Living With A Roommate

You are probably wondering what it will be like to have a roommate when you move to Western Carolina University. The following are some tips that will hopefully make you feel more confident about the experience.

Sharing a room with someone is similar to other relationships; to be successful it requires openness, flexibility, and respect. Right from the beginning, it is very important to communicate openly with your roommate.  Learning to live with another person, to acknowledge and respect each other’s differences, and to allow one another the space to grow are some of the most valuable parts of the residence experience.

Prior to arriving at Western, you will want to contact your roommate in order to discuss what to bring and what to leave behind. (When you receive your assignment via email, it will include contact information for your roommate.)  Some items you may want to discuss include:

  • Food - allergies and sharing food
  • Bedtime preferences
  • Music and television - How loud and what time of day/night?
  • Overnight guests - Is its okay? When? How often?
  • Visitors - Do you want friends visiting and hanging out in your room?
  • Having a secret word between the two of you for use when one of you is getting tired and wants the visitors to leave
  • How you will handle phone messages?
  • Are you both neat freaks or can you both stand a little mess?

As a new student, we highly recommend that you and your roommate complete a Roommate Agreement form soon after your arrival to campus.  We encourage all residents to take this seriously, as it lays the foundations and groundwork for boundaries within your living space. It also assists you in discussing concepts that you may not have thought about prior to coming to college and sharing a room.

Remember, the best way to resolve disputes is to be up front and to talk about the problems. The longer you dwell on them the more difficult they are to resolve. If you are having difficulties conversing with your roommate, we encourage you to speak with your RA. He or she will be glad to assist you.

Your enjoyment of campus life will depend, to a great extent, on the thoughtful consideration you demonstrate for your roommate and your neighbors. Some of your basic responsibilities and rights include:

  • The right to study and sleep without undue interference from noise, guests, etc.
  • The right to expect that your personal belongings will be respected and used only with your permission.
  • The right to resolve grievances and assert your point of view.  (Residence Life staff members are available for assistance in resolving conflicts.)
  • The right to read and study free from undue interference in one’s room. (Unreasonable noise and other distractions inhibit these activities.)
  • The right to a clean living environment.
  • The right to free access to one’s room, personal space, and facilities without pressure from your roommate.
  • The right to privacy.
  • The right to be free from fear of intimidation, physical, and/or emotional harm.
  • The right to ensure that guests respect the rights and privacy of the host’s roommate and other residents.
  • The right to expect reasonable cooperation in the use of “room-shared” appliances (TV, telephone, refrigerator, etc.).
  • The right to have guests who will be expected to respect the rights of the host’s roommate and other residents of the floor and hall.
  • The right to live in a secure environment.
  • The right to have individual differences respected. Acts of intolerance directed toward an individual on the basis of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation will not be permitted in the residence halls.
 

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