Angelina has one final look ahead at important events on campus like Rites of Spring and The Commons End of Year Celebration.
Claire has all the news you need on events happening around campus, including VU Theatre’s upcoming performance and details on the first ever Vanderbilt Lip Dub video.
We often forget we are in a city of almost 250 years of history. A lot of people have come and gone during those years, and Music City has no doubt seen its own share of odd happenings. All these dead people and the mysteriousness of some of these deaths make a potent recipe for ghosts, which just happen to be the subject of this Top 5: The most haunted places right here in this fine city. Thanks to Haunted Places, Ghostvillage.com, HauntedPlacestoGo.com, and Ghosts of the Prairie, all sites that deal with reporting and detailing supposed paranormal experiences, I was able to get the inside scoop on which places in Nashville offer the richest haunted experiences. Get ready for some serious thrills, because we are going to go strange places that no Top 5 has ever gone before!
A railroad terminal that opened in 1900, Union Station is now a posh hotel just west of downtown Nashville. With such tragedies as the Great Train Wreck of 1918, resulting in the deaths of at least 101 people, and, according to A Gothic Curiosity Cabinet, the suicide of a young woman in Room 711, there are definitely same negative vibes floating around this place, man. According to internet posts of people who stay at this place, the squeals Phantom steam locomotives, loud thumps, and ghosts goofing around with the electricity are all hallmarks of Union Station. Throw in whispered tales of Satanic sacrifice, and you have yourself quite a paranormal stew. While not as suffocatingly frightening as other haunted hotels, it still has its grim mysteries lurking in the corners of rooms and darkened hallways.
Address: 1001 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
Phone Number: (615) 726-1001
Ryman Auditorium, also known as the Grand Ole Opry House, is an ideal ghost habitat, considering that this building has been standing since 1892, and its history as the “Cathedral of Country Music.” According to HauntedPlacetoGo.com, sightings include the wizard of country music, Hank Williams Sr., whose short and troubled, means that he just HAD to become a ghost once passing through the veil. There are also many sightings of a mysterious Gray Man, a special entity who is often observed sitting seen sitting in the balcony area, watching the stage. Usually only seen by maintenance workers and security guards, it makes its appearance long after the performance has finished and the audience has gone home. In general, people have reported incidents of poltergeist activity, and the original Captain Ryman is still said to wander around keeping a watchful ghostly eye on the place.
Address: 116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
Phone Number: (615) 889-3060
A former correctional facility located on Bomar Boulevard, Tennessee State Prison was opened in 1898, and stayed open for almost an entire century, before it closed its doors in 1992. A majestic building in its own right, the description and the comments for this place at Haunted Places contains many instances of unexplained sounds, such as doors slamming, voices, and footsteps, no doubt caused by the restless spirits of prisoners, who are still imprisoned in this plane of existence. Thrill seekers occasionally catch sight of these prisoners, ghostly apparitions whose violent lives in prison have left them wandering around, seeking some sort of mysterious justice. Unfortunately, due to structural instability, one cannot actually visit the prison, but still it has to be include as a place of significant paranormal activity here in Nashville. As you might have guessed, there is no contacting this place by phone, and if you are the sort of person who likes to live dangerously, a visit here would preclude getting pass the guards, and after hoping the structurally unstable building does actually collapse on top of you.
Address: 100 Bomar Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209
A historic mansion located North of Nashville International Airport with various amenities, such as tennis courts and, of course, a golf course, attached to it, 2 Rivers Mansion was built in 1859 and in the intervening 158 years, it has developed an intriguing amount mysterious activity. According to the description on Haunted Places, the golf course is supposedly on the site of what was a civil war battle ground and a Native American burial ground, so it’s no wonder that at least according to the testimonies on that website speak of shadow figures often wandering around the golf course in the middle of the night. Strange noises and orbs are often reported as being heard and seen around both the mansion and the golf course as well. On top of all this, unexplained difficulties with modern electronic equipment is apparently a common motif here. This is a place that is inconvenient as well as fright-inducing.
Address: 3130 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214
Phone Number: (615) 885-1112
The Tennessee capitol building has a place on this list more for its history than for its ghosts, but still there are many rumors of a particularly interesting sort of haunting. Completed in 1859, the Tennessee State Capitol stands atop the highest summit in the city, this building is home to a never-ending argument between the ghosts of William Strickland and Samuel Morgan, who were not the chummiest fellows when they were alive. What makes it odder was they were not even politicians, Strickland was the architect who built the Capitol, and Morgan was the overseer of the operation, and was supposed to keep Strickland within budget. Haunted Places states that they decided to take their very many arguments about the construction of this iconic building into the afterlife. It does not really help that these two are buried on the property.
Address: 600 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN 37243
Phone Number: (615) 741-2692
Just like any other group of diverse people, Vanderbilt first-year students have odd experiences, which in turn lead to odd conversations. Here is a small sampling of the weirdness that takes place on the Vanderbilt campus. Note: You MAY find yourself somewhere in here. If you do, consider yourself honored!
1. The Stevenson Thing
Guy 1: Y’know, I know this dude who spent three days trying to find a classroom to meet a sophomore friend in one of the Stevensons.
Guy 2: No kidding! Why didn’t he just ask somebody?
Guy 1: Yeah, well he tried, but nobody he talked to had ever heard of this particular classroom either.
Guy 2: That is so weird. A classroom that is said to exist, but does actually not exist. Something very New Agey about that.
Guy 1: Ah, but here is the kicker: This sophomore guy evidently has a screwed-up sense of humor. He basically led my friend on a wild goose chase in search of classroom that does not exist. He made the entire classroom up! My friend only found out when the sophomore guy decided to have mercy on him.
Guy 2: Those [CENSORED] sophomores.
Note: Do not trust sophomores! Ever! They are only in it for the lulz!
2. They Came for Him
Individual 1: Have you seen Tony around anytime recently? I have not laid eyes on him for about two weeks. Strange, considering he lives down the hall from me.
Individual 2: All I know is what I have heard and what my dreams tell me.
Individual 1: Uh, and what may that be?
Individual 2: They came and took him away.
Individual 1: Who? His parents?
Individual 2: No. The Uranians did.
Individual 1: Wait, what, the Iranians kidnapped him?
Individual 2: No, you stupid person you! The beings from Uranus took him on a journey…
Individual 1: Ah, okay. (Shuffles uneasily away, while staring at Individual 2).
Note: Oh dear. I do hope Tony is alright, wherever he is.
3. The Graduate Bunch
Girl 1: Grad Students annoy me.
Girl 2: Why is that?
Girl 1: They act like they know so much more than me.
Girl 2: Well it kind of makes sense, considering they already have their Bachelor’s degree in whatever, and we’re just starting to travel that road.
Girl 1: They still annoy me though. Especially my TA. I want to smack her in the face.
Note: Huh? I thought everyone LOVED their TAs!
4. The Courageous Amongst Us
This Dude to Nobody in Particular: Last night at a party I was dared to eat a can of Purina dog food. And guess what? I did it! Now all my friends think I am both gnarly and awesome!
Note: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
5. Squirrels … The Bane of Mankind
This Girl: So I was just chillin’ on the lawn in front of the Wyatt Center with some snacks, and I decided to go really quickly to go grab something from my room. It didn’t even take five minutes, but when I got back to my spot, this squirrel was sitting on my blanket, eating my bag of Doritos! And, when I went over to shoo it away, it absconded with the bag of Doritos in its mouth! I tried chasing it, but it disappeared somewhere behind West. I feel really bummed about it.
Note: Evidently squirrels like Doritos. Who knew?
And that brings us to the end of this Top 5. How much of this is actually true? If only we knew … Anyhow, if you saw yourself somewhere amongst this chaos, congratulations! With such experiences as these under your belt, you are sure to have some sort of rare and legendary future in store. Questions, comments, threats? Stick ’em there below!
Alright, so the race for the presidency has been going on for a while, and whether you love one and hate the other, or hate both them, both Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have their names constantly plastered all over the news, and it seems, for all intents and purposes, that one or the other will one day soon be hunkering down in the Oval Office. On a lesser-known level are Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party, both of whom do not have much of a chance of becoming president. Let’s dig deeper, though, because the list of presidential candidates is longer still. Be prepared, for we are about to go totally underground politically and get a glimpse of the political fringe in 2016!
1. Rocky de la Fuente: Reform Party USA
Let us start this journey with the least far-out candidate, and party, of our quintet. Reform Party USA is the one political party here with a big success: Jesse Ventura’s election as Minnesota Governor in 1998. This populist and centrist-flavored party, with a strong dash of fiscal conservatism thrown in for good measure, has been mainly eluded by success, with the likes of Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, and Ralph Nader all running for president, and all of them failing. In 2016, Rocky de la Fuente, a Mexican-American businessman, is going up to bat for the party, but it’s all too likely that he will become a presidential strikeout like others before him.
2. Dan Vacek: Legal Marijuana Now Party
The name of this party is VERY self-explanatory. Although Dan Vacek has something of a one-plank platform to stand on, this obscure party, which is a sort of cousin of the Green Party, just with a greater love of weed, at least has a semi-popular cause as its one plank. Dan Vacek also makes, or at least valiantly tries to make, connections between the legal status of marijuana and civil unrest, and gives some convincing arguments as to the benefits of stopping the War on Drugs. The question is, and one that, depending on your point of view, probably has an obvious answer: Can this single issue send Dan Vacek to the White House?
3. James Hedges: Prohibition Party
So, you may have been under the reasonable impression that Prohibition officially died in 1933, but it is true that certain things really do die hard. Although the Prohibition virtually ceased to play anything close to an important role in politics after WWII, it has stubbornly clung to existence and an ideology of temperance and social conservatism, fielding a presidential candidate at election time since 1872, thus making it the third most long-lived party, behind the Republicans and Democrats. As for James Hedges in particular, he has under his belt the remarkable accomplishment of being the only Prohibition Party candidate, so far, to be elected to public office (as a Tax Assessor) in the 21st Century. No matter if you believe alcohol is a great evil or a harmless diversion, you’ve got to give this party credit for continuing to survive despite the odds, and for continuing on that ever-difficult White House hunt.
4. Frank Atwood: Approval Voting Party
Now this is party that exists not so much for political achievement, as to make a point. I want to give this particular party a bit more space than the others, not because it is necessarily my favorite, but because it actually has an interesting idea. The point of this very much single-issue party is that age-old deliberation: should I vote for the lesser of the two evils, or should I vote for that one candidate whose platform and ideologies I love, but who a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning anything? The pragmatic answer is that it is better to hop aboard the bandwagon for a semi-evil that can actually win, rather than voting with the heart for a candidate that can go nowhere, and which might in turn cause the semi-evil to lose to the complete-evil.
Still though, there are rather strong feelings of regret present after doing one’s pragmatic duty. The Approval Voting Party plans to cure this by being a living example of the “wasted votes,” and thus try to create a push for the ability to vote for more than one candidate, known as approval voting. Hey! Now you can vote with both your head and your heart! No need to gamble, just vote for whomever you want to, or think you need to! And, as for that candidate that you absolutely despise, the Approval Voting Party points out that under approval voting, you would be able to vote for everyone EXCEPT that one odious candidate, meaning that you can do your absolute best, one way or the other, of denying the hate one their dreams of glorious elected officialdom!
5. Rod Silva: Nutrition Party
The Nutrition Party boils down the plethora of America’s complex problem to one point: America does not eat healthily! While Rod Silva’s commitment to better nutrition is commendable, single-issue parties are fringe enough, but to base one’s campaign on an issue that is to most people at this point a relatively minor one seems a bit strange and silly to say the least. Silva, who founded Muscle Maker Grill and turned it into a franchise, has a philosophy concerning all those other issues that he does not really address: “Focusing on issues like the economy, foreign affairs and tax reform are important, but if we don’t live long enough to enjoy the benefits of living in the free world, then what is the point?” An interesting guy with an interesting party, to say the least.
Annnnd, that is it for our Top 5 political parties playing at being Don Quixote! Also, here are some parting words of advice: Vote for any one of them (you cannot yet mark down five or six names on the ballot, unless Frank Atwood has his way of course) or don’t vote at all, but remember, if you identify with the fringe, there just might be a party out there to answer your call! Questions, comments, complaints, calls for a varsity windmill-jousting team here at Vandy? Put ’em below!
So, most of us here on the Vanderbilt Commons are about three-and-a-half weeks into this strange experience that is referred to as the “Freshman Year of College.” (Cue dramatic music.) Seriously though, college can be a confusing and stressful time for us first-years, and a large component of this new experience is our roommate(s). Thus on the behest of the fine folks at My Commons Life, I bring you a quick survival good to help you navigate dealing with whomever you happen to be sharing a room.
1. Like, Actually Talk to Your Roommate
Alright, alright, I know what you are thinking, you already do that, and actually have had several movie-worthy dialogues with your roommate, but it bears emphasizing that talking on a consistent basis with your roommate about whatever, even the trivial, is the best way to get comfortable with each other and develop a better appreciation for each other’s viewpoints. You will truly be surprised (hopefully pleasantly) about what is not immediately obvious about your roommate if you do make habit of regular conversation. Crazy experiences, outside-the-box viewpoints, odd skills, who knows what you might learn? Besides, what is a more convenient way to relax than a nice little chat, roomie to roomie?
2. Communicate, communicate, COMMUNICATE!
This is a close relative to the point made above. In organizing the part of your life that revolves around your own room, a seriously key tool is communicating with your roommate about several basic points. Stuff in the nature of likes and dislikes, schedules, and who gets to put what where, should be the sort of roommate knowledge on which you have a pretty good grasp. The flipside of this is to make sure you assert yourself to a reasonable degree, and that the other guy knows full well how you roll. After all, be nice to your roommate, but make sure to be nice to yourself as well.
3. Ask Before You…
Use his lotion, borrow her charger, or wear that suave, cool tie, bracelet, or whatever on a big night out. If fact, just ask. You may or may not have had this experience, but nobody appreciates a borrower who does not use those magic words, “May I please…” Building up trust is a big thing when living with somebody who is still a relative stranger, and the best way to do this is to be completely above the table when it comes to using your roommate’s belongings. Even if it is some insignificant, like a cruddy little No. 2 pencil, integrity is key, and nothing is worse than the feeling that you can’t trust your roommate you bought with your hard-earned money, (or, more likely, the hard-earned money of your parents,) or that your roommate does not trust you.
4. Do Your Part to Not Put the Welcome Mat out for the Cockroaches
Nobody, at least we hope nobody, likes pests, especially those that are of the animal type, although I am sure we all know human pests to which we wish we could take a jumbo-sized flyswatter. They are not the issue in this piece of advice though. Cleanliness is one of the most effective lines of defense against pests, and one of the most effective ways of going after them. This being said, I would highly suggest making an effort to destroy any dirtiness that exists within your section of the room. Now, keeping your own area is, or should be, simple enough, and this not the place to go into proper sweeping technique. Call your mom for that.
On the issue of shared area and your roommate’s territory, it is necessary to say some words. Mainly, you do have a right to a roommate who makes a reasonable effort to not have their area look like a pigsty. What goes on in his section could have an effect on your section as well, especially when it comes to unwanted critters going about the room. Talk to the person, be nice, but be firm on this point. If your roommate explodes on this issue, or just refuses to keep his part of the room under control, take it up with your RA. When it comes to shared space, try to get your roomie to do his part, but it is better to take the initiative and actually just go and take out the trash than have a long, tiresome, and pointless debate with your roommate about the whole responsibility thing. For further helpful tips on this subject, seriously, call your folks.
5. Be Randomly Nice to Your Roommate
This fifth point is exactly what it sounds like! Think of this as a way of making up for all the times you were a lousy roommate. Yes, no matter how awesome you really may be, I am sure you have already had your moments of less-than-stellar roommateness. When it comes to this, anything goes, as long as whatever you are doing actually fits the definition of nice. For example, get the roomie a candy bar or a bottle of juice during your Munchie Mart run, or give him a thoughtful complement, rather than something horribly generic and boring like, “you are so cool.” (Way overused.) These little things really can make the difference in the relationship with your roommate, and could seal the deal on an awesome friendship that will never die. (Dramatic, I know.)
And that’s it for the definitive list of ways to be the roommate that everybody wishes they had! Questions? Comments? Complains? Threats? Put ‘em below! Also, thanks to our own Rishi Mallipeddi, and Gabriel Zharov of North’s Floor 3 for illustrating how to be (or not be) an awesome roommate!