Open and ongoing communication is the key to establishing and maintaining a positive and successful roommate relationship. The Roommate Agreement process initiates communication, establishes shared living expectations and responsibilities, and provides a great foundation for roommate satisfaction.
Once you move into your room, you will receive an email with a link to the digital Roommate Agreement and detailed information about the process and steps to complete by the end of the first week of class:
- Step 1: Each roommate completes a private individual personal profile related to common roommate topics such as guests, noise, studying, cleaning and sleeping.
- Step 2: Once all individual profiles are submitted, the system will compare the profiles and identify like-mindedness between roommates, based on the range of difference between your answers and those of your roommate(s).
- Step 3: All roommates meet together as a group to review and complete the Roommate Agreement using a computer, laptop or other mobile device. One roommate will log in, and as a group review your like-mindedness in each section and potential friction points. Coaching questions are included for you and your roommates to discuss. Review each section:
- areas of agreement will have a green background
- areas of some difference will have a yellow background
- areas of significant difference will have a red background
- Step 4: Sample "room rules" are displayed based on your like-mindedness. These are starting points for you to discuss as a group, as you can add or modify the "room rules" to note additional notes and expectations for living together. Be sure to create rules that are based on observable behaviors, such as "We will take out the trash every Wednesday and Saturday, and will take turns taking out the trash." Allow each roommate to speak, so that everyone has contributed and agreed to each room rule.
- Step 5: Within the group, take turns discussing which conflict style you are likely to use and how you'd prefer to talk to each other if someone does not uphold the Roommate Agreement. Conflict styles to discuss:
- Avoid - withdrawing when emotions are high and you need to create some distance; short-term strategy
- Accommodate - defer to someone who is more of an expert or who has a better solution
- Compete - used in emergencies when time is of the essence
- Collaborate - used when both sides are cooperating and willing to listen
- Compromise - used when both sides have equally important goals
- Step 6: Once you have reviewed all sections, the roommate currently logged in first signs the Roommate Agreement with their userID (i.e abc123) and then logs out. While still together, each roommate takes turns logging in with their unique CAS login credentials (userID) to confirm and electronically sign the agreement.
Note: for those living in suites and apartments, roommates are considered to be everyone sharing common space, not just your bedroom. For example, in Gabaldon all four suite-mates will complete a Roommate Agreement together to ensure that expectations are established for the shared bathroom. Likewise, all students living in a McKay Village apartment will complete a Roommate Agreement together to discuss and agree upon shared living areas in the living room, kitchen and bathroom.
Your Resident Assistant (RA) will talk about the Roommate Agreement process at the first floor meeting. Your RA will also follow up with you and your roommate(s) to discuss highlights from your Roommate Agreement and help reinforce the ideas and "ground rules" you put into place.