A Parent’s Guide to Roommate Issues
Parents often are the first to know about conflicts between roommates, even before residence hall staff or friends.
As a parent, listening is the most important first step. Your son or daughter needs to share what’s going on in their life with someone they trust. This allows them to vent and prepare themselves for making the best of the situation. Here are a few tips to consider when advising your student:
- Be a Coach: Encourage your student to start a conversation with their roommate about the issue. Their resident assistant also can help foster communication. RAs are trained in conflict resolution.
- Provide Perspective: In many situations, the “problem” roommate might be unaware an issue exists. Help your son or daughter realize that and suggest ways to prompt a conversation, such as revisiting their roommate agreement. Doing so may spark an idea toward a resolution. Also encourage your student to keep the conflict private. That means no texting other friends about the issue, posting it online or tweeting.
- Encourage them to contact a residence life staff member: To reiterate, RAs have been trained to assist students who are dealing with roommate conflicts and hall directors can assist if a room change is necessary. If you, as a parent, continue to have significant concerns, feel free to contact the Office of Residence Life to discuss the situation.
When your child is having a problem at school it’s easy to feel helpless – whether you’re in the same town or 500 miles away in a different state. Residence Life is here to help you help your child.
-- Lori Lambert, Director, Office of Resident Life