Roommate Conflicts: Confrontation, Communication and Mediation
Living with roommates isn’t always easy. Sharing a living space may be stressful, and conflicts may arise. Sometimes situations that work at the beginning of the year become more difficult as the year goes on; remember that college is a time when students grow and change which can certainly impact even the healthiest of roommate relationships. It is perfectly normal to have roommate conflicts.
Many conflicts can be resolved easily with mature and respectful conversation between roommates. Other conflicts may be more difficult to resolve and may require assistance through a formal mediation process. In extreme cases, conflicts may not be able to be resolved resulting in a room change for one or both roommates. It is never our desire to force students to live in a room where the climate is wrought with tension and frustration or where conflict cannot be resolved. We do, however, expect students to make a sincere and collaborative effort to work through the conflict, communicate clearly their concerns, and develop strong conflict management or coping skills in the process. Our residence halls are also very full and at times we may not have the space available to move students into a new or different space.
Residence Life offers a number of resources to students facing roommate conflicts. Roommate conflicts are initially handled at the floor/community level by the Resident Assistant. Residence Life Coordinators often guide the RAs through each roommate conflict. Students seeking assistance should begin by talking with their RA.
Roommate conflicts and room changes are not addressed by the Director of Student Affairs or the Assistant Director/Director of Residence Life unless the hall staff requires assistance in doing so. It is also important to note that the college expects students, not parents, to work through the processes outlined below.