Being a roommate comes with many responsibilities, and the staff in the Office of Housing and Residence Life believes that the experiences shared through being a roommate are valuable and essential to a student's college education and development.
Room changes are permitted for students if and when roommates are having adjustment problems and for other special circumstances. Prior to a room change being approved, students are expected to have made a good faith effort toward resolving the roommate situation. This includes discussing the situation with the R.A. or professional staff member, and completing a roommate conference if requested. Four basic criteria must be met for a change to occur:
Most roommate conflicts are the result of miscommunication or, in some cases, a total lack of communication. If you can communicate effectively, it will be much easier to develop a comfortable living environment for yourself and your roommates.
These tips should help you communicate in a healthy way with your roommate:
If you are upset with your roommate, chances are that they are upset with you as well. Being involved in a dialogue means that you need to be able to listen and give everyone a chance to speak. Criticism is bound to happen and your natural reaction is going to be to criticize back, but that is only going to compound the problem. Learning to accept criticism is going to help you communicate and live with your roommate. If you both find that you are approaching the limit and things are not being resolved, agree to take some time away from the discussion to give you each time to process what is going on. This will also give you each time to develop feedback that is not going to be hurtful and won’t be fueled by anger.
Living with roommates isn’t always easy. Sharing a living space may be stressful, and conflicts may arise. Sometimes situations that work at the beginning of the year become more difficult as the year goes on; remember that you and your roommate will be constantly growing and changing in your time at UNC Pembroke. It is perfectly normal to have roommate conflicts. In fact, there is a great deal to be learned from handling a difficult situation maturely, respectfully, and creatively.
Communication sometimes breaks down and you may have to confront your roommate with an issue that one of you has with the other. If this happens then it is helpful to have some idea how you are going to go about it.
Roommates are encouraged to have continuing discussions in regards to their needs and expectations for the space they share.
In difficult discussions, such as roommate conflicts, it is very helpful to have an unbiased third party to help mediate the discussion. Our Resident Advisors are trained mediators, with good experience helping roommates come up with solutions to their conflicts. If you find that you and your roommate are having difficulty resolving your conflict, you should definitely approach your RA to arrange mediation.
Below are the steps that the Residence Life Staff will use when assisting residents in a discussion regarding roommate compromises and expectations during the Roommate Mediation.
Despite the tensions that may be present, it is never too late to sit down with all roommates and discuss concerns. Nearly all roommate issues are because of poor communication and poorly conveyed expectations. Set up a time when all roommates can be present, and discuss the things that are causing tension. Let your R.A. know about the situation, and invite them to be a mediator, if you wish it. Before you start, set up these ground rules:
After ground rules have been established, the mediation process begins. Each person should make a brief opening statement to define the issues as he or she understands them. Define the issues that need further discussion and negotiation. Each person will be reminded to speak in specifics.
The final set of the process will be developing an Roommate Agreement. This agreement should detail the specific responsibilities of all parties in writing and should also include the following:
The Office of Housing and Residence Life firmly believes that if these steps are taken and adhered to, the majority of roommate relationships can be repaired and blossom further. However, in the case that these attempts do not alleviate the situation, roommates should re-inform their R.A. about the situation. The R.A. and Resident Administrator will decide what further steps to take.
If your attempt to reconcile your differences is not successful, then you should follow the steps detailed below to complete the room change process:
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012
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