Current ResidentsResolving Roommate Conflicts:
The Parent/Guardian Role
Parents/guardians are instrumental in providing support and assistance to the student.
Tips for Helping Your Student Through a Roommate Conflict
Helping Your Student Evaluate the Situation
- As you have in the past, it is important that you listen to your student. You can serve as a sounding board for them, providing both support and perspective.
- Remind your student that any conflict has two sides. Encourage your student to consider why their roommate might see the situation from a different point of view.
- Encourage your student to remember that roommate conflicts take time and effort to work through. Living with someone requires ongoing communication. Realistically speaking, a one-time meeting can not solve all past and future problems.
- Assure your student that having a roommate conflict is not a rare occurrence. Many students go through hard times with their roommates, and most are able to resolve their differences in a way that meets everyone's needs.
Helping Your Student Address the Problem
- Encourage your student to talk directly, but respectfully, to their roommate about their concerns.
- Encourage your student to seek out the assistance of their RA or a Hall Coordinator.
- Be supportive of your student. Your encouragement is especially appreciated during stressful times.
- Allow your student to resolve their own roommate problems. Doing so will leave them better prepared to resolve problems on their own in the future.
- Encourage your student to whole-heartedly pursue other means of conflict resolution before requesting a new room. Often, students can successfully work through roommate problems. Additionally, the process of working through a roommate conflict provides them the opportunity to build valuable life long skills. An immediate room change would result in your student losing out on the benefits the opportunity offers. However, if the conflict cannot be resolved after working through mediation steps, a room change is a very good option. It's far better to live in a more positive environment than to refuse to leave a negative environment in order to prove a moot point.
Contacting Residence Life Yourself
- Consider Residence Life staff to be allies. We also want students to have the best possible experience.
- Talk to your student first before you call Residence Life yourself. Your student may not appreciate you calling Residence Life without their knowledge.
- Before calling Residence Life, familiarize yourself with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Simply put, in context of a roommate conflict, FERPA does not allow Residence Life Staff to discuss specific details of a student's conflict with their parent/guardian. However, the Residence Life staff will be happy to review with you the overall process in which we help residents work through conflicts. Your student is your information source if you want conflict specifics, so talk to them. Just keep in mind, they only have one side of the story. If a student wishes to sign a waiver so that Residence Life staff can speak to you directly regarding specific conflict details, they can obtain a waiver from their Hall Coordinator.
- By all means, contact your student's Hall Coordinator yourself if you feel a situation exists that has overwhelmed your student's ability to work through it. We are happy to talk with you about your concerns and will arrange for your student to access necessary resources and support.
DHFS Room and Roommate Processes: Placement, Mediation, and Transfer
Room & Roommate Assignments
Resolving Roommate Conflicts-The Student Role
Resolving Roommate Conflicts-The Parent/Guardian Role
Resolving Roommate Conflicts-DHFS Residence Life Staff Role
Resolving Roommate Conflicts-If All Else Fails...