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Roommates 101

As a first-year student, you should expect to formally sit down and discuss your expectations for sharing a room and communicating. This process will take place during the first few weeks of school through the orientation programs and meetings with your Resident Advisors (RAs).  

New students complete a roommate contract, which provides the opportunity to discuss and generally agree what is appropriate for your living space.  Expect to discuss:

  • Studying and Sleeping Habits 
    What are our schedules like? Do we plan to study in the room?
  • Cleaning and Trash Removal 
    How important is a clean room? How often should garbage be taken out?
  • Visitation and Guests
    How often will we have guests? Should there be advance notice of overnight guests?
  • Use of Space
    How should the room be set up? What is appropriate to put on the walls?
  • Sharing of Belongings 
    What items can be shared? Are there any items we will buy together?
  • Noise and Electronics 
    What times/volume can tv/music/etc be used? When is too late for phone calls?
  • Roommate Communication
    How will we communicate when we have a concern?
  • Personal Beliefs, Values, Goals
    What are your priorities at college? What important to you?
  • Individual Personalities 
    How do you react when you are angry? What annoys you ?
  • Behavioral Choices
    How will you spend your free time? What do you plan to do on weekends?
Once you have a chance to adjust to your college schedule and get to know each other, these questions will be revisited and explored more deeply. Returning students are encouraged to complete roommate contracts, too — the discussion process is helpful for friends who might assume they know each other really well. Should concerns arise down the road, the roommate contract can serve as a mechanism for discussion, clarification, and compromise.

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    Dorothy Day Student Center

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