First-year students and their roommates are paired up based on information provided in the roommate questionnaire and on their first-year seminar. We try to bring together students with similar interests and living habits, but we also ask that you be open to and respectful of difference. Remember that every person is different. What seems normal to you may be foreign to your roommate. 

Communication is the key to living with a roommate. Whether you and your roommate get along or not, living with someone new will teach you valuable life lessons. You will learn to respect someone else’s space and articulate your wants and needs.

Each roommate pair/group should come up with an individual "Bill of Rights." The following list of rights is what you and your roommate should consider when working out disputes. These are each resident’s basic rights.

  • The right to read and study free from undue interference in one’s room. Unreasonable noise and other distractions inhibit the exercise of this right.
  • The right to sleep without undue disturbance from noise, guests of a roommate, etc. 
  • The right to expect that a roommate(s) will respect one’s personal belongings.
  • The right to a clean environment in which to live.
  • The right to free access to one’s room and facilities without pressure from a roommate.
  • The right to privacy.
  • The right to have guests with the expectation that guests will respect the rights of the host’s roommate and other residents of the floor or hall.
  • The right to confront the situation if any rights are taken away. The Residential Education staff is available for assistance in settling conflicts.
  • The right to be free of fear and physical and/or emotional intimidation.
  • The right to expect reasonable cooperation in the use of "room shared" and appliances and a commitment to have agreed-upon payment procedures.
  • The right to be free of peer pressure or ridicule regarding personal choices.

If you do have conflicts with your roommate and cannot solve the situation yourself, your Resident Assistant (RA) is a great resource to help solve any miscommunications. Area Coordinators are also available to help work through any challenges you may have.


We recommend that you and your roommate talk about the 21 items below and continue to talk about them on a regular basis because your ideas and attitudes may change—sometimes without you even realizing it.

  1. I prefer to go to bed at/ wake up at....
  2. In my free time, I like to...
  3. I like to study...alone/ with quiet/ with room/ in library.
  4. My favorite music is...
  5. How neat do you like your room to be?
  6. How will we divide the cleaning duties?
  7. What temperature are you comfortable with? Do you prefer fans/ open windows/ heat?
  8. Do you feel comfortable sharing clothes, food, appliances, music, personal hygiene items, electronic equipment, computers, books, etc.?
  9. Which items are/ are not appropriate to share or borrow?
  10. Would you prefer if I ask to borrow an item before I use it?
  11. Should we buy/rent any items together? How should we split the cost? Who should keep it at the end of the year?
  12. Do you mind anyone sitting on your bed?
  13. Do you smoke? Are you allergic to cigarette smoke?
  14. Are there any times when you would prefer not to have guests in the room? (Also friends of the opposite gender)
  15. Do you prefer advance notice when I plan to have guests?
  16. What hours are acceptable to watch television/listen to the stereo? At what volume?
  17. Where should messages be left for you?
  18. Do you live substance free?
  19. How do you handle stress?
  20. How should we communicate when there is a problem?
  21. My pet peeves are . . .