November 12, 2018

jhroommates1

BY JESSICA HAMMER

Conflict among roommates is, unfortunately, an unavoidable part of growing up and living in student residence.

It is often lifestyle choices that cause tempers to flare. It could be anything from hygiene, tidiness and guests to an overall difference of opinions.

For the students living at the campus residence, the roommate matching system is done over the summer so roommates have time to contact each other before moving in. It is highly recommended that roommates touch base with each other before the start of classes for a variety of reasons such as cleaning responsibilities, privacy and guests.

“We provide the structure of what are some things you should consider discussing with your roommate but at the end of the day it’s up to students to decide what they want to share and how much effort they essentially want to put into the overall roommate matching process,” said Luke Jeffery, the residence life co-ordinator.

Students who lived in residence at some point have run into common issues such as one person going to bed early while the other stays up late, dirty dishes left in the sink for days on end and room temperature differences.

When roommates are not getting along the first thing to do would be to identify the problem and to both try and come to a satisfactory outcome. If an agreement can’t be reached then speaking to a resident adviser, also known as an RA, would be the next step. The role of the RA is to facilitate the issue and help both parties come to a mutual agreement.

When conflict does arise students don’t have to worry about going through the problem-solving alone.

“We ensure students understand what is available to them and let them know we have an open door policy and we have the resources should they ever request it,” Jeffery said.
Students can also seek additional advice from the counsellors at the college. They can help with the mental health effects of dealing with roommate disputes or with any other issues.

“There are people who are living on their own for the first time and that can be very confusing (and) can be very liberating,” said Lynn Robbins White, one of the college counsellors. “You have to learn how to get along with a larger amount of people.”

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