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Living with a roommate

Your roommate can help define your college experience. Whether it’s an old friend or someone you have never met, having a roommate will give you the chance to learn something new about yourself and about other people.

Most students living in the residence halls will have at least one roommate. Depending on which apartment you live in you may have as many as three apartment-mates. No matter how many roommates you have, you have to create a living situation that works for everyone.

Having a good roommate relationship relies on everyone in the living unit being open and willing to get to know each other. For the most effective living environment, there has to be communication, compromise, and understanding.

  • Talk with your roommates early about the expectations you have for each other. Things to discuss include:
    • Overnight guests
    • Cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, and living room
    • Doing the dishes
    • Sharing food, cleaning supplies, etc.
    • Television, video game, and stereo etiquette
    • Quiet times for sleep and study
    • Room temperature
  • Decide early on who will bring what for your apartment. You won’t need four coffee makers, four sets of cookware, and so forth. Decide which items you are willing to share with your roommates.
  • Discuss the rules of the University.
  • Decide how you want to hold each other accountable for issues as they arise.
    • Don’t let things fester, its best to deal with issues as they arise rather than waiting for them to pile up.
  • Be honest with your roommates. Tell them when you do or don’t like something that is going on in the apartment.
  • Decide early on about when and in what situations you will all meet with each other to talk over issues in the apartment. Try to meet at least once per month just to touch base and more often if necessary.
  • Your roommate has the right to read, study, and sleep just like you do. Try to keep noise, guests, and other distractions to a minimum. Ask first before having guests.
  • Don’t borrow your roommate’s stuff without asking. Chances are they will be happy to share something if you just ask in advance.
  • Check with your roommates about overnight guests. Remember, it is their space too.
  • Keep it clean. Nobody likes dirty dishes. If you feel like you’re doing all the cleaning, suggest setting a regular schedule so everyone has some responsibility.
  • Common areas in the apartment like the kitchen and living room are open to everyone in the apartment. Try to keep your personal effects in your own room unless you don’t mind other people using them.
  • Personal space is personal space. Respect your roommate’s privacy.
  • Make sure your guests know and follow the rules you and your roommates have established.
  • If you have a problem, talk with your roommate. Try to resolve issues quickly, honestly, and without drawing in people that are not involved. Don’t just stew about an issue, talk about it.
  • If you and your roommate cannot settle an issue alone, talk to your RA or another staff member. They will do their best to help you resolve issues.
  • Don’t try to be the boss of everything. Treat your roommate as an equal and be ready to compromise.

Choosing Your Roommate

Do you have one or more roommates in mind? You can request to be in the same apartment or room when you submit your housing application. Please know that all roommate requests must be mutual. Be sure to apply early, and it’s helpful if you all apply at the same time.

If you want to live with someone new, we will match you with another student. We will even try to match you with a student from another part of the country or even another part of the world, just note that on your application. All other matches are based on your age, major, and whether or not you select a “Non-Smoker” roommate preference.

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