Living with a Roommate, Suitemates, and Hallmates
This may be the first time you share a small living space, bathroom facilities, and more with another person. While it can be challenging, it's also an important part of the college experience and can lead to close friendships that last beyond your time at Virginia Tech. Below are a few tips on making your roommate experience more rewarding for everyone.
In order to promote academic success and personal growth, roommates should create a living environment where they can:
- Read and study free from unreasonable noise and distractions
- Sleep without undue disturbances from noise, another roommate's guests, etc.
- Respect each other's personal belongings
- Have a clean environment to live in
- Have access to the room and facilities without pressure from a roommate
- Have personal privacy
- Host guests, as long as they respect the rights of roommates and other residents
- Be free from fear, intimidation, and physical or emotional harm
Compromise and open communication between roommates can help prevent problems before they arise, or help settle them if they do happen. If you and your roommate can't reach an agreement after discussing your concerns with each other, contact your resident advisor (R.A.) or house supervisor. These staff members are trained to help mediate a situation and find a solution before making a room change.
Discussions to Have With Your Roommate
- Are you a morning person, or a night owl who sleeps in? Are you a light sleeper? Do you take naps?
- Do you intend to share personal belongings? If so, are some things off limits?
- Will there be scheduled quiet times for studying or sleeping? If so, when should they be and how will they be managed?
- What are the conditions that help you study best (e.g., music, silence, privacy)?
- How frequently should guests visit?
- How should we communicate and manage problems with each other, should a problem arise?
- How clean do you expect the room to be?
Guidelines for Living in a Residence Hall Community
Here are some tips for living in a residence hall community that will help create an enjoyable living environment for you and everyone in your hall.
- You can agree to disagree without being disrespectful.
- If you see a problem, report it. Take care of facilities, report vandalism, and pick up trash if you see it.
- Lock your suite and/or room door and do not prop open outside doors.
- Follow policies and report any incidents to a hall staff member.
- Read and respond to e-mails sent to you by housing and residence life, hall staff, and the university.
- Regularly check your voicemail on the phone in your room—this is how we communicate important information to you.
- Take responsibility for your actions, admit mistakes, and make amends.
- Be open to new experiences and challenge yourself to listen, understand, and compromise.
- Understand that acts of discrimination and bias will not be tolerated. If you witness such acts, report them to Safe Watch.
- Take initiative by getting involved in hall council and other programs.
Read Hokie Living for more information on how to be an active member of your residence hall community.