Living with a roommate
Successful roommate relationships are the result of good communication, flexibility, openness, understanding and compromise. You may become best friends or simply being compatible living partners. However, sometimes problems do develop. If they do, our staff is there it assist.
Communication is the key to a successful relationship, followed by mutual respect. During the first few days, roommates should talk about some fundamental things about sharing an apartment as well as establish some rules about guests, sharing items, etc. Some additional points for a good relationship are:
- Spend time getting acquainted
- Be willing to listen and speak openly
- Try to understand rather than evaluate or judge
- Be receptive to different ways of life and different values
- Be willing to make compromises
- Be aware of assumptions and try to get the facts
- Talk about expectations
If things aren’t going well, there a lot of things apartment staff can do to help. Talk with your resident manager, graduate assistant or hall director. They can be a great sounding board and as well as offer advice. We can also assist with roommate agreements and formal mediation
Tips on What to do When Conflict Arises
- Address the problem immediately
- Be clear and specific about how YOU see the issue
- Listen carefully to your roommate’s thoughts
- Discuss only the CURRENT issue
- Assume your roommate doesn’t know when something is bothering you; you need to tell him or her
- Look for a solution to the problem together and generate a list of options to pick from
- Be willing to renegotiate the agreement later as needed
- Help create a situation where both you and your roommate can win
- Talk to your RM, GA or hall director
- Wait to address the problem; it will only get bigger
- Bring up past problems with the roommate
- Dictate a solution to your roommate
- Create a situation where only one of you can win and the other loses
Your enjoyment of apartment life will depend, to a large extent, on the thoughtful consideration you and your roommate(s) demonstrate for each other. Remember, living in a community environment means accepting responsibility for the welfare of others. Only you can assure that your roommate(s) enjoys these rights. As a roommate, it is your responsibility to follow the "Roommate Responsibilities" outlined below.
- Make sure your roommate’s right to read, study and sleep are free from undue interference from noise, guests and other distractions. Unreasonable noise and other disturbances inhibit the exercise of this right.
- Ask permission before borrowing or using any of your roommate’s possessions such as a computer, clothes or food.
- Receive permission from roommate(s) before inviting guests to stay overnight. See guest and visitation policy in the Community Living Expectations handbook for more info.
- Keep your living environment clean.
- Allow your roommate(s) free access to the room and facilities without pressure.
- Respect your roommate’s right to personal privacy.
- Make sure your guests do not violate/invade your roommate’s rights.
- Talk to your roommate(s) when something is bothering you.
- Listen to your roommate(s) if there is a problem and try to resolve it.
- Bring unresolved problems to the attention of the resident manager, graduate assistant hall director or hall director after you have talked with your roommate(s).
- Respect your roommate’s right to be free from fear of intimidation, physical and emotional harm. Violations will result in disciplinary action.
- Treat your roommate as an equal: do not give orders, make unreasonable demands or expect favors.