Helpful Hints In Helping Your Student
Work Through Roommate Conflicts
- Parents/families can be instrumental in providing support and assistance to their students.
- By listening to your student, you can be a sounding board for them, providing support and perspective. You can help your student understand his/her role in the process and empower him/her to positively impact the situation.
- Assure your student that having a roommate conflict is not a rare occurrence. Living with someone requires ongoing communication. Most roommates are able to resolve their conflicts in ways that meet everyone's needs.
- Listen to your student's explanation of the conflict. Ask if the issue could be a misunderstanding rather than an intentional dispute.
- Find out if your student has signed a roommate agreement and whether or not it has been reviewed lately.
- Ask whether the roommates have had a conversation specifically about the issue at hand. Students often think they have communicated their feelings without having actually expressed them.
- Don't be afraid to question whether your student had a role in creating the conflict. Let them know that you are not criticizing, only suggesting a little self-examination, reminding them that every conflict has two (or more) sides. Encourage them to consider why their roommate might see the situation from a different point of view.
- Ask if they have contacted the floor Resident Assistant, the Residence Hall Director/Complex Coordinator, or the Residential Life Office about the situation. If they have not made contact, encourage them to do so in the order listed above.
- If your student is looking for additional information regarding roommate communication, please refer him/her to the Residence Hall Director/Complex Coordinator.
We hope that these tips will help you to have more complete communication with your student and provide assistance in initiating a solution to roommate conflict, should it arise. If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please contact the Residential Life Office.