UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Living on campus provides you with the unique experience of learning more about yourself, how to live with others, and an opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills. Sharing a residence hall room is a new experience and transition for many students. When sharing a room, it does not matter if the person is your close friend or someone new to you. All roommate/suitemate relationships take cooperation in working to establish clear and reasonable expectations, discuss issues as they arise, and be open to compromise.
Cooperation is an understanding that you and your roommate/suitemates will work together towards a mutually satisfactory result and not a win-lose based outcome. Frequent, open, and honest communication is key, and if this is established early on, you will make the most of the good times and be better prepared to work through the more challenging moments.
A positive roommate/suitemate relationship starts with you. Spend time thinking about yourself. Here are a few questions you should give thought to:
You may have different responses to the above questions than the person you are sharing a room with, and that is okay. People who are different and want different things can still have a successful roommate relationship. It is important to establish frequent communication at the beginning of the relationship, which will make it easier to check in regularly throughout the year as your roommate relationship grows.
We strongly encourage filling out a Roommate Agreement Form with your roommate at the beginning of the school year to help establish and maintain a gratifying and collaborative living environment. To help in the development of this relationship, a Resident Assistant will meet with you and your roommate to discuss the standards you wish to establish for a cohesive living environment and create a Roommate Agreement. Prior to moving into the residence halls, review the Roommate Agreement Form to reflect and prepare for an effective meeting with your roommate and your Resident Assistant.
We strongly encourage filling out a Suitemate Agreement Form with your roommates at the beginning of the school year to discuss using any shared spaces. To help in the development of this relationship, a Resident Assistant will meet with you and your suitemates to discuss the standards you wish to establish for a cohesive living environment and create a Suitemate Agreement. Prior to moving into South Forks Suites, review the Suitemate Agreement Form to reflect and prepare for an effective meeting with your suitemates and your Resident Assistant.
It may take a few conversations for you and your new roommate to get to know each other. College is all about meeting new people. You may be surprised to discover what you have in common, as well as what you can learn from your new roommate.
Reach out to your roommate/suitemates. When you receive your roommate/suitemate assignment, you can expect to receive their name(s) and student email address(es).
Remember to be kind. In the beginning of the year students want to make a good first impression, often at the cost of their comfort. Check in with your roommate/suitemates periodically if you would like to borrow something, even if you may have already come to an agreement. Touching base with your roommate/suitemates regularly can provide opportunities to offer new perspectives and revisit expectations.
Keep a clean home. Your room or suite is now a new home to both you and your roommate/suitemates. Communicate with your roommate/suitemates about cleanliness and create an equal system of how to keep the space clean. Maintaining a clean-living environment is important to your health and mindset while navigating the collegiate experience.
Adequate sleep is vital to your physical health, emotional well-being, and academic success. Talk with your roommate/suitemates regarding when they plan to sleep as well as when you plan to sleep. Creating clear and reasonable expectations surrounding noise and lights while sleeping is important in showing your roommate that you respect them. Comfortable headphones can be helpful while trying to study in the room during quiet time.
Treat your roommate/suitemates with respect. It is reasonable to expect that you and your roommate/suitemates will sometimes disagree or be faced with a conflict. When issues arise, be open to starting tough conversations and listening to your roommate/suitemates, even if you disagree. Discuss the issue in a calm and understanding manner while working towards a compromise you all can agree on.
Communicate with your roommate/suitemates in person, not over texts or social media while residing together. In-person conversations will help decrease misunderstandings often found with online communication. After completing the Roommate or Suitemate Agreement, it is probable that it will need to be revisited throughout the year as you get into a routine.
Seek Assistance. Your Resident Assistant and Hall Director are here to help. Sometimes it is helpful to have another individual not connected to the situation to mediate. Residence Life staff are not there to choose sides or focus what was done. Their role is to help roommates and suitemates move forward in a positive direction.