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Communication can solve roommate conflict

Living on campus can lead to unexpected problems – heavy metal at midnight, unpleasant makeout shows, weird smells – where roommates may want to part ways to resolve their issues.

Director in the Office of Residence Life Mary Ann Begley said there are approximately 250 room changes per semester.

Room changes used to occur the last two weeks of a semester but this year Begley said it was switched to the first day of the new semester so the students’ focus would be on final exams instead of their room change.

If a student wishes to change room assignments between semesters the student must contact their Hall Director for approval.

Common reasons why students want to change room assignments are roommate issues, students wanting to live by themselves, cost of living in certain dorms, moving in and out of learning communities, moving closer to where classes are held, moving into Greek housing, wanting to move in with friends and students wanting their room to have different amenities.

Roommate issues consist of student’s personal habits, such as sleeping and cleanliness. Problems with a roommate’s significant other can occur, along with many other conflicts.

McDonald Residence Hall director Tim Velotta said attempting to avoid roommate problems begins right when the school year starts with the roommate agreement.

“A problem is students not being able to communicate with each other. Students jump to wanting to move instead of communicating to solve the issues,” Velotta said.

One reason the University forces non-commuter students to live on campus for at least two years is because it gives students a chance to grow, Velotta said.

Offenhauer West resident advisor Tracy Benson said by utilizing the roommate agreement students will hopefully avoid conflict and if a conflict does arrive it can be worked out, avoiding having to move a student to a new room.

“The goal of the roommate agreement is to foresee any problems that may occur to try and avoid any problems,” Benson said.

If a roommate dispute does occur the resident advisor attempts to work it out with the students. The problem can also be moved to the hall director and sometimes moved up to the Office of Residence Life to be dealt with.

When roommate problems arise the resident advisor is heavily relied on to work out the problem with the students, to solve the problem instead of having to move it on to the hall director.

By changing room assignments between semesters students can possibly find another roommate who is more compatible. But by communicating Velotta said the issues can be solved, eliminating the need for a new room and roommate.

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