Living With Others

  • Being a Good Roommate/Suitemate
  • Living in residence involves sharing space and respecting each others privacy. It is important to make sure that the lines of communication are open and that roommates are on the same page to help minimize any issues that could arise. Being a good roommate/suitemate means making allowances for others as well as asserting your needs. It’s important to talk about your expectations for using your space during the first week living in residence and on a monthly basis thereafter. All residences will require you to draw up a roommate/suitemate contract to help you begin addressing expectations and later for resolving conflicts. This will be completed at the Roommate Program during the first six weeks of classes. By making it a priority to review this contract monthly, you will be taking huge steps to ensure that you are respecting each other’s needs and heading off potential conflicts. Should conflict arise, your Don will be available to help you work through issues. Please speak with your Don to obtain a copy of the Residence Roommate/Suitemate agreement. The following Living Together discussion points may help to start effective and positive conversations.

    LIVING TOGETHER: DISCUSSION POINTS

    Roommate Agreement

    Suitemate Agreement

    About Me

    • My priorities are... (i.e. studying, sleeping, social activities)
    • My religious, spiritual, cultural customs or personal practices are…
    • My pet peeves are…
    • I manage my time, organize my work and personal space by doing…

    Common Space

    • Storage space (food labels, fridge space, cupboard, bathroom).
    • Shared resources (personal appliances, food, dishes, toiletries, cleaning supplies).
    • Cleaning (schedule, responsibilities, standards).

    Privacy & Personal Space

    •  I need privacy/alone time when…
    • You will know when I need privacy when…
    • I feel this way about guests…
    • I feel this way about overnight guests…
    • I feel this way about intimate relations in our room…

    Noise

    • I need quiet (beyond quiet hours policy) when…
    • I can study/live with this level of noise/music/TV…
    • I need “X” hours of sleep and prefer to have quiet during these hours…

    Exam Time

    • My need for quiet during exam time is...
    • I feel this way about guests during exams…
    • I need the following to sleep during exams…
    • I usually study in this location/fashion during exams…
    • When I am stressed I…

    Health & Safety

    • I’m allergic or have a medical condition which requires me to…
    • In case of an emergency, I need you to…
    • I expect the door will be locked when…or left open when…

    Working through Conflict

    • When we have a disagreement, we will…
    • We will do “X” when someone violates any part of the Roommate/Suitemate Contract.
    • We’ll deal with sensitive matters (such as body odours, offensive guests, personal relationships, religious/cultural differences) by…
  • Working through Roommate Conflict
  • Through your university experience you’ll likely change your attitudes and some behaviours – that’s natural. Your roommate will be going through changes as well. These changes may result in a conflict with your initial ideas for living together. Don’t let issues build up. Address your tension points early. It’s okay to ask to renegotiate your roommate contract; add points, revise or amend your contract according to your new needs. Schedule some time mid-semester to talk to your roommate about how living arrangements are going and address any unresolved issues. In the event difficulties arise, your Don is available to assist you. Dons are trained in mediation skills. Mediation is when a neutral third party assists opposing parties to come to acceptable settlements. Please be mindful that unresolved issues tend to snowball, and it is important that you involve your Don proactively in any conflict. Waiting until you reach your breaking point will place added pressure on all parties in coming to an agreement. Your Don can assist you to work out issues, but Dons will not solve your problems for you. Some of the benefits of living in Residence are developing skills in tolerance for other lifestyles, compassion for others, honour and trustworthiness. Resolving roommate conflicts amicably is a testament to your personal growth. The Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR) provides a team of students to provide Peer Support. These trained students can assist you with tips and suggestions for resolving conflicts and will mediate roommate/suitemate conflicts. Contact Peer Support through OSCR.