Residence Hall CommunityAs a student living on campus, and as a student in our residential community, your participation is a vital and important contribution in enhancing the community and the SLU experience.
As a member of our community you will experience...
...a residential community that creates and promotes service, social engagement, personal responsibility and acceptance for others that are different than yourself. By living in the residential community you will experience social and educational opportunities to explore that will enhance your SLU experience.
...a residential floor/ area that establishes relationships that will remain beyond your SLU experience. A floor creates a learning environment outside of the classroom that engages you in discussion and challenges you to explore yourself and the world around you. A floor that is disciplined, compassionate, just and able to promote mutual respect fosters bonds that will strengthen the community and its members.
...a personal residential space for you to relax, refresh and reflect on your SLU experiences and to give you the energy to go out into the community to live out the University Mission of being a man and woman for others.
As a member of your new residential community, we hope you embrace the principles of respect, civility, fairness and support the common good for the entire community. To maintain a unique community living experience, you as a member are expected to exercise responsibility and to abide by established community standards.
Floor or area community standards are designed to promote and preserve an atmosphere conducive to community living. Floor or area community standards are developed within the first few weeks of the Fall semester and will be distributed to all members of the community via the Resident Advisor. All residents are responsible for knowing and adhering to these standards. These standards are a supplement to the greater University Student Code of Community Standards (link), Residence Life Handbook (link), and the Residential Contract (link).
Living with roommates isn't always easy. Sharing a living space may be stressful, and conflicts may arise. Sometimes situations that work at the beginning of the year become more difficult as the year goes on; remember that you and your roommate will be constantly growing and changing in your time at SLU. It is perfectly normal to have roommate conflicts. In fact, there is a great deal to be learned from handling a difficult situation maturely, respectfully, and creatively. The key to any relationship is honest and open communication. Taking the time to get to know your roommate will allow both of you to learn a little more about the person you will be sharing your space with.
The Department of Housing and Residence Life sees the value of creating a roommate or apartment agreement in the beginning of the roommate relationship to acknowledge those issues that are important to each roommate, to identify any potential problems before they arise, and to set up a problem solving plan in the case of a roommate disagreement. A roommate agreement can also help roommates learn about what they have in common or at least gain a better understanding of one another.
The Department of Housing and Residence Life offers a number of resources to students facing roommate conflicts. Please read through the information below on Roommate Confrontation and Mediation. If you feel you need further advice on how to proceed with the situation, you should speak with your Resident Advisor.
Most roommate conflicts are the result of miscommunication or, in some cases, a total lack of communication. If you can communicate effectively, it will be much easier to develop a comfortable living environment for yourself and your roommates.
Confronting Your Roommate
Communication sometimes breaks down and you may have to confront your roommate with an issue that one of you has with the other. If this happens then it is helpful to have some idea how you are going to go about it.
How to tell there is an issue
- Your roommate may not want to talk to you, may leave the room when you enter, or may be complaining to friends about you.
- Your roommate may become annoyed with you over little things.
- If you start to notice these things you should not ignore them. If a problem is addressed early, there is a better chance of it being worked out amicably.
How to address the issue:
- Approach your roommate in private.
- Confirm that this is a good time for both of you to talk. If one of you feels rushed or blindsided they will be less able to communicate effectively.
- Be direct. Discuss the issue with regard to behaviors rather than personality traits. This tactic is less likely to put your roommate on the defensive.
- Be patient. Listen to your roommate and remember that there are two sides to every story. Each person should be given a chance to present what they feel the problem really is.
- Revisit to your roommate/apartment agreement.
- Remember that a solution will probably involve each person giving something and getting something. The solution may not be your ideal scenario, but it should be an improvement on the current state of things.
In difficult discussions it is very helpful to have an unbiased third party to help mediate the discussion. Our Resident Advisors and Professional staff members are trained at helping roommates come up with solutions to their conflicts. If you find that you and your roommate are having difficulty resolving your conflict, you should definitely approach your RA to arrange mediation.
How Mediations Work
- Contact your RA or a Housing and Residence Life professional staff member, either by email or in person, to explain the situation and to request mediation.
- The staff member will contact all roommates to find a time that works best for everyone. It is very important that you allow enough time for each person to express themselves and to come up with a solution.
- Even if you are the person who contacts the staff member, remember that they have a responsibility to the well being of all of their advisees. The staff member will give each person a chance to be heard, and they will encourage a solution that is beneficial to all parties.
- The staff member will bring your roommate agreement as a reference. If you have updated your roommate contract since move in, it will be helpful to provide the staff member with an updated copy before the mediation.
Some roommate conflicts require a number of mediations before they find a solution. In other cases, you may find that the situation is not working even after you have all made an honest attempt at mediation. In those cases, and only in those cases, a room reassignment may a solution.