We hope that you have a great experience living on campus, but we understand that there may be times where you and your roommate(s) don’t get along.
Roommate conflicts are a natural part of learning how to live with someone and sharing space. When conflicts happen, we first want the roommates to try and resolve the conflict on their own. If this is unable to happen, residents can get Residential Life staff involved to help mediate the disagreement.
The things that Residential Life considers when addressing conflict are outlined below. Part of this process can be done without the help of Residential Life. If you are having problems, try these steps first, or get in touch with your RA to help work through the conflict.
- Refer to your Roommate and Community Agreements
- Setting clear expectations of how roommates communicate with each other, respect personal belongings and use physical space is critical to preventing roommate conflicts. To help foster setting these expectations, all roommates fill out a roommate agreement at the beginning of the year. Your RA reviewed this with you and Residential Life has it on file. Look back at this agreement. Is the cause of this conflict addressed in these agreements? Do you need to add something to this agreement? Do you need to refine the agreement now that you've been living with each other for a while?
- Talk to each other
- Communication is key in any conflict. Most conflicts result from not communicating enough or clearly with each other. This means that you should have an honest face-to-face conversation (not via electronic communication). If/when you talk to your RA or RD/RLC about this, one of the first questions that they will likely ask is whether or not you and your roommate have talked about this. If you have, we'll go from there. If you haven't, we will talk about how to prepare or be involved in that initial conversation.
- Talk to your RA
- RAs are a great resource if you are find yourself in this situation. They can help you talk through a plan for communicating so you feel prepared to have a conversation with your roommate(s). Or, your RA will sit down with everything involved to facilitate a conversation covering what the issues are, how to compromise and how to live well together moving forward.
- Talk to your RD/RLC
- If you and your roommate are still having issues after meeting with your RA, reach out to your RLC, RD or NC and ask for assistance in mediating the conflict. Recognize, however, that it may be a couple of days before you can schedule a meeting with this person.
- Change rooms (if necessary)
- Our goal is that through this process, we can work through the conflicts and learn to respect each other on a deeper level by accommodating for each member involved in the conflict. However, if through this process we still are not able to work through the conflicts, then your RD/RLC can help you find a different rooming situation that is (hopefully) better for everyone involved.
Who is your RD/RLC?
Your RD/RLC is the professional staff member that lives in your community and oversees its day-to-day functions. If you live in a cottage or apartment, this position is the assistant director of residential life and education.
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