You and Your Roommate (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.
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:
- The right to read and study free from undue noise or disturbance in your room.
- The right to sleep without undue disturbance from music, your roommate's guests, your roommate's studying, etc.
- The right to expect that a roommate or apartment/suite-mate will respect your personal belongings.
- The right to a clean room or apartment/suite.
- The right to free access to your room or apartment/suite.
- The right to personal privacy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Consider doing this in conjunction with the Roomate Agreement .
- Daily Schedule: sleeping times, quiet hours, study habits, meal times, TV viewing, bathroom usage in the apartments/suites, etc.
- Personal Habits: lifestyle choices, exercising, singing, snoring, talking on the telephone, etc.
- Values: philosophy, religion, politics, prejudices.
- Rules and Regulations: do they intend to abide by the drug, alcohol policy, quiet policy, and smoking policy, etc.
- Visitation: friends in the room or apartment/suite, parties, privacy.
- Housekeeping: making beds, picking up clothes, cleaning common areas in the apartments/suite, etc.
- Locks and Keys: getting locked out, leaving the room or apartment/suite unlocked, sharing keys, etc.
- 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) or apartment/suite-mate(s) and talking about the issues.
If you need help with a roommate/apartment/suite-mate problem, contact an RA or the Resident Director or Graduate Hall Director. They will help to facilitate communication and attempt to bring about a resolution. Where appropriate, a mediation service is available to students who seek further assistance in resolving conflict.