Roommate Resources

Worried about getting along?

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

Being Roommates 101

Congrats on being assigned or selecting your roommate. 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 for roommates to experience challenges when living together. 
  • It takes time to get in the flow of things. 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. Sometimes your friends are not the best roommates. Respect and civility should be your goals. 
  • Review the Residents' rights and responsibilities in the Residence Hall Handbook.
  • Know that every co-living situation requires flexibility and compromise from each party. These are skills you will use in the future in other co-living situations.
  • Reflect on your values around alcohol, drugs, guests, etc in your living space. Be sure to communicate these values to your roommate(s). They wont know if you don't tell them.
  • 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 video below provides 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 expectations 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. 

  • Work to get to know each of your roommates
  • Include all roommate when setting expectations for the space. Make sure that your opinion is communicated verbally or in another manner. Completing the Roommate Success Plan individually and then coming to an agreement on answers can help 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. Definitions can vary greatly and misunderstandings can result. Remember you may have to compromise and/or adjust your expectations to be realistic for all parties involved.
  • Students can be assigned rooms at any point during the year. Remember that according to the housing contract, if there is an open space in your room or apartment unit, the housing office could assign you a new roommate with 48 hour written notice. If this occurs consider the following:
    • How would you want to be welcomed if it were you being assigned to a new living situation with an established group?
    • Keep an open mind. The new individual could be end up being a new friend or could just be a respectful and civil roommate.
    • More information about Roommate Assignments can be found in the Residence Hall Handbook

Being A Good Hall Mate

You are not just a roommate to those you share a space with. You are also a hall mate to the others in your Residence Hall. All residents are expected to adhere to quiet and courtesy hours and keep communal kitchens and bathrooms clean. Each residents has the responsibility for cleaning up after using lounge, kitchen and bathroom spaces. common spaces are for the use of all residents and therefore amenities need to remain in the common spaces at all times. For more information about community living policies and common space usage please review the Residence Hall Handbook. 

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 and Tips for Talking To The Roommate Owner

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 . 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 your room has the potential of having an approved animal you will be notified by the housing office. As an approved animal owner, your roommate has agreed to up hold the residence hall Approved Animal Contract. If questions or concerns arise about the behavior or living conditions of an approved animal, you are encouraged to contact your Resident Assistant, Hall Professional Staff member, or the Housing Office. The Housing and Accessibility & Accomodation Services webpages have more information about approved animals. In addition, the Residence Hall Handbook outlines more information about pets in the residence halls.

Tips for Talking With Your Roommate About Their Approved Animal

  • Be sure to keep the conversation about your concerns surrounding the animal's behavior or living conditions. 
  • Use "I" statements
  • Be solution oriented
  • Utilize the Approved Animal portion of your Roommate Success Plan (last 3 pages) to guide the conversation 

If Issues Arise

The Housing and Residence Life 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.

  • Remember that it is normal for roommates to experience challenges. Working through the challenges, communicating and utilizing your resources can resolve most basic issues.
  • Options for assistance
    • Revisit your Roommate Success Plan with your roommate(s)
    • Utilize the DIY Mediation Guide to facilitate conversation between you and your roommate(s)
    • Arrange for your Resident Assistant to help with mediating a conversation
      • Role of Hall Staff (RA and Professional): 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.
    • The official room change period begins two weeks after the Fall and Spring Semester begin (excludes Winter Term). The request period lasts for five weeks. Residents who would like to change rooms must complete the proper room change process with the Housing Office. Room change requests outside of the established room change period are at the discretion of the Residence Life professional staff. Contact information for your Residence Life 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 |

Office of Accessibility & Accommodation
Contact Staff | Clark Hall