How Roommates are Assigned
Nazareth College believes that an important part of the residential learning experience is getting to know and deal with new friends in a new environment. Most national studies show that successful roommate pairings are the same if done randomly as when prospective students are matched by a questionnaire.
We have chosen a few criteria that we feel are most important and included them on the application.
When making room assignments, we take into consideration the preferences you indicate on your application-contract and related materials. We make every effort to honor one of your top three choices. Due to a high demand for certain spaces, however, we may not be able to do so.
Rooms are restricted on the basis of gender only. We will not house smokers with nonsmokers as indicated on your housing application. We do not assign rooms and will not make room changes on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or other such factors. We do have specially designed facilities for those with physical disabilities. We do not encourage best friends from home, twins, or siblings to live together as roommates. Our desire is to have new students broaden their horizons and friendship base.
Living with a Roommate
Whenever two or more people share limited living and working spaces, some disagreements or conflicts are inevitable. While our student body is homogeneous in many ways, it is very diverse in others. Part of student development is learning new things, exploring different options, and weighing the consequences of various actions and responses.
Here are Seven Sensational Suggestions for getting along with your roommate:
- Be flexible
Where else, but in college, would they expect you to live in a small space with a total stranger and like it??? Problems often arise when there is a lack of understanding and differences in people are ignored. You cannot assume or expect that your roommate will see things as you do or behave as you do. Your roommate may not become your best friend, but by following a few tips, you can have a successful year:
Communicate: Your roommate is not a mind reader and cannot always know what you are thinking or feeling. You aren't a mind reader either, so get into the habit of talking things over with each other. Whenever you have a serious discussion, remember the important lessons of kindergarten:
- Expect success
- Use "I" statements
- All things go much better with cookies and milk
- Be open, honest and direct
- Take turns
- Ask questions when you are confused
- Get help from others in authority
Discuss important issues such as sharing belongings, what level of cleaning and chores you expect from each other, study habits and visitors. In Residential Life, we have noticed a theme to many of the personal conflicts which arise.
Sharing and Use of Personal Possessions
How much are you willing to share? Will you share your clothes, but not your computer? How about toiletries? What about sports equipment? It is perfectly all right not to share. However, it is important that you express clearly your attitude toward sharing at the beginning of the school year. When in doubt, always ask permission if you wish to use or borrow someone else's belongings.
Once your room is set up (which also may point out differences in decorating tastes and lifestyles), it will need upkeep. Often roommates have different concepts and standards of neatness. Let your feelings be known early. It may be helpful to make a monthly schedule of who will do what and stick to it; be sure to review on a regular basis to fine tune.
Visitors to the Room
Realize that your roommate(s) will have other friends and that you are living in a residence hall with many students. There will be someone who wants to visit all hours of the day and night. There will also be times when one person wants to study in the room and another is just getting involved in a lively conversation. How about when one roommate may want to party when the other has to prepare for an exam? Be considerate and expect consideration in return. Keep your wits about you, and discuss any potential problem with your roommate.
As the year progresses, it is natural for strong friendships to develop between students who are not roommates. Try not to become overly dependent on your roommate for friendship. In fact, you and your roommate may not become "friends" at all in the true sense of the word. This does not preclude your being friendly and respectful. Also, if you and your roommate do become close friends, try not to become so exclusive so as to shut out other relationships.
Some people study well with music playing; others need total quiet. Some students prefer to study in their room; others elect to go out. Some students study late into the night; others prefer early morning or daytime hours. You and your roommate will have definite preferences. The possibility of differences in your study habits should be expected. Students who talk out these differences early in the school year usually can make satisfactory adjustments with respect to the rights and needs of each other.
Most people share the same ideas on personal hygiene; however, in a few cases, you and your roommate may differ. Approach this topic as you would any conflict, gently but firmly. Avoid being overly harsh and critical, but be honest. Open communication is the basis for any good relationship.
There comes a time in every student's life when the room, hall, or building will seem too noisy. Someone's (or your own) music is too loud; an alarm clock wakes a student intent on sleeping; a phone rings at 4:00 AM. These annoying situations are common in large communities. The key is to keep your head and strive to respond to the problem in an open and cooperative manner.