Living with a roommate can be one of the most rewarding experiences of college life. Maintaining a positive roommate relationship is a process that occurs over the course of the academic year.
Whether you have known your roommate for years or have just met, Residential Life encourages you to take time over the course of the year to establish and revisit your Roommate or Suite/Apartment Agreement.
Tips from Fellow Students
In spring 2023, Residential Life conducted a survey of residential students. Students were asked to share something that they learned while living in the residence halls last academic year. Many students shared what they had learned about living with a roommate(s) or suitemates. Students identified the following as important to a successful roommate relationship:
- Mutual respect
- Understanding and communicating each other’s boundaries
- Communication and addressing concerns as soon as they occur
- Willingness to compromise
- Taking the time to learn about your different backgrounds and identities enhances the relationship
- Roommates don’t need to be best friends to have a successful roommate relationship
- It is important to have time alone or with other friends who are not your roommate
- Have fun!
More Advice from Students
Check out our videos for:
- Roommate Conflicts – Why Do They Happen
- Roommate Conflicts – Preventing and Resolving Them
Expectations for Roommates
Each student living on campus has the right to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect
- Access one’s room/suite/apartment at all times
- Feel secure from physical/emotional harm
- Sleep and study without unreasonable interference
- Feel respected and have privacy and personal property respected
- Host guests in the room/suite/apartment within limits
- Acknowledge and resolve issues/concerns
Each resident is responsible for all activities that occur within their assigned room/suite/apartment and share responsibility for the presence of prohibited items and/or behavior. Residents should not participate in, or condone, behavior that violates campus policies or interferes with a roommate’s right to occupy the room. Responsibility includes actively ensuring that unlawful or inappropriate behaviors are not present in their residence hall room and for reporting such behaviors or items to University staff. Review the Code of Student Conduct.
All residential students who share a room, suite, and/or apartment, are encouraged to spend time with their roommate(s) completing a roommate agreement. Your roommate agreement provides the opportunity to discuss topics that will assist you in establishing a successful roommate experience. The roommate agreement is intended to be a living document; you can return to it for discussion and revision as over the course of the academic year.
The following topics are included in the roommate agreement:
- Study/Sleep/Private Time
- Personal Property and Shared Items
- Identity and Personal Needs
- Communication and Shared Time
Links to Roommate and Suite/Apartment Agreements:
Living with a roommate is not always easy. It is almost inevitable that you will experience a conflict at some point in time. This is okay and a completely natural occurrence between roommates. This can be a result of an action by either you or your roommate(s) or because something was communicated in an unproductive manner (ex. raised voice, silent treatment, passive aggressive social media post, talking to other people behind your back, etc.). Understandably, it can hard to be patient and understanding with your roommate in times of conflict. Some conflicts can be resolved with a simple conversation, while others may need help from an RA. Resolving a roommate conflict is a process, and Residential Life staff are here to help and support you through it. If you and your roommate are having a conflict, here are some things you can do to help the situation.
- Talk to your roommate(s) to discuss your concern directly and respectfully. If the concern is related to something already agreed upon in the roommate agreement, be sure to address what was agreed upon. Remember, your roommate may not know that they are doing something that bothers you unless you talk with them openly and honestly.
- Seek help from your Resident Assistant if the conflict persists. Your RA is trained and available to assist in the mediation process, and many conflicts can be resolved through a facilitated conversation. All students should bring the spirit of communication and compromise to the mediation process.
- If additional assistance is still needed, seek out help from your Residence Director or Residence Hall Coordinator. These full-time staff members are available to assist with these types of issues.
- If you are unable to resolve concerns in your room, Residential Life has several room change opportunities during the semester. Please know that available spaces for room changes are limited. Information about In-Semester Change Processes is available on the Residential Life website.