Successful Roommate Contracts
College may be the first time that many people are sharing their room and their personal space. This can be very stressful. Simply expressing concern to your roommate can help alleviate this stress. It is very important to have open lines of communication so that things can be resolved and dealt with before they get out of control.
Living with other people is not always easy. You might think you are a fairly easy going, flexible person until the day your roommate has hit the snooze button for the tenth time. So, we’ve compiled a list of topics for you and your roommate to discuss and then set some boundaries so that in May your eyes well up as you both depart for the summer.
Within the first week of school, each room of new students will meet with the RA to complete a Roommate Contract. The RA will bring the form. Returning students in double rooms and triple apartments are also encouraged to complete a roommate contract. Roommate Contract forms are available from the RA.
Remember, a Roommate Contract will only be successful if you and your roommates adhere to the guidelines set forth in it. It is important to revisit the contract occasionally to make sure it is still working in your room.
Topics for Discussion:
- Sharing Food – May roommates borrow food from one another? If so, how should it be replaced or paid for?
- Personal Property – What about sharing and borrowing personal items such as clothes and DVDs? Are items such as stereos, TVs, and microwaves off limits or for mutual use? Is permission required for all items or just certain ones?
- Sleep and Quiet Time – When do you typically go to bed and wake up? What times/days of the week are appropriate for roommates, guests, or phone conversations? What about having the light on when the other person is sleeping?
- Cleanliness – What are your standards of cleanliness? Who cleans and when? What are the standards for the bathroom, the garbage, the floor?
- Guests – How do you feel about overnight guests? How often may guests come and how long may they stay? Where do guests sleep? Can guests be in the room when no roommate is present?
- Studying – What is your definition of noise? What’s loud and what isn’t? At what times should noise be minimized so others may study or is absolute quiet needed in order to study?
- Drinking and Smoking – How do you feel about smoking and drinking/partying? Remember that smoking is not permitted in the residence halls.
Once you and your roommates have discussed these topics, you should complete a Roommate Contract, which you each will sign. One copy of the contract will be submitted to the RA and the other copy should be posted in the room.