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.
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 News Minute-April 13, 2022
Devin has the details on events coming up on campus this week that you won’t want to miss, including Harambee 2022, TNC’s Big Ask Show, and a Great Gatsby themed party on Wyatt Lawn.
MCL News Minute-April 6, 2022
Devin delivers the info you need about events coming up on campus this week, including Vandy Tap That showcase, Our Heavenly Bodies Fashion Show, and the InVUsion celebration of international cultures.
MCL News Minute-March 30, 2022
Devin has wrangled up all of the details you need to know about events on campus this week, including a Women Owned Business Showcase, the MLK Joint Day of Service, and the Lambda Drag Show.
MCL Top 5: Memories From The Emerald Isle
Thank goodness for Spring Break! Right when we need it most, it’s always there to save us and rejuvenate us for that final push towards the end of the semester.
For my Spring Break, I decided to go on an adventure to Ireland (also lovingly known as “The Emerald Isle”). Words cannot even describe how beautiful everything was — from rolling green countryside to old stone castles to cliffs towering over undulating ocean below.
Although it’s incredibly difficult to choose just five of my favorite memories, here are some of the top highlights from my Spring Break on the Emerald Isle!
1. The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher completely took my breath away. With crashing waves, 9 miles of cliffs, and blue water that seemed to stretch forever, this is a certainly an experience I will never forget.
2. Kissing the Blarney Stone
A trip to Ireland would be incomplete without a visit to the Blarney Castle! Legend has it that the famous Blarney Stone is good luck, so turning upside-down and kissing the stone granted me the Gift of Gab.
Glendalough is a beautiful valley with two lakes filled from a glacial melting following the last ice age. In addition to a gorgeous hike in nature, Glendalough is also home to an Early Medieval monastic site.
4. Jaunting through Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park is nestled within the beautiful Ring of Kerry. One morning while staying in Killarney, I woke up at dawn and went jaunting through Killarney National Park! The views were absolutely unreal, and Suzie the Horse made an excellent guide.
5. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on Thursday, March 17th, but I had the privilege of visiting this patron saint of Ireland’s very own cathedral in Dublin! The stained glass was incredible, and I learned that the Guinness family (yes, as in the beer…) paid for the restoration of this monumental Gothic cathedral.
MCL News Minute-March 2, 2022
Devin delivers the details on events happening around campus in the days before and after spring break, including VUCA Boba Week, MCS Block Party, and the Woman at Vanderbilt Portrait Unveiling and Reception.
I SURVIVED – Gen Chem Massacre 2.0
It’s that time of year again! We’ve just gotten through our first round of mid-terms, and though it wasn’t easy, we SURVIVED.
Like lambs to the slaughter, the horde of Gen Chem students trekked despondently to the exam. Our execution date was Thursday, February 17th. Even flash floods, tornados, and rainstorms couldn’t delay our inevitable destruction.
We struggled through this whole process last semester as well, but our first-year class remains resilient through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s see what they have to say about their second survival against all odds:
“I’m feeling cautiously optimistic…”
“Tara Todd giving out gum was the highlight of my day.”
“Dr. Todd is my Vandy mom!”
“I don’t care what the Gen Chem exam says… I’m going to be a doctor one day. Period.”
“I’m glad I’m in orgo…”
“I choked on a jolly rancher when I turned it in.”
“When I was walking back from the Chem exam, I called my mom and she asked why I was running. I was only walking uphill…”
“I was literally PRAYING that the tornado would get our exam canceled.”
“My rate of success in Gen Chem is exponentially decreasing…”
“I don’t have anything positive to say about the Chem department.”
“I felt it was an unnecessary waste of medical students’ time.”
“Vandy’s deliberate effort to stop people from achieving their dreams.”
“Gen Chem — for the heartless, for the weak, for the pauper… weeping, screaming, dying… A test to end it all.”
MORAL OF THE STORY:
“idk which storm was worse… the tornado or the Gen Chem massacre?”
MCL News Minute-February 16, 2022
Devin has the details you need to know about upcoming events on campus this week, including an improv comedy show from Tongue ’N Cheek and The Black Affair Awards Gala
The ABC’s of VU
We all know our ABC’s — it’s the first thing we learn in kindergarten. The alphabet is the foundation on which language, literacy, and education build.
Similarly, the ABC’s of Vanderbilt University are crucial for every new Vandy student to learn. Keep on reading to learn the A-Z list of what you need to know about Vanderbilt culture.
“Anchor Down!” A friendly greeting amongst Vanderbilt students, a way to show school spirit, and a symbol paying homage to our Commodore pride. Simply make the letters “V U” with your thumb, index, and middle finger (which also conveniently doubles as the shape of an anchor), and get ready to anchor down!
Blair School of Music is one of Vanderbilt’s four undergraduate schools. From music performance to composition to jazz studies and more, Blair is filled to the brim with talent!
The Commons is Vanderbilt’s “freshman campus,” so to speak. Made up of ten residence halls called houses, Commons is an introductory type of living/learning community that helps first-year students transition to college and life away from home.
Dr. Daniel Diermeier actively serves as the ninth chancellor of Vanderbilt University. Born and raised in Germany, Diermeier was a first-generation college graduate. Before starting his position at Vanderbilt in 2020, Diermeier worked in a variety of higher education institutions, including Stanford University, Northwestern University, and University of Chicago.
The infamous E-Scooters… if you haven’t had to dodge being run over by one, can you even call yourself a true Vanderbilt student? We all might be subconsciously jealous of the convenience of zipping across campus effortlessly rather than walking, but that doesn’t stop us from uniting in the universal disdain for e-scooter riders.
Thanks to a VSG (Vanderbilt Student Government) initiative in 2020, we now enjoy the luxury of free laundry in residence halls across campus! No more collecting countless rolls of quarters to ensure you’ll have clean clothes to wear.
About 43% of Vanderbilt’s undergraduate student body belongs to Greek organizations, including sororities and fraternities. Rush, Greek Row, parties, and tailgates are all staples of Greek Life, and you’re sure to find evidence of these aspects on Vanderbilt’s campus.
Home to the VandyBoys baseball team, Hawkins Field holds up to 3,700 spectators. As a Division I team in the SEC, the VandyBoys are an extremely competitive team. Just a few of their many successes include five College World Series appearances and two National Championships.
Immersion Vanderbilt is a graduation requirement that encourages experiential learning, curiosity, and exploration. The four pillars of Immersion are experience, reflect, ideate, and create. Each student must choose to fulfill their Immersion requirement through one of the following: civic/professional development, creative expression, international experience, or research.
Did you know that James Patterson received his master’s degree in English from Vanderbilt? Patterson is a popular author especially known for his novels in the suspense-thriller/mystery genre. James Patterson has sold over 230 million books worldwide, and he has earned his spot as one of the wealthiest authors of all time.
Kissam Center, conveniently located adjacent to Warren & Moore College Halls, has everything a college student could possibly need: a Munchie Mart, a dining hall, seating areas, seminar rooms, event spaces, and more! Kissam Kitchen is a campus-wide favorite for their açai bowls and made-to-order Kissam bowls.
The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries offer nine locations across campus including Central Library, Eskind Biomedical Library, Peabody Library, Stevenson Library for Science and Engineering, and more. Central Library even has a Suzie’s Cafe, making it one of the favorite locales on campus. If you’re ever looking for a quiet place where you’ll undoubtedly be productive, the libraries are perfect for you!
Mr. C (short for Mr. Commodore) is our beloved mascot here at Vanderbilt. Ranked among the Top 3 “Sexiest College Mascots in America” according to a survey conducted by QualityLogoProducts, Mr. C is most certainly a fan favorite!
As we all know, Vanderbilt is located in the dynamic city of Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville, more lovingly called “NashVegas” by our students, offers endless opportunities for restaurants, shopping, live music, fun, and so much more. Especially on the weekends, NashVegas is a non-stop party!
With the residential experience as an integral part of life at Vanderbilt, OHARE works to ensure that our living communities are inclusive, comfortable, safe, and enjoyable. Whether you’re living on the Commons, in a Residential College, or part of a Living Learning Community (LLC), OHARE is behind the scenes to create a smooth housing process.
Peabody College is Vanderbilt’s School of Education, which is actually ranked #1 in the country! The Peabody campus is located right next to Commons, so the Peabody Esplanade is a great spot to set out a picnic blanket and enjoy the sun with friends. One of the most famous buildings on campus, Wyatt Center (the building with the dome) is a beautiful, picture-perfect addition to campus.
The quarter-zip is one of the most popular articles of clothing sported on Vanderbilt’s campus. With a preppy vibe and an athletic twist, quarter-zips are comfortable while still maintaining the air of “Southern Charm.” Every Vanderbilt student owns at least one quarter-zip with the school logo… sorry, I don’t make the rules.
Rand is a dining hall attached to Sarratt Student Center, right at the heart of Main Campus. Although Rand is only open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays, there are many food options to choose from. Chicken Shack, Fresh Mex, Randwiches, Mongolian Grill, 2301… the choice lies in your hands now.
Stevenson Center (which houses STEM classrooms, offices, research labs, and a library) is widely regarded as the most confusing building on Vanderbilt’s campus. I don’t know who decided how to number the different buildings within the center, but inexperienced souls who wander into this labyrinth get easily lost and might never emerge.
I personally think Dr. Todd is a gem, but her class is no joke. Gen Chem is notoriously hard at Vanderbilt, and students all across campus dread the prospect of tackling this course.
As the main center for mental health care on campus, the UCC offers both drop-in hours and scheduled appointments. If you’ve never worked with the UCC before, it’s important to first schedule an appointment with the OSCC (Office of Student Care Coordination).
The VUcept program is a mentorship organization that matches each incoming first-year student to a faculty VUceptor, a student VUceptor, and a Visions group. This program serves to introduce new Commodores to the Vanderbilt community and help them through the transition from life at home to college.
The Wond’ry is Vanderbilt’s Center for Innovation, located in the ESB (Engineering and Sciences Building). The Wond’ry offers a variety of different makerspaces with resources such as 3D-printing, virtual reality labs, workshops, and more that allow creativity to come to life. If you have an idea, the Wond’ry will help you make it a tangible reality.
Xfinity On Campus is available through OHARE, allowing students to stream live TV, watch on demand, and even access HBO Max. Just log into Xfinity using their “On Campus Students” sign-in portal, and you’re good to go!
YikYak is an extremely popular mobile app that allows people to make posts that are seen within the local area (usually within a radius of five miles). YikYak is even more prevalent on college campuses, as students can anonymously discuss the news, gossip, and other happenings around campus. Vandy YikYak is no exception, and our ‘Dores always have some type of buzz going on.
Named after former chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Zeppos Tower is a famous landmark part of the Zeppos Residential College. The tower is easy to spot all across West End, almost serving as a lighthouse that guides our students back home. Although undergraduate students don’t have access to Zeppos Tower, seeing the view from the top is on every Vandy student’s bucket list.