UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Living in the Halls

Roommates

Roommate Agreement Worksheet

Living on campus provides students with an opportunity to share a room. Whether you and your roommate are best friends, acquaintances or perfect strangers, establishing open and honest communication is the number one factor in determining how positive the relationship can be. To help in the development of this relationship a member of the Residence Life staff will meet with you and your roommate(s) to discuss the standards you wish to establish for a cohesive living environment and create a Roommate Agreement. To best prepare for this conversation we highly encourage you to reflect on the following questions so you can get the most from the Roommate Agreement conversation.

  • When will the doors be locked or left open?
  • If one of us is planning to be gone for an extended period of time how should, if at all, that information be shared between us?
  • What does clean mean to me and how clean do I expect us to be?
  • When will I clean the room and expect my roommate to clean the room?
  • Will we clean the room together, take turns or look after our own sides?
  • When will I plan on going to sleep and wake up on the week nights?
  • When will I plan on going to sleep and wake up on the weekends?
  • What type of environment do you best study in?
  • What type of environment do you best sleep in?
  • When will guest be allowed to stay overnight, if at all?
  • What items will I expect my roommate to share with me?
  • What items will I share with my roommate?
  • How will we communicate preferences relating to smoking, drinking and drugs?
  • How will I communicate my frustrations with my roommate?
  • How do I want my roommate to communicate their frustrations with me?

Tips for Living With Your Roommate

Sharing a residence hall room is a new experience and transition for many students. If this is the first time you will be sharing a room no larger than 11 feet by 13 feet, it doesn't matter if the person you are sharing the room with is your friend or a complete stranger. All roommate relationships take effort in working to establish clear expectations, discuss issues if they arise, and be open to compromise.  

While some of these may seem basic or silly, trust us, we deal with many roommate experiences each year and they are most successful when roommates discuss the following items:

Roomates talking

  • Be polite. Ask to use their stuff even if they said you can earlier. Often in the beginning of the year students want to make a good impression, sometimes at the cost of what they are comfortable with, so make sure to check in again if you want to borrow something just to make sure your roommate is still comfortable with sharing that particular item.
  • Realize sleep is a valuable commodity in college and you will want all you can get…so will your roommate. Don't wake them up if you can help it regardless if it's the weekend or not.
  • Clean up after yourself and TAKE out the garbage when it's your turn. A smelly room is a room no one wants to visit.
  • Communicate with your roommate in person, not over text message or instant messenger. Face-to-face chats will help eliminate any misunderstandings that electronic communication can cause.
  • Treat your roommate with respect. No roommates get along all the time. When stuff starts getting tough, be open to conversations and listening to the other person, even if you disagree. The mature way to handle the situation is to discuss the issues in a calm and understanding manner. There is no reason to be hurtful or unkind just to make your point.
  • Talk to your roommate about guests on day one. This is often a source of conflict, how much time friends hang out in the room, how late others can be over visiting, how much time significant others can be in the room, and when it is ok to have overnight guests. After your initial discussion on the issue, make sure that you are checking with your roommate if you have a situation that wasn't discussed. Let your roommate know if you are having issues with guests in the room and re-evaluate your agreement as necessary. 

Focusing on communication, compromise, and consideration of each other will create a strong beginning foundation and will help you avoid many pitfalls others experience throughout the year. Please know that if you do run into issues along the way, your Resident Assistant and Hall Director are in your community to help.

Contact Us

Department of Residence Life
Division of Student Affairs
reslife@uwrf.edu
715-425-4555
M-F, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
B3 East Hathorn Hall
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