Respect Your Roommate(s)
Your roommate(s) is one of the first persons you'll meet at CCA. You do not necessarily have to be best friends with your roommate, but you do need to establish a functional and respectful relationship. You and your roommate may be similar or quite different from one another, and it may take some effort to develop the relationship.
Suggestions for Avoiding Conflict
- Don’t wait for problems to arise before you discuss lifestyle differences and shared expectations. (See also #5 below.)
- Remember communication is the key to successful roommate relationships.
- Always strive to keep communication channels open.
- If you are finding it difficult to express your feelings, ask a Residential Life staff member for guidance. This person can be a terrific sounding board and can also help mediate a conflict, if necessary.
- Consideration and compromise are also important. We encourage you to sit down with your roommate in the first few days of the semester to discuss the types of situations that cause most roommate problems.
Know Each other's Lifestyle Habits
The following topics may help you identify some typical lifestyle issues, allow you to examine the different ways you and your roommate approach issues, and give you the opportunity to work out methods of resolving differences before conflict arises.
Studying: When do you like to study? Do you plan to do most of your studying in the room or in places like the library or studio? At what noise level do you prefer to study? How much time do you spend studying?
Room condition: How much clutter do you like around the room? Is it okay for one roommate’s spaces to be more messy or neat than the others? What is the best way to organize a method of cleaning? Whose responsibility is it to clean certain areas? How often should cleaning be done?
Sleeping hours: Do you go to bed early or late? Get up early or late? Does noise or light bother you late at night or early in the morning? Do you get upset when awakened?
Privacy: How much privacy do you need? Do you need time to yourself in the room each day? If so, can it be scheduled?
Sharing & borrowing: Is it okay to borrow possessions or clothes? Do you need to ask first, no matter what it may be? (Be prepared to accept responsibility if something happens to the borrowed item. Offer to pay for or replace it.) Are some of your possessions accessible to your roommate, or are there certain possessions nobody may touch except yourself, such as your clothes, dishes, stereo, or money?
Guests & visitors: How do you feel about your roommate having a visitor of the same or opposite sex? If you have a visitor and this proves inconvenient to your roommate, how would you like your roommate to communicate this to you? How late can visitors visit? When is it okay to have overnight guests? Roommates are expected to discuss the presence of overnight guests in advance of the visit. (Note: If a roommate is uncomfortable with any individual staying in the room, he or she has the right to refuse an overnight guest.
Future issues: If something is bothering you concerning a rooming situation, what are you most likely to do? Will you be passive or assertive? How would you like to be approached concerning problems that might arise? What forms of communication (written, verbal, electronic; timely or not; direct or indirect) work best for you?
Respect and consideration go a long way in roommate relationships, as well as in relationships with other residents.
Each Roommate Has a Right to . . .
- study or work in your room free from undue interference
- sleep in your without undue disturbance from noise, guests, and roommates
- expect roommates and their guests will respect one’s personal belongings
- be free from fear of intimidation and physical or emotional harm
- a clean and safe living environment
- free access to one’s room and facilities
- personal privacy
- expect disagreements will be handled with mutual respect
Always strive to keep the lines of communication open between you and your roommate. Chances are likely if something about the living situation is bothering you, it's also bothering your roommate, so talk about it!