Guide to Residential Living

West Chester University

Residence Life and Housing Services
202 Lawrence Center
West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-3307
fax: 610-430-5945
Housing@wcupa.edu



Welcome to Your New Home

You and Your Roommate (Apartment-mates/Suitemates)

Being a roommate and having a roommate, or living in an apartment/suite with others can be both rewarding and challenging. Learning how to communicate, compromise, share, and build interdependence will enhance your relationship with your roommate or others in your apartment/suite. We strongly encourage that you and your roommates discuss your expectations for living with each other and complete the Roommate Agreement which will be provided to you by your Resident Assistant at the beginning of the year. This helps reduce issues as the semester progresses and is a great resource for you when problems do occur.

Community Member Bill of Rights

Your enjoyment of life on campus will depend to a large extent on the thoughtful consideration that you and your roommate or those with whom you live show for each other. Here are some of the basic rights that each of you should enjoy:

  1. The right to read and study free from undue noise or disturbance in your assigned living area.
  2. The right to sleep without undue disturbance from music, your roommate's guests, your roommate studying (11 :00–8:00 am), etc.
  3. The right to expect that a roommate or apartment/suite-mate will respect your personal belongings.
  4. The right to a clean room or apartment/suite.
  5. The right to free access to your room or apartment/suite.
  6. The right to personal privacy.
  7. The right to have guests with the understanding that guests are to respect the rights of your roommate or apartment/suite-mates and of the other residents in the building.
  8. The right to discuss questions or concerns. Residence Life and Housing Services staff members are available for assistance in settling conflicts between you and your roommate or others in your apartment/suite.
  9. The right to be free from intimidation, physical or emotional harm.

Communicate and Set Ground Rules to Avoid Conflict

The following topics can sometimes be an issue between roommates and apartment/suite-mates. Help avoid conflict before it starts by spending some time with your roommate(s) and apartment/suite-mates at the beginning of the semester to discuss these items:

  1. Daily Schedule: sleeping times, quiet hours, study habits,meal times, TV viewing, computer usage, bathroom usage in the apartment/suite, etc.
  2. Personal Habits: life-style choices, exercising, singing, snoring, talking on the telephone, etc.
  3. Values: philosophy, religion, politics, prejudices.
  4. Rules and Regulations: do they intend to abide by the drug and alcohol policy, quiet policy, smoking policy, etc.
  5. Visitation: friends in the room or apartment/suite, parties, privacy.
  6. Housekeeping: making beds, picking up clothes, cleaning common areas in the apartment/suite, etc.
  7. Locks and Keys: getting locked out, leaving the room or apartment/suite unlocked, sharing keys, etc.
  8. Sharing: respect for each other's property, respect for each other's rights in using the room or apartment/suite.

Remember, when differences occur the only way to work them out is by letting the other person know there are some things that need to be worked out. Keep in mind it's NOT effective to let everyone on your floor know about your roommate problems, to purposefully annoy your roommate to get his/her attention, or assume that your roommate will know what your problem is by your non-verbals (i.e. Stomping, huffing and puffing). The BEST way to work out differences with your roommate is by sitting down with your roommate(s), apartment-mate(s) or suite-mate(s) and talking about the issues.

If you need help with a room/apartment/suite-mate problem, contact an RA or the Resident/Graduate Hall Director. They will help to facilitate communication and attempt to bring about a resolution. Where appropriate, Residence Life staff members are available to mediate when students seek further assistance in resolving conflict.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

In an effort to resolve conflict between parties, the University is willing to provide assistance when students cannot reach a resolution on their own. Mediation is the process that is employed in these situations.

Mediation is a confidential process whereby two or more parties voluntarily meet to reach their own agreement with the assistance of a mediator. Mediation is designed to facilitate a workable solution that benefits the parties involved. The participants are responsible for keeping or renegotiating their agreements. For more information about the process, please contact any RLHS staff member.