Roommate Resources

Worried about getting along?

Our resources wil help you in living, communicating, and thriving as you both navigate the experience of living with roommates.

Being Roommates

Here are a few tips that may help you and your roommate get off to a great start.

  • Know that it is natural to be nervous and it is normal to experience challenges. 
  • Give yourself and your roommate time to adjust to the new situation.
  • You and your roommate do not have to be or become best friends. Respect and civility should be your goals. 
  • Review the Residents' rights and responsibilities in the Residence Hall Handbook.
  • Reflect on your values around alcohol, drugs, guests, etc in your living space. Be sure to communicate these values to your roommate(s). 
  • Set realistic expectations about time spent together, cleanliness, sharing items or food.
  • Utilize resources such as, your roommate success plan, your Resident Assistant, or mediation guides if issues arise. These resources can assist you in communicating with your roommate(s).

Communicating With Your Roommate

When it comes to living with your roommate(s) the most essential problem solving tool you have is communication. The tips below provide options on how to verbally communicate with your roommate when concerns arise.

  • Use I statements when speaking
    • "When the light is turned on in the morning I am unable to sleep" vs "Your light is bothering me when you turn it on in the morning." 
  • Be solution oriented 
    • Bring realistic solutions to the conversation and options for how the issue can be corrected
  • Set realistic expectations
    • Expectations or solutions containing "always" statements are are hard to uphold. Set your roommate pairing up for success by having realistic expectations.
  • When discussing issues focus on behaviors not personal character
    • "When the door is left unlocked it is unsafe" vs "You are an unsafe person because you left the door unlocked"

Understanding Culture and Communication

Everyone comes from a different culture and upbringing. Our cultures and upbringing can greatly influence how we communicate in a living situation. 

Remember these key things when communicating with your roommate:

  • Go in with an open mind. Your way of communicating is not the only correct way. 
  • Share with your roommate(s) how you have been taught communicate in your living situation. Understand that some cultures and families talk openly about their lives and concerns, other do not discuss issues at all.
  • Understand that your roommate(s) may need time to process the feedback you have given. It is good to not expect a response right way, but rather arrange a time to check back in. 

Living With More Than One Roommate (Triples, Quads, Apartments)

Congratulations, you have been assigned or selected to live in a triple, quad or apartment unit. 

  • Include all roommate when setting expectations for the space. Completing the Roommate Success Plan individually and then coming to an agreement on answers helps each voice be heard. 
  • Majority does not rule. Each occupants opinion matters and each occupant has the right to have a safe living environment conducive to sleep and study. If one person in your living situation is not okay with something that interferes with safety, sleep, or study, then it should not be allowed in the space. Please see Residents' Rights and Responsibilities in the Residence Hall Handbook.
  • Do not forget to discuss expectations for common living rooms, bathrooms, or kitchens (apartments). 
  • Be sure to discuss what "clean" means to each person. 
  • Students can be assigned rooms at any point during the year.  If there is an open space in your room or apartment unit, the housing office could assign you a new roommate with written notice.

Roommate Success Plans

The Roommate Success Plan is a very helpful tool to guide your and your roommate(s) in setting expectations for your living space. You are encouraged to view the plan and begin discussing the topics with your roommate(s). The linked document includes success plans for doubles, suites and apartments. Copies of the Roommate Success Plan will be handed out at one of your first community meetings of the school year. Your Resident Assistant can assist you in filling out this plan if necessary. Keep in mind that the Roommate Success Plan is a working document and at any point any roommate can request to revisit the expectations discussed in the plan. If you receive a new roommate at any point in the year, a new plan will be filled out.

Approved Animals as Roommates

Like many universities, Pacific has a few approved animals living in the residence halls. One method of getting an approved animal is through an extensive approval process via the office of Accessibility & Accomodation Services. Only animals that have completed this process are allowed in the halls. All other animals are considered pets, and pets are not allowed in the residence halls at any time, even for a short visit. If questions or concerns arise about the behavior or living conditions of an approved animal, you are encouraged to contact your Resident Assistant,or Hall Professional Staff member. The Residence Hall Handbook outlines more information about pets in the residence halls. You are encouraged to utilize the Approved Animal portion of your Roommate Success Plan to guide the conversation.

If Issues Arise

The Campus Living staff have years of experience in assisting students when difficulties arise between roommates and will help students in a variety of ways, including facilitated mediation. If the issues cannot be resolved it is possible to change the living situation (see your Resident Assistant or Area Coordinator about how to do this). Many students find that even though they have little in common with their assigned roommate, it can be a good life experience in learning to accept differences.

  • Options for assistance
    • Revisit your Roommate Success Plan with your roommate(s)
    • Arrange for your Resident Assistant to help with mediating a conversation
      • The role of hall staff during roommate mediations is to help each party be heard, facilitate brainstorming solutions, and assist you in creating a realistic implementation of your solutions. The role of hall staff is not to solve the issue or tell you which solution would be best.
    • Please check your email for the official room change period which will occur once er semester. Room change requests outside of the established room change period are at the discretion of the Campus Living professional staff. Contact information for your Campus Living professional staff can be found on the staff contact webpage and on the poster behind your door. More information about room changes will be sent to all residents seasonally. For general information please see the Residence Hall Handbook.

Contact Us

Office of Residence Life
Contact Staff | Clark Hall |

Housing Office
Clark Hall | Services Portal

Office of Accessibility & Accommodation
Contact Staff | Clark Hall