Dean Gresalfi congratulates the class of 2025 on all they’ve accomplished in their first year, Tait delivers the final commons calendar of events for this semester, and Richard has put together one final roundtable interview to reflect on their first year experiences. He sits down with Greg Jang, a first-year student from Dallas, Texas studying Neuroscience, Sydney Lin, a first-year student from Las Vegas, Nevada studying Civil Engineering, and Matthew Lu, a first-year student and MCL producer from the Bay Area, California studying Math and Physics.
Archives for April 2022
MCL News Minute-April 27, 2022
Devin delivers one final informational news minute of the year, with details about upcoming events including VPB Carnival, a canvas stretching workshop at the Wond’ry, and Stress Busters at the Vandy Libraries during finals.
Commons Conversations-Episode 20, “Final Words from a First-Year”
With Summer fast approaching, this episode covers a final review of freshman year for Maria and Stephan, along with short messages from fellow Commodores.
Commons Cupdate 4/27
On Sunday evening at the Commons Ball, the moment we have all been waiting for finally arrived: the results of the Commons Cup were announced.
And the winner is …… WEST HOUSE!!!!!!!
After winning three of the five Commons Cup categories, West House is the clear winner to the 2021-2022 Commons Cup. North House has been dethroned by their neighbor across the lawn. I cannot think of a better way for West to finish end their centennial anniversary than by claiming the Commons Cup. Congratulations! This year, West House really was the Best House.
Following West, East took second place. Crawford and Sutherland tied for third.
Winners for the different categories were also announced and are as follows:
Community Involvement – West House
Sustainability – West House
Service – West House
Academics – Crawford House
Athletics – Hank Ingram House
The full placement for each house overall and in the five categories has not been published. The Dean of the Ingram Commons Office declined My Commons Life’s request for comment about these rankings.
This competition has been a wild ride, but all things must come to an end. Congratulations to this year’s victors and best of luck to those getting ready to start their Commons journey in the Class of 2026.
Disclaimer: Daniel Sak, the author of this piece, is the Vice President of Hank Ingram House.
Top 5: Things I Will Miss About Commons
All good things must come to an end! I can not believe that our freshman year is practically over! I remember move-in day like it was yesterday: throwing all my Command Strip Hooks in the trash because they couldn’t hold up a single decoration. Going to Walmart with my parents to buy nails to push into the walls. (Shhhhhh…don’t tell OHARE!) Pushing my parents out of the dorm once we were done, and last but not least, looking forward to the new and exciting year ahead. With that being said…let’s take a walk down memory lane!
5. The newness of everything
When you live in a new place on your own for the first time away from your parents, your life changes! Plus, the people you are living with are also excited to make new friends, try new things, and find themselves without things from their past holding them back. It is the most liberating thing. There is nothing like it.
4. Commons itself
From the dining hall options to the many spaces to study, we were all so lucky to have a building like Commons right next door made specifically for us.
3. My Commons Life, duh!!!
Making content for you all has been a dream come true. I am so glad I joined the My Commons Life family when I did. I have received nothing but support from my fellow My Commons Lifers, and for that, I am extremely grateful.
2. Having upperclassmen ask me, “You’re a freshman?!?!?!”
It’s weird when people not that much older than you are surprised with the way you carry yourself. It’s like they expected us to act like children, hahaha! I guess it just proves that we are exceeding people’s expectations, so go us!
1. My dorm!!
My room has been my sanctuary from the storm. From my unbelievably soft bed (thank you mattress topper!), to my view of the Nashville skyline from outside my window, and my floormates who have now become some of my best friends, I AM GOING TO MISS THIS PLACE SO MUCH!
I can confidently say that this has been the best year of my life! Thank you all for making my freshman year one to remember, especially the rest of the My Commons Life family. I will never forget the memories we made together and the fun we had! Years in the future, I will look back on all of this with joy, humor, and fondness. *Thinks to self, “Wow, that was really poetic, Elizabeth!”*
Anyway, I will see EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU next fall! Happy Summer! (:
MCL Top 5: Best Parts of Commons Ball!
The best Commons event of the year is finally here — the Botanical Ball is this Sunday, April 24th, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm!
Commons Ball is an annual tradition planned by the Ingram Commons HPAC Presidents. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year marks the first Commons Ball since 2020. A Commons Ball is long overdue, and for many of our current first-year students, we also missed out on landmark dances in high school like prom, homecoming, and formals. With all of these factors combined, the Botanical Ball is a more special, monumental Commons Ball than ever.
One meal swipe is all you need for admission to the Ball. Cocktail attire is suggested, but you are free to come dressed however you feel most comfortable. All Vanderbilt students are welcome, but we are especially excited to extend an enthusiastic invitation to the Class of 2025. We hope to see all of our fellow first-years there!
This event is sure to be a ball (haha, pun intended!). Although there are countless activities and fun aspects to enjoy, I’ve selected the Top 5 things about Commons Ball that you should look forward to:
1. The Presidents’ Dance
I might be biased, but The Presidents’ Dance is sure to be an iconic moment that will go down in Commons history. We’ve been practicing for months, and we’re fully prepared to throw it back on the dance floor. To celebrate the Botanical Ball hosts who have put so much time and effort into making Commons Ball great, come support the presidents as we either embarrass ourselves irreparably or succeed in legendary triumph.
2. Delicious Food
I guarantee you: this will be the best food you will have on Vanderbilt’s campus this year. With shrimp cocktails on an ice sculpture, perfectly crisp bruschetta, savory charcuterie, lively mocktails, a rolling plethora of desserts, and so much more, your taste buds will be transported to a flavorful paradise.
3. Mechanical Bull
Breaking News — a wild bull has invaded the beautiful garden! Although we’ll be enjoying an elegant Botanical Ball, what better way to get your adrenaline pumping than to take on the raving Mechanical Bull? It won’t be easy, but I feel confident that some of our Garden Gallivanters will prevail!
4. Botanical Beaux Arts
If dancing, mini golf, and a mechanical bull aren’t your forte, there will be plenty of opportunities to unleash your creative side with the Botanical Beaux Arts! Commemorate the night by painting a pot and building your own succulent to go inside. Or, you can build a custom mosaic to place in your window and catch sunlight colorfully. If you’re a fan of art but don’t want to create it yourself, check out the caricature artist who will turn your portrait into a masterpiece. No matter your preferred medium, enjoy a garden-themed keepsake to remind you of the Botanical Ball for years to come!
5. Commons Cup Winner Reveal
We’ve been competing all year — from ultimate frisbee to trivia to soda-can tabs… Now, it’s finally time to reveal the winner of the esteemed Commons Cup! Even if your house doesn’t win the whole Commons Cup, perhaps they won in a specific category (Academics, Community Engagement, Service, or Athletics). Alternatively, maybe your house won a superlative or character award. Who knows? I guess you’ll just have to come to Commons Ball on Sunday (April 24th) to find out…
Disclaimer: Devin Laye, the author of this piece, is the President of Murray House and helped plan Commons Ball.
MCL Top 5: Moments of Harambee
Recently, the ASU hosted the Harambee event, a cultural showcase with this year’s theme of “The Power of Words.” This year also marks the 21st anniversary of Harambee at Vanderbilt, and though all the performances were breathtaking, I have gathered my top 5 moments that made the night unforgettable.
Here’s one way to kick off the showcase! Vibe filled the atmosphere with energy; one could not help but feel the need to march with the beat, even from one’s seat. The silhouettes, as with other sections, were also phenomenal! Every outfit, every movement, everything told a story.
Nijala became an immersive experience with African culture embedded in just about every detail. The program itself was so pleasing to the eye that Harambee had it featured multiple times throughout the show. Oh, and I cannot forget to mention that a fellow member of MCL is part of this masterpiece. Everyone say hello to Elizabeth in the top right corner!
3. Fashion Show
The Fashion Show included a wide range of striking looks that felt like the elite sequel to Fashion Week! This fashion show was anything but ordinary, with couples and trios adding a fresh taste to the presentation. Even more remarkable were the national flags of African countries that some models represented. The grandeur of it all had me on my feet with excitement and praise.
One of my all-time favorite dances is majorette, so this category was already going to be one for the books. The sounds of trumpets and other pep-rally instruments brought back a rush of the feeling I often associated with sports like football. Every movement of the dancers captured the finesse that only resides in majorette. (Yes, Elizabeth strikes again on the far right!)
1. The Play
Of course, the play would be the one to string all of Harambee together! “The Power of Words” takes on a deeper meaning with the often comedic dialogues between the cast. Here are some of my favorites (roughly translated).
Introduction. A scene with mother and daughter about some devastating news.
“We are poor, daughter.”
“Wait, res college poor or Highland poor?”
Here is a scene where the daughter’s boyfriend is not pleased with the news of her being poor.
“You were only with me so that you can get all this stuff.”
“MATERIAL GIRL!” (A friend on the sidelines).
A cue for heated fight scenes.
“You got the wrong one.”
A classic Nicki Minaj reference.
“Broke people should never laugh!”
I captured so many great shots of Harambee that I had to include a few more pictures! Enjoy all the takes as a condensed representation of Harambee. (PS, another MCL member made it to the camera! You can spot Cheryl in the top-middle picture with her hands raised high.)
MCL Top 5 Things to do Instead of Studying for Finals
The end is near but there is still a lot to do. Papers’ due dates a hurling towards us and finals are less than two weeks away. It is going to be a long few weeks, and all of us could use a break from studying every once in a while. So whether you are procrastinating or taking a “well-deserved break,” here are the MCL Top 5 Things to do Instead of Studying for your finals.
1. Party at Rites of Spring
This Friday and Saturday April 22 and 23, the biggest event of the year will be held on Alumni Lawn. Artists like 2 Chainz, Miguel, Waka Flocka Flame, and more will be preforming right here on campus. This is an event you better be sure not to miss.
2. Attend the Commons Ball
Here’s another event this weekend that is worth stopping by. This year’ Botanical Ball will be held on Commons Lawn on Sunday April 24 from 7-10 PM. Make sure to check it out.
3. Go Somewhere You’ve Never Gone Before
Most of us only have a few weeks left on campus before we head home for the summer. If you need a break from studying, do some exploring. Whether it is on campus or around Nashville, there are still plenty of new and interesting places to find.
4. Watch the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
No, this isn’t an actual spelling bee; it’s a musical being preformed by Vanderbilt Off Broadway this weekend. If you still feel like you want more to do during the weekend before the final week of classes, this would be a great thing to go see.
5. Use Up Your Meal Money
It’s now or never folks. Whatever meal money you have left, spend it up because whatever you don’t use before the end of the year will be gone. Not to mention, there is nothing like a good meal to refresh you for several more hours of studying.
Commons Conversations-Episode 19, “A Sneak Peek into the Upperclassmen Lifestyle”
From campus involvement to work-life balance, plenty of circumstances change after freshman year. Maria and Stephan discuss their predictions for being sophomores next semester.
MCL News Minute-April 20, 2022
Elizabeth delivers the info on upcoming events that you’ll want to know about, including a conversation with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the upcoming Commons Ball.