It’s college move-in weekend, so avoid the congestion

A lot of Nashville universities are holding their move-ins this weekend.  And that means, well, general pandemonium:

The move-in schedules of different colleges vary, but the sweet spot is tomorrow.  Belmont students move in August 19 and 20, while most Vanderbilt students can move in August 20.  Upperclassmen at Lipscomb are moving in August 20 and 21 (but freshmen already moved in on August 14).

Other colleges were gracious enough to spread out their move-in events throughout the month.  TSU students moved in August 17 (freshmen) and 18 (other students), Fisk students arrived August 6-7, and Trevecca Nazarene will hold its move-in day on August 26.

Just a search of Twitter reveals a number of students (and parents) getting hyped about the move: Savannah Potts, Taylor Thompson, Sara Pontier, Jimmy Finnerty, Matt Combes, and Higglesworth.


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Vanderbilt to pay lots of money to get back naming rights to Confederate Memorial Hall

Vanderbilt University is moving forward with plans to divorce itself from its relationship with Tennessee Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  At issue is Confederate Memorial Hall, a building on the Peabody Campus which has that name prominently etched in stone.

In 1935, the United Daughters of the Confederacy donated $50,000 towards the construction of the dormitory, and they got naming rights in return.  In today’s dollars, that’s about $1.2 million.  A 2005 court case requires that Vanderbilt return that $1.2 million if it wants to rename the building (which they’ve been calling Memorial Hall for some time, anyways).

The university’s Board of Trust made the decision to return the money using anonymous donations earmarked for that purpose.  Vanderbilt Student Government president issued a statement in support of the action:

“I commend the chancellor and the Board of Trust on their decision to remove the name of Confederate Memorial Hall. This action demonstrates the administration’s attentiveness to student needs and concerns, as well as sets a great precedent for advocating on behalf of those who may feel marginalized on our campus. This is an excellent next step in the direction of becoming an institution that not only admits diverse students, but ensures their care and support—one that is eager to eliminate any barriers that may stand in the way of such a goal.”

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Vanderbilt getting serious about pedestrians

Vanderbilt University Police Department is taking steps to increase pedestrian safety.

There’s a crosswalk on Natchez Trace between a Vanderbilt parking lot and a pathway to the recreation center.  VUPD says that many drivers blow on through the intersection, paying no heed to pedestrians trying to cross the road there.  So they’re installing new lighting and signage (with the help of Metro Public Works) in hopes that that will make motorists follow the law.

If that doesn’t work, however, they say that VUPD officers are out looking for violators of the law that requires motorists to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.  They’re also working to educate pedestrians about their responsibilities at crosswalks.

They report that they have made other improvements recently too, such as a new traffic light at Blakemore Ave and 23rd Ave S.

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Vanderbilt and its hospital split

Tomorrow, Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will officially be separate organizations — legally speaking, that is.  The two will still continue to work closely together.  But the medical center needed to take on debt to grow and remain competitive, while the university itself had no such interest in having that much debt on its books.  In an email to VUMC employees, Dean of the School of Medicine Jeff Balser wrote,

After nearly 18 months we have completed the actions that are necessary and tomorrow will be a historic milestone, the Medical Center’s first day as a separate legal and financial entity. We are emerging well positioned for the future…

With the completion of the reorganization, some may wonder what’s ahead. While these structural changes will greatly facilitate our efforts to provide unique and transformative health services to more people across the Southeastern region than ever before, the quality of those services will only be as exceptional as those we provide right here at home.  So my answer – and advice for all – is that we focus like never before on the fundamentals. By doing so, we will nurture what is most important – being the place patients come to for hope, and the brightest minds come to train and discover in ways that transform the future of medicine.

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Fancy South Carolina cafe/”grocer” to land in Midtown

At a new mixed-use building just across 21st Ave S from Vanderbilt, a new “grocer” has been announced to fill a retail space downstairs:

All of the chain’s current locations are in South Carolina, which offer such items as duck confit panini and creole white fish sushi.  The cafe’s host, Aertson Midtown, is expected to be finished later this year and will include apartments, a hotel, a parking garage, and retail space.

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New option for omnivorous kosher keepers

A Vanderbilt student plans to open a kosher meat food truck on his own campus.

Aryeh’s Kitchen, as it will be called, is actually a trailer: the back will be a cutoff where the food is ordered.  And since it’ll be set up on Greek row, it’s probably good that they’ll serve something called the “Hangover Burger.”

Currently, Grins Cafe, just steps away from the future food trailer, serves vegetarian kosher meals.  “We are not going to be selling food that is similar to Grins, we are focused on providing kosher meat to Vanderbilt,” Rabbi Shlomo, of the Chabad House, said.

The Vanderbilt Hustler reports.

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Free Food Day

The Grilled Cheeserie, Ben & Jerry’s, and Juice Bar are all giving away free food today.

The Grilled Cheeserie gave away sandwiches at the Nashville Farmer’s Market for an hour and a half, but they’re out now:

Other people with lots of time on their hands to stand in line found some free ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s across 21st Ave from Vanderbilt:

And the new Juice Bar location in the Gulch is now open.  A citizen reporter told me (via email) that they’re giving away free juice and food today.  And S Lichen wants to make sure you come in:

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Vandy Rape Suspect is Now Guilty

Last night, a jury found former Vanderbilt footballer Cory Batey guilty of aggravated rape and other charges from an incident in 2013.  He will be sentenced in May.

The victim of the incident was frustrated that the jury did not convict him of all of the charges against him.  She wrote in a statement, “I am deeply disappointed with the jury’s verdict… Despite the hard work of the exemplary prosecutors who’ve worked tirelessly on this case, I can only conclude that our system of justice is broken. I deserved better. Victims of sexual assault deserve better. Our community deserves better.”

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt’s Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs wrote, “The jury has spoken. Our first thoughts are with the victim and the incredible strength she has shown, and continues to show, both throughout the investigation and the legal proceedings.”

More defendants involved in the incident, whose cases will be heard separately, are yet to be convicted.

Full coverage is available from WKRN.

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Vanderbilt Marriott to write a really big check

The jury in the lawsuit brought against the Vanderbilt Marriott by sports journalist Erin Andrews has come to a conclusion: the hotel must pay her $27.5 million, while her stalker must pay an equal amount. If they pay using a travel rewards credit card, at least they could get a few free nights in their own hotel out of it.

According to quotes obtained by WSMV, the jury was heavily swayed by emotional testimony:

“I truly believe she was telling the trust,” [juror Terry] Applegate said…

“Just the emotion that he gave, the feeling,” [juror Noble] Taylor said. “The story that he told about his daughter just made her a normal person. How she is now versus how she was then.”

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