The Office of Traffic and Parking sees the students as a source of income. Parking is much more expensive than it should be, and they will not hesitate to write you a ticket or tow your car should you not be in the spot they assigned you. To add insult to injury, they will find a spot for your car in the garage that is geographically farthest away from where your dorm is.
The main thing to remember is that nobody is forcing you to bring a car, and at a school that is as self-contained as Vanderbilt, there is really no need for one. High parking rates are just part of the package if you decide to bring your car to school; there's no way around it.