Roommate situations happen – Residence Life cleans up

by Stephanie Woodruff, reporter

Roommates play a huge part in your college experience. You can love them or you can hate them but you really never know until you’re living with them. Roommate problems are more common than people may think.

When most students come to college, they’re used to having their own space. But when you’re placed in a room with someone you most likely don’t know, things can get a little tricky. Even if you know them, living with someone is much different than just knowing them. Together, you must figure out things like bedtimes, who does the dishes, sharing food, etc. Sometimes roommates do not agree and that is when problems arise.

Residence Life does their best when putting roommates together, but disagreements can happen or things just don’t work. Being a roommate is a full-time job just like being a student, and if you’re having roommate problems, they could damage your academic and social life. Situations must be handled with care or things can get ugly.

The number one response for the cause of roommate problems was communication. Sometimes it can be hard to talk to your roommate and if you can’t, Community Advisors (CA) are on every floor to help. Alexa Gilmore, a CA in Picken Hall, said communication is everything. “A few things that many of my residents have faced this year would be communication issues.  I strongly suggest roommates having strong communication skills and having a mutual respect for one another,” Gilmore said.

There are plenty more problems that can present themselves. Roommate contracts are made every year to help with guidelines roommates can follow, but compromise must be in that contract. No one person can get everything they want and that is part of living with another person. Steph Lash, Student Hall Coordinator for the second-year area, emphasized the importance of those contracts. “The contracts alleviate and shed light on some things that some roommates may not have known,” Lash said.

Roommates can work with the contract and discuss how to go about dealing with problems that come up and those situations can be handled smoothly. Luke Behaunek, Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life said, “If there is a common understanding of how conflict will be addressed within the room before the conflict happens really helps create a comfortable environment to have those conversations.”

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your roommate Gilmore suggests going to your CA and telling them what the issues are. There are plenty of people waiting to help students having problems.

“Our area coordinator staff is sometimes involved to help mediate a situation and provide options if it doesn’t seem like it will work out,” Behaunek said. If you are unsure about your CA handling the problem, there are area coordinators and advisors you can contact as well. They are all here at our disposal willing and ready to help.

Simpson has a large staff to help relieve any problems that can pop up. Roommates shouldn’t feel stuck with one another; there is always a way to fix things. “It’s one of the things we handle frequently,” Behaunek said. Remember, you are not alone and most roommates have differences to work through. It’s not uncommon to disagree, especially when you live together. That is why Residence Life is there to help