Vanderbilt adopts new community creed, based on acronym ANCHOR

Academic, Neighborly, Courageous, Honest, Open, and Respectful form new university values

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Vanderbilt adopts new community creed, based on acronym ANCHOR

The new community creed is now displayed in the Sarratt Student Chief

The new community creed is now displayed in the Sarratt Student Chief

The new community creed is now displayed in the Sarratt Student Chief

The new community creed is now displayed in the Sarratt Student Chief

Eva Pace

Student leaders in Sarratt Promenade unveiled a rebranded Vanderbilt Community Creed on Mar. 21 synthesized by the acronym ‘ANCHOR’, attracting a line of students eager to learn more about the creed’s new pillars all while being provided free ice cream.

The Vanderbilt Community Creed is a student-initiated statement of values that foster a common attitude of personal and intellectual growth amongst all Vanderbilt students. However, last year members of the Vanderbilt Student Government noticed that, beyond its presentation at Anchor Dash as a part of freshman orientation, the creed barely crossed student’s minds.

The creed’s re-launch is an extension from last year’s efforts when VSG originally began to propose changes, but they were not approved by administration, VSG president Tariq Issa said.

“The creed was mostly just a lot of buzzwords that didn’t seem to fit together, so we needed to upgrade it into something trendy, fun but also easy to remember and impactful,” senior Austin Konkle said, a former VSG committee member who took an active role in reforming the creed.  

This culminated into the acronym ‘ANCHOR’; a word that is ever-present in a Vanderbilt student’s vocabulary, Konkle said. It represents 5 general values of the student body, these being Academic, Neighborly, Courageous, Honest, Open, and Respectful.

The Vanderbilt website outlines these pillars in-depth, describing Academic in terms of the humble and curious pursuit of intellectual knowledge; Neighborly as the mission to be ambassadors of goodwill; Courageous in terms of acting boldly and with authenticity; Honesty in our academic and personal endeavors, Open regarding our ideas and experiences, and finally Respectful in fostering a culture of equity and civility.

Konkle alongside five of his peers, including recently elected VSG president and former Director of Campus Outreach Frances Burton, spearheaded the development of the new creed. However he emphasized that VSG wanted to involve other students as much as possible in the process. It was not unusual for the group to sit at a table in Rand and survey students on how they felt about the new terms, he said.

Students agree that the new terms of the creed help to more fully represent Vanderbilt’s values. First-year Jack Hess felt that the newly-added ‘Open’ pillar was especially relevant to his experience on campus.

“There’s so many types of people here with so many diverse interests, nobody is doing exactly what you are,” Hess said. “Because of that I think being open is one of the most important pillars added into the creed.”

After synthesizing the terms that students said they valued on campus, the group received the approval of faculty to formally implement the new creed this year.

“This started as just the six of us around a table, sitting in a room working off of student feedback,” Konkle said. “We’re so excited to see all it has wrought.”

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