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Relating to Your Roommate

Having a college roommate is one of the classic college experiences. And while it inevitably has its challenges, it can also be a great part of your experience at UL Lafayette.

For many of you, this may be your first time sharing your living space with someone else. For others, sharing a space with people is a snap. We want your living situation to be as comfortable and as positive as possible, so we've collected a series of useful articles and tips to help you and your roommate keep things pleasant and supportive throughout the year (or even years!).

Roommate Guidelines

Roommates may be complete strangers or they may be friends from their hometown. Regardless of the familiarity with each other, each resident is in a new situation and a different experience.  The new living space should provide a comfortable place to study, a place to sleep, and a place for needed privacy. Roommates will have to communicate to provide these things for each other.

When you arrive on campus, all residents will receive a roommate agreement via your RA during the first floor meeting. Whether you contact your roommate before move-in day or talk for the first time after you both reach your room, you'll want to think about doing these things:

  • Talk about ideas and feelings as well as just “things”
  • Be honest about feelings, likes and dislikes
  • Roommates should be willing to compromise, but each resident needs to know what he/she is willing to compromise and what is important and not negotiable
  • Residents should give their roommate the respect, consideration and understanding they expect in return
  • Set the “tone” for talking- five minutes before class is not the time to have a heart-to-heart discussion
  • Roommates should discuss problems with each other (or the hall staff) and not just with anyone who happens to be walking by
  • Values, feelings and ideas change, and that’s okay – so residents should not feel betrayed if their roommate seems “different” after a while – that’s growing

Questions for New Roommates for Ask Each Other (and themselves!)

  • How does each roommate feel about guests dropping by?  How often? How late?  Weekend visitors?
  • What time does each roommate go to sleep?  What time do they get up? Are they a heavy or light sleeper?  Do they snore?
  • How much does each roommate study?  When do they study?  How quiet does the room have to be for each person to be able to study?
  • What is the preferred temperature of the room?
  • What kind of music does each roommate like?  How loud?
  • How clean and neat does each roommate want the room?  How are roommates going to decide who cleans what and when in the room?
  • Which items of each roommate’s property are acceptable to borrow? Which are off limits?
  • How will the living space be set up and arranged?

Survival Tips for New Roommates

  • Discuss “Questions to Ask Each Other” as soon as possible.
  • Be realistic: roommates should not expect to be each other’s best friend and constant companion. Continuous close contact can strain even the best of friendships.
  • Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Discuss potential areas of conflict (before they arise if possible).  Be open to compromise.
  • If one roommate does something the other roommate does not like, talk about it right away.
  • If the things the roommates agree upon at the beginning change, be sure to let each other know.
  • Be considerate of each other’s privacy.
  • Roommates should never assume their roommate is just like them.  Each resident has unique differences.
  • Always ask permission. Don’t just use the TV or eat the cookies without asking.
  • Roommates should appreciate one another and never take each other for granted.
  • Avoid being judgmental
  • Residents should be honest, assertive, and stand up for themselves
  • Ask a RA for help.  He/she is trained to help mediate conflicts.  If he/she can’t help, contact the Community Director (CD).

Residents who have problems that they cannot seem to work out with their roommates should be sure to talk to the Area Coordinator (AC). An AC can help negotiate a solution and if one cannot be reached, he/she may be able to work out a room change. If a resident plans to leave the hall overnight or longer, it is a good idea to let his/her roommate or RA know where he/she is going and how he/she can be reached in an emergency.

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