Design Your VU program has replaced the My Vanderbilt Experience curriculum


Peabody College pictured during the day. (Hustler Multimedia)

Gracie Pitman, Campus Editor

Vanderbilt is rolling out its new “Design Your VU” program this year as a replacement for My Vanderbilt Experience. Design Your VU will be targeted at first years.

In previous years, Vanderbilt has used My Vanderbilt Experience to track students attendance at events sponsored by the school. The program acts as structured guidance to help students find their niche within the events and activities provided. Events are divided into five tracks, which are intellect, community, personal wellbeing, self-discovery and cultural awareness.

The program has previously used incentives to help encourage students in every grade to participate in events. Students who meet the individual track goals are eligible for drawings to win prizes or special experiences.

In “Design Your VU,” first-year students will still have incentivized goals, but the program itself will be more directed at the freshmen experience. Natalee Erb, Assistant Director of Operations for the Ingram Commons, spoke to the Hustler about the decision to alter the program.

“Since its inception, we have note that the highest number of participants in My Vanderbilt Experience have been first-year students,” Erb said.  “The program was changed in an effort to more completely align the program with the existing first-year experience at Vanderbilt.”

Furthermore, the change in focus on the student population is intended to help optimize freshmen participation.

“We hope to increase the number of first-year students who are utilizing Design Your VU as a tool to help them ensure they are making the most of their first year and connecting into the Vanderbilt experience,” Erb said.

Design Your VU will include events targeted directly at freshmen, such as Commons-sponsored events like the Commons Cup. Other events under the Design Your VU curriculum will still be open to the entire undergraduate student body.

“Many of the programs included in Design Your VU are, by their nature, open to the larger Vanderbilt student community,” Erb said. “In the new program however, upperclass students will not receive credit on Anchor Link for attending these programs, except in the case where they are also part of the Greek Member Experience.”