How do I handle a roommate conflict? Are there resources available? Sharing a space with a roommate can be difficult at times. You two are living together in a close proximity and some conflicts may arise due to habits and preferences. There are ways to go about the conflict that respects both viewpoints and preferences. Compromise and respect is large part when it comes to sharing a room with someone you know or don’t know. Here are some tips to having a good roommate experience.
A roommate contract is really useful and important to complete when you two move in together. The roommate contract is where you will go through all the necessary preferences you would potentially run into conflicts about. Such as time the lights can be on, when quiet hours are, who can be over at what times. If a conflict was to arise, you can reference the roommate contract and say that it was outlined in the original agreements. And if it was not outlined in the contract in the beginning, you can adjust the contract accordingly.
Communicate and be Courteous
In order to manage roommate conflicts, it is important to be courteous and communicative with each other. If one roommate has work at 7am, try not to do homework late at night in the room. Give them time to rest. Openly communicating about preferences is important. Some people tend to keep issues bottled in, but in the case of being roommates, voicing your concerns and wants is a way to benefit both parties.
It can be tempting to share or take things from your roommate without asking, but remind yourself that there are boundaries between you and their belongings. Would you want your roommate to touch and use your stuff without them asking? If the answer is no, do not use their things without asking. Overstepping boundaries can be hurtful and inconsiderate, so know your limits and set those limits with your roommate to respect each others belongings.
If you want to bring your roommate conflict to someone’s attention and/or you feel endangered, go to your RA or OSCR for help. There are resources available on campus to help resolve roommate conflict issues.
- Your Resident Advisor (RA)
- Housing Student Conflict and Resolution (HSCR)
- Office of Student Conflict and Resolution (OSCR)
Written by Tiana Huang
DEI Intern, International Center