The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

The best and worst locations on campus to propose

If you’re looking for a romantic spot here at Vanderbilt to pop the question, here are the places to choose and the ones to avoid.
Amanda Dai
A split screen graphic showing one couple eating a romantic dinner and another unhappily picnicking at a construction site. (Hustler Multimedia/Amanda Dai)

While many college students are far from even considering the question of marriage, it’s never too soon to start thinking about where the ideal proposal spot might be here on campus. While Vanderbilt doesn’t necessarily have that “ring by spring” mentality that some other colleges might, a lot of students end up marrying someone from college a few years down the line and what better place to propose than the beautiful school you first met at? Here are our recommendations on the best and the worst places to choose if you want to create a moment you’ll both be sure to remember.

#5 Least romantic: Hank House Common Room

To start the list of the worst places, Hank House takes the number five spot for its notorious common rooms, with my last experience in one including three shirtless men walking in at 2 a.m. blasting music. To put it lightly, Hank’s common rooms are definitely not ideal to get on one knee in considering the crowds will likely interrupt your special moment. Some Hank House residents also are notorious for leaving dishes and trash littered throughout the floor, providing an unromantic ambiance. Hank House does gain some points, though, providing an excellent view of the Lower Quad on Peabody Campus.

#4 Least romantic: Calhoun Hall

Ranked as the 11th prettiest building on campus, first-year Corey Lochan describes it best when he refers to Calhoun as having “run-down hospital” interiors and a stairwell that “transports its visitors into a prison setting.” With such a review, it’s not a surprise that Calhoun is on this list, bringing a depressing vibe that any hopeful future spouse should avoid when popping the question. However, Calhoun does earn points back for the view you can get on the fourth floor…of Garland Hall’s construction.

#3 Least romantic: Financial Aid Office Lobby

 Vanderbilt’s Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships is subject to many opinions, but one that is rightfully absent is its value in being the spot to pop the question. From the presence of strangers to the overbearing fluorescent lighting, the financial aid office provides an unwelcoming atmosphere for love. 

Also, proposing and breaking the much-needed quiet atmosphere will likely result in you being kicked out before you can even finish asking your question. The financial aid office, though, does have a quaint exterior, making for a timeless background to the post-celebratory selfies if your spouse does not run off instantly.

#2 Least romantic: Stevenson 1

Unless both you and your spouse love science, it is best to avoid the Stevenson “dungeons” as some call it. Being described by some as a maze, the complex layout of the first floor of Stevenson Center will raise alarms in your spouse’s mind. The geology department does exhibit stones down there, but the collection is too small to warrant a dedicated trip towards it. Also when you include the laboratories actively working with E. coli alongside the dingy lighting, this spot is better left only for the biology majors. The best advice for any brave lover willing to take their spouse to the “dungeon” is to find a shinier rock compared to what’s on display.

#1 Least Romantic: A Construction Site

The last thing you want to happen when proposing is for your spouse to yell “I can’t hear you!” in place of “I do!” This option does allow varying options, letting your spouse know that you put a fraction of thought into this choice. From Garland’s renovation to the construction of Residential College C, Vanderbilt’s FutureVU campaign allows you to have excellent choices to propose. Caution: If you choose this option, just make sure to watch your step! 

#5 Most romantic: Astronomy Observation Spot

While not the most accessible for those outside of the astronomy labs, this lesser-known spot on top of the 25th Avenue parking garage is the perfect place to see the stars with your own special star. While you might need some official clearance and a bit of supervision while working with the high-tech telescopes, a friendly astronomy TA would surely be willing to snap a pic to capture the moment as you pull out that ring. It’s quiet and relatively uncrossed by other people if you want a more intimate experience for your proposal.

#4 Most romantic: Pub Booth

Who needs a candlelit pasta dinner when you can have wings, pretzel bites, beer and milkshakes with the one you love? The booths in the pub are hard to snag a seat in and for good reason; the steady wooden seating and the mood-setting lighting create an intimate atmosphere right in the middle of one of campus’s busiest hubs. If all goes well, you’ll have plenty of people around you to help you celebrate the moment. You could even commemorate the occasion by writing a memento for yourselves on one of the booth wall bricks that create a tapestry of friends and lovers of yore.

#3 Most romantic: Alumni Lawn

Known as the quintessential campus spot, Alumni Lawn will serve you well for a perfect proposal surrounded by happy people, cute dogs and beautiful trees gently swaying in the wind. Just think of all the students playing spikeball or laying on the lawn who will immediately be there to applaud you and your new fiancé or fiancée as soon as you get that yes! If you’re looking for an iconic Vanderbilt spot with plenty of people around to see your great display of love, Alumni Lawn is the place for you.

#2 Most romantic: Cohen Hall

For a picturesque proposal, Cohen Hall is the place to be. The grand staircase is perfect for dramatically walking down with your significant other, and it makes for a wonderfully symmetrical shot the moment you drop down on one knee. If you go in the evening, Cohen is typically quiet and empty of any struggling students, meaning that you won’t have to worry about anyone being there. It’s a mini museum perfect for appreciating the art around you and the person in front of you.

#1 Most romantic: Wyatt Center

There’s a reason why everyone takes pictures out on the Wyatt Center steps: They are the best location for a memorable moment. The grand pillars are ideal for taking a moment out of sight to pull out that ring, and the steps themselves that look over the entirety of Peabody Lawn just add to the on-top-of-the-world feeling that you will undoubtedly have after popping the question.

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About the Contributors
Chloe Whalen
Chloe Whalen, Staff Writer
Chloe Whalen (‘27) is from Herscher, Ill., and is studying communication of science and technology in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Deputy Life Editor. In her spare time, she enjoys running, listening to multiple genres of music and podcasts and doing jigsaw puzzles. She can be reached at [email protected].
George Albu
George Albu, Staff Writer and Photographer
George Albu (‘27) is majoring in medicine, health and society in the College of Arts and Science. When not working for The Hustler, he enjoys taking long walks around campus, reading or watching video essays about anything and everything online. He can be reached at [email protected].
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