A Message from Residence Life Area Directors Beth Steffen and Katie Kelly,
Living with a roommate can be exciting, comforting, and sometimes challenging. Often students come into college with unrealistic expectations about the roommate relationship based on media interpretations and other people’s experiences. Whether your student is living with one, two or three other people, they can expect some conflicts to arise. It’s a natural occurrence when people are sharing a small space. Additionally, your student and their roommate are dealing with the usual stresses of adjusting to college life – balancing time, managing academics, and connecting with the community.
One of the fundamental outcomes of the Residence Life Catholic Social Teaching Principles is to educate and equip students to take responsibility for the quality of their living and learning environment, exercising their rights in a way that justly promotes the rights of others. While our staff is here to serve students, we’re also here to encourage and challenge them to appropriately address conflict, growing from the uncomfortable moments.
It is our hope that students approach conflict directly with respect and patience. Often we hear of students using passive-aggressive behavior or other unproductive communication to address their conflict. Rarely is one roommate more at fault than another, and both roommates are expected to participate in the mediation process. It’s important for students to dialogue and compromise when issues arise.
We’ve created a process that, in our experience, has been successful at addressing roommate issues. Should your student experience a roommate conflict, we know it will be hard for you to hear of their struggles. We understand that you may want to contact us to advocate for your student. Instead, we ask that you allow your student to work with us directly to address their concerns.
Please encourage your student to review the Room Changes and Roommate Conflict Policy outlined below.
If you have any questions, please ask your student to contact us directly.
Beth Steffen, Area Director for St. Mary, Stanton, Crandall, and Old Main Halls 651.690.6685
Katie Kelly, Area Director for Alberta, Georgia, Caecilian, Carondelet, Morrison, and Rauenhorst Halls 651.690.6519
Room Changes and Roommate Conflict, Policies and Procedures
Roommates should attempt to work together prior to discussing a room change, therefore we ask students to wait until the third week of the semester to request a room change. Room changes prior to the third week may be considered if the circumstances are serious.
Before beginning the room change request process, you and your roommate(s) must have a Roommate Agreement on-file with the Residence Life Office. You and your roommate(s) must meet with your Resident Advisor to discuss your agreement before it is officially considered on-file. Roommate Agreement meetings take place at the beginning of fall and/or within two weeks of any roommate change. Students are required to participate in this process.
If you have completed and participated in a roommate agreement meeting and you are experiencing roommate conflicts, you should follow the steps below.
Talk to your roommate about the conflict. Your RA is available to assist you with this step. Refer to your roommate agreement for guidance.
Talk to your RA about the continuing conflict or concern. The RA will meet with you and your roommate in a formal mediation. Another roommate agreement will be completed. After the mediation, you and your roommate should allow at least two weeks to resolve the conflict.
If steps one and two are not successful, contact the Residence Coordinator or Area Director for your building. They will continue working with you and your roommate (s) to resolve the issue and/or discuss a possible room change.
In situations where there is a roommate conflict, and a room change is necessary, it is the responsibility of you and your roommate(s) to decide who will move out of the room. If you and your roommate(s) cannot mutually agree upon who will move out of the room, the Residence Coordinator or Area Director will make a decision based on the dates each person submitted their Housing & Dining Agreement – or by random drawing.
One person does not have priority to a space over another, even if a student believes they are not at fault for the roommate issue(s). Students with medical accommodations may also need to move if another, comparable space is available that meets their accommodation needs. If a comparable space is not available, the other roommate(s) will be moved to another space if a room change is necessary.
For any room change, all paperwork must be completed before students receive their new keys. Moving without proper approval may result in fines. Residents moving from the halls to the apartments within the same semester must keep their meal plan for the remainder of the semester. Room and apartment rates will be adjusted to reflect actual occupancy.
*Please keep in mind that a student’s conduct/disciplinary status may affect their ability to move to another room.