Freshmen roommate selection is no lottery


by Sara Heim

Peculiar sleep patterns, unusual study habits and odd dailyroutines are among the questions that come to mind when trying tomatch roommates.

Every year, Stephanie Krauth, associate dean of students, sitsdown with admissions counselors and a thick stack of studentquestionnaires to make roommate pairings for the following schoolyear.

In order to take every student into consideration during theprocess, the freshmen roommate selection is decided after the lastsummer admissions session.

The admissions counselors play a significant role in makingroommate pairings because of their personal contact with students.They have met the students before classes start and have a betterperspective of what they like and what not.

“[Admissions counselors’] know if the students are going to bein a sport, or what activities they are involved in,” Krauthsaid.

The questionnaires are distributed to all freshmen to make abetter decision when deciding the roommate pairings. The questionsincluded go from how much noise the student can tolerate or thekind of music the student enjoys, to whether the student find iteasy or difficult to meet new people.

“It is important for students to be honest on the questionnairesso that we can make a good match,” Krauth said.

The largest factors taken into consideration when makingpairings are sleep, study and neatness habits.

“If anything triggers a conflict it is one of these threethings,” Krauth said.

According to Krauth, pairings can be very easy, but sometimesthey can also cause them serious headaches. “The easiest pairingsto make are the mutual requests,” Krauth said.

Nonetheless, outside of the mutual requests, the onlyinformation the Residence Life staff has to rely on is thequestionnaire sent to all of the new students.

One of the questions posed to new students is whether or notthey would like to room with another student who shares their majoror preferred activity.

“I think having the same interests and similar classes isimportant,” said freshman Lauren Fuemmeler. “It’s nice to have aperson there to share a common struggle.”

For most new students, having common interests is a crucialfactor to develop a good roommate relationship.

“I really like that [my roommate and I] have a lot in common,”said Jacob Gilbert, a freshman member of the football team. “If wewant to complain to each other about football, we can.”

Students are urged to contact their roommates as soon as theyreceive their housing information.

“We encourage students to contact their roommate right away, notjust about who’s going to bring the microwave, but about boyfriendsand other more important things,” Krauth said.

In the past, Krauth has been in charge of making the pairings,but starting next year Mandy Fox, director of residence life, willtake over the job of roommate pairings.

In Fox’s opinion, one of the most common factors in roommates’conflicts is lack of communication between the students.

“Talking early and often can solve most, if not all conflictsbetween first-year students,” Fox said.

Although they don’t always succeed, the Residence Life staffputs an extraordinary effort to make the best pairingspossible.

“It’s not an exact science,” Krauth said. “We do the best thatwe can.”