding students of concern or students who may be escalating in various campus support services. The team’s focus is to offer assistance, supportive intervention, and guidance to students who are experiencing academic, behavioral, or personal challenges that rise to a level where a thorough or extensive collaborative support strategy is needed. The CARE Team meets regularly during the academic year and serves as a support system for students. More information about assisting students of concern and submitting a student of concern report can be found here.
Convened by the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee, on an as-needed basis, the Welfare Panel addresses urgent situations of risk or threat to the health or well-being of the University community or its members. The panel assesses urgent and potentially critical student situations from a number of perspectives to determine whether students might pose a threat to the health or safety of themselves or others in the University community. The panel develops an assessment of a student, reviewing past, present, and potential future risk factors posing direct threats to the health and safety of the student or others. The panel assembles pertinent information from relevant members of the University community, and is empowered to withdraw a student who poses sufficient risk to the welfare of the University community, make recommendations to a student related to withdrawal via a medical leave of absence or a particular course of treatment, and/or set expectations related to a student’s engagement in a particular course of treatment while remaining enrolled at the University.
The panel comprises the Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee, the Director of the Office of Student Care Coordination, the Director of the Center for Student Wellbeing, the Director of the Student Health Center, the Director of the University Counseling Center, an academic dean from the school in which the student of concern is enrolled, and other specifically-designated, relevant personnel as may be needed. The Welfare Panel also consults with the Office of the General Counsel.
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In general, the policies and regulations in the Student Handbook apply to students registered for Vanderbilt study-abroad and remote overseas programs, and some additional regulations may apply. Students on academic probation, or those with a financial hold, may be prohibited from participating in study-abroad programs. Students who have been placed on a disciplinary probation that ends after the start date of their study-abroad program will, without exception, be ineligible to study abroad or participate in a remote overseas program. 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.
Provisions of the Student International Travel policy apply to students studying abroad.
The resident directors or faculty leaders of Vanderbilt study-abroad ore remoet overseas programs (short-term faculty-led programs) are responsible for academic matters. In consultation with the Dean of Students, or the Dean’s designee, they are also responsible for co-curricular and accountability matters, within the limits of the policies established by the University. (See “Conduct in Study-Abroad Programs,” in Chapter 3: “Student Accountability.”)
Students participating in University-approved programs administered by third-party providers (CET, CIEE, DIS, IFSA-Butler, IES, SIT, etc.), or direct-enroll/exchange programs with host institutions must abide by the conduct policies and regulations set forth by the institutions, in addition to the those in the Vanderbilt Student Handbook.
Students are required to abide by the laws of the respective countries in which they reside, study, or travel, with respect to the age at which alcoholic beverages may be consumed. Otherwise, the policies with respect to alcoholic beverages and other drugs included in the Vanderbilt Student Handbook apply. Students are subject to accountability sanctions, including expulsion, and referral for prosecution for violation of these policies.
Undergraduate students enrolled in a University-approved study-abroad programs will not be charged the Student Services Fee or the Student Health Fee. Students participating in remote overseas program, however, remain responsible for these fees.
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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 .
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In consideration of Vanderbilt University 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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Vanderbilt Visions is a first-semester, University core program of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. Following a prescribed syllabus, faculty members and undergraduate peer mentors lead small groups of first-year students through weekly discussions of The Commons Reading as well as other topics related to addressing the academic, cognitive, social, and cultural transitions students may experience during their first semester at Vanderbilt University. All first-year students must observe the attendance policy of Vanderbilt Visions. Failure to do so may result in corrective action through the University’s accountability process.
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