Tips for a Healthy Roommate Relationship

Roommates should sit down and talk about the following categories:

  • Cleanliness
  • Use of Personal Property
  • Guests and Social Activities
  • Educational Habits
  • Other - anything else the roommates feel compelled to discuss

All students must submit a roommate agreement during the first few weeks of the semester. These conversations happen best in person with everyone present. RAs are available to assist with these challenging conversations.

Here are some pro tips for a healthy roommate relationship:

Reflect and be honest with yourself about your habits and preferred living environment.

  • Are you someone who goes to sleep late at night?
  • Do you like loud music during the day and at night?
  • What are your temperature preferences and is there room for compromise?
  • How often do you clean the room?
  • Are you okay with someone touching your stuff without asking?

Be open-minded and focus on learning about your roommate.

  • Keep your implicit biases in check.
    • Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
  • Challenge yourself to learn about identities outside of your own.

Address concerns in person when possible.

  • Talking by written notes, text messages, and social media can be taken out of context.

Revise your roommate agreement when necessary.

  • If the initial agreement does not work in practice, it is okay to sit back down with everyone and revise it.

Here are common issues that often lead to escalated roommate conflicts:

Making assumptions about others before getting to know them or asking them.

  • Hearsay and choice of room decorations rarely capture the true character of a person. You should not judge a book by its cover.

Lack of communication.

  • If you do not share your concerns, you cannot expect someone to be aware and change their behavior. 

Withholding concerns and not addressing them.

  • Failure to address ongoing concerns can pile up and lead to escalated conflict.

Tolerance of policy and law violations or waiting too late to ask for help.

  • If policy or law violations occur in your room, you should report them to our staff immediately. It is difficult for us to address policy and law violations from the past.

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