Helpful Information

Helpful Information

Roommate Relations

Conflict Happens
  • Tips for De-Escalating a Conflict
  • Talking Tips
  • Hearing is not Listening: 10 Ways to Be a Good Listener

What to Bring

The following items may be needed, depending on personal preference, in all residence halls unless otherwise indicated in the information about your specific residence hall in the residence hall pages:

Bedding/linens: You will need twin extra-long bed size flat and fitted sheets, blankets, bedspreads, and pillows. You will also need to provide your own towels and washcloths.

Personal items: Clothing, toiletries, medicines, books, study materials, and whatever else is necessary for you to live and work comfortably.

Cooking equipment: Residents in apartment-style buildings, which have stoves and refrigerators, provide their own cook ware, dishes, and supplies. Toasters, toaster ovens, and hot plates are prohibited in all residences for fire safety and electrical reasons.

Refrigerator and/or microwave: Apartment-style residence halls all have refrigerators, and some identified on the residence hall web pages above have microwaves. Other residents may bring a small refrigerator (less than 5 cubic feet) and/or microwave, or arrange to rent them from information that will be mailed to new freshmen and transfers during the summer. Coordinate plans with roommates/suitemates to avoid duplication and space problems.

Room amenities: non-halogen desk or floor lamps, posters, alarm clock, clothes hangers. All windows have blinds, so curtains are not needed.

TVs and stereos: should be compact and equipped with headphones to allow use without disturbing roommates. Coordinate plans with roommates/suitemates to avoid duplication and space problems.

What Not to Bring

  • Air conditioners
  • Candles
  • Drugs and other controlled substances without prescription
  • Electric heaters
  • Flammable decorations including natural or artificial Christmas trees
  • Furniture-except small book shelves
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, grills, or other open flame or heating coil devices
  • Incense
  • Pets or animals of any kind
  • Wall or cordless telephones
  • Weapons of any kind including firearms, fireworks, ammunition, knives, or explosives

Safety & Security in the Halls

  • All residents must present their the School of Engineering ID cards on entry.
  • All guests must be signed in and out by their resident host and leave picture ID at the guard station.

Storage in the Halls

There is no storage space for students' use in public areas of the residence halls. Please do not bring more personal property than you can keep within your room. Students may not store belongings in the residence halls during the summer. Students who need or wish to store belongings during the summer are encouraged to use local commercial storage facilities. Information regarding commercial storage options will be made available in each residence hall prior to the end of the spring term.

Before Arriving to Your Hall

It is normal for you to be excited and anxious about living with a new roommate. Before arriving at your residence hall, you should consider reaching out to your roommate(s) and speaking with her/him/them on the phone. This will give you an opportunity to get to know each other and begin to plan for your living experience. Remember, it can be difficult to get to know someone over the phone so be cautious about making quick judgments about your new roommate(s) before meeting her/him/them in person. Below are examples of questions that you and your roommate may want to consider discussing.

  1. TV
  2. DVD player
  3. Microwave
  4. Refrigerator (if not provided)
  5. Stereo
  6. Dishes/Pots and Pans
  7. Color Scheme
  8. Posters
  9. Shower curtain and bathroom rug
  10. Who will bring what appliances?
  11. If/How do we want to decorate?

Before you make the call to your soon-to-be roommate(s) it is important to think about your own personal needs so that you can express them accurately and openly when talking. As mentioned before it can be both challenging and fun to live with someone else, so it helps to let them know from the start what you need and vice versa. If you are a freshman, you should also know that some of your preferences may change during the first semester. Some things to think about:

  1. What are the key elements of that place?
  2. How can you create a similar feeling in the residence halls?
  3. How can you describe your lifestyle to a complete stranger?
  4. What kind of environment or place makes you feel the most secure?

Great Expectations

Please keep in mind that everyone has different beliefs, values, experiences, communication styles, and expectations. With that being said, you and your roommate may become the best of friends, or you may only see each other when you’re in your room. No matter how close you are, you have to work together to establish and maintain a positive living environment. Having the right attitude can make living with a roommate a little easier for everyone living in the room. The most important elements of living with a roommate include:

  1. Respecting your roommates
  2. Being considerate of your roommates’ thoughts and concerns
  3. Being willing to communicate and compromise
  4. Having an open mind regarding your roommates’ choices

As soon as you get settled into your room, you should discuss your expectations honestly. The biggest conflicts often arise when expectations are not addressed from the beginning. Don’t put off talking to each other about your expectations, needs, quirks, and pet peeves. It is a great way to help manage conflict in the future.

Speaking openly about what you expect from each other and your personal habits is a vital step that many people skip especially if you are living with a friend or someone you already know. Some people think that if they get along well as friends, they will get along as roommates, however, often living with friends and not discussing expectations can cause tension.

Your Resident Assistant (RA) will provide you with a Resident Living Agreement form at your floor meeting. This form will assist you in having these conversations with your roommates/suitemates. In addition, when conflict does arise, it will be a tool you can use to begin the conversation.

Cleaning the room or apartment is an area where roommates tend to disagree. To assist you in discussing your cleaning needs in your living space, we created cleaning schedules that you can download and fill out. These schedules will help you determine who should clean when and what needs to be cleaned. Cleaning schedule form

Getting Started

While these items are addressed in your Resident Living Agreement Form, below are some sample questions for you to think about.

  1. When do you like to go to sleep?
  2. Are you a morning or evening person?
  3. What are your study habits?
  4. Do you study with music?
  5. What can be shared or borrowed?
  6. What can’t be borrowed?
  7. Should I ask before I borrow something?
  8. Do we share groceries, etc.?
  9. Do you mind if someone sits on your bed?
  10. What are our expectations surrounding guests/overnight guests?
  11. Where should I leave mail or messages for you?
  12. How should we address problems?
  13. What is your class, work, and extracurricular schedule like?
  14. When does the door need to be locked?
  15. Can I talk on the phone in the room, if you are here?
  16. My pet peeves are…
  17. I am passionate about…
  18. I feel this way about drugs/alcohol…
  19. When I am upset I will…
  20. I like to joke about…
  21. I do NOT like to joke about…

The Roommates Bill of Rights

As you create your list of guidelines, keep in mind that you have rights in your shared living space and that your roommates have rights as well. Below is a listing of those rights:

  1. To read and study in one’s room
  2. To sleep with as little disturbance as possible
  3. To have respectful interaction with roommate(s)
  4. To live in a maintained clean environment
  5. To have access to one’s room at all times
  6. To have personal privacy
  7. To have guests who respect the rights of other residents
  8. To speak openly about ideas, options, and grievances
  9. To be free from physical and emotional harm
  10. To be treated in a considerate and thoughtful manner
  11. To expect cooperation within reason
  12. To expect enforcement of residence hall and university policies