Room Change Policy

Roommate Conflict

Although we hope that all living situations are successful ones, we realize that at times a change of room may be necessary. Life on campus can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be trying at times. For many students, living in the residence halls is the first time they have shared their personal space. Learning to live with someone else especially someone who may have different habits, likes, and dislikes can be challenging.

The experience of having a roommate and making new friends can be a fundamental part of each student's college education. College is a learning experience that will allow them to gain insights from others as they form friendships and bonds in their community. The roommate experience can be successful and enjoyable, but it will take effort, compromise, and understanding on the part of both roommates.

The Office of Residence Life suggests the following for roommates when discussing this transition:

  • Talk about ideas and feelings as well as just "things."
  • Be honest about your feelings, likes, and dislikes.
  • Be willing to compromise, but know on which issues you will not compromise and on which you willing to negotiate.
  • Give your roommate the respect, consideration, and understanding you expect in return.
  • Set the 'tone" for talking and set aside the appropriate amount of time for a complete conversation (five minutes before class is not the time for a heart-to-heart).
  • Discuss roommate problems with your roommate, RA, or RD only and not with just anyone who happens to be walking by.
  • Problems in a shared living environment are inevitable.  A student's success will be determined by how they respond to these conflicts, not on their ability to avoid conflicts.  Our Residence Life Staff members are here to assist each student as they sort through issues and concerns. 

Each floor has a resident assistant (RA) that provides support, acts as a resource for residents, coordinates social and education programs, and works with one another as a staff to enforce policy within the hall.  Each hall has a Resident Director (RD) who lives and works in the Residence Halls. They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the hall, including providing support services directly to students, supervising resident assistants (RAs), overseeing all educational and social programs, operational activities, and adjudicating student discipline cases. 

Finding One's Own Voice

It is important that students address issues themselves. Although parents may be tempted to take care of the problem for their student by contacting the Resident Life Staff, the roommate, or the roommate’s family, this will not help a student learn to deal with similar situations in the future.

If a student needs assistance in dealing with a difficult roommate situation, parents should encourage their student to speak with their RA or Resident Director. When a student calls home with a concern about a roommate, sharing the following tips with him or her may be helpful:

  • Make sure you have the facts straight.
  • Be gentle, but direct.  The longer you wait to confront the problem, the worse it will become.
  • Expect some defensiveness, possibly even after the confrontation.  Give your roommate an opportunity to think about what you have said.
  • Don't cloud the issue by checking with everyone else on the floor before you give feedback to your roommate
  • Speak only for yourself.
  • Make sure you are prepared to discuss criticism that may be aimed at you. Be open-minded, and remember that you may both need to compromise!
  • Remain calm and do not let emotions take control.  Feelings, such as anger, can only escalate the situation.  If you are not feeling calm, or sense that anger is clouding your ability to have a productive conversation, stop and reschedule a time to talk or have your RA help to facilitate the conversation.
  • Listen to your roommate. Everyone wants to be heard, and only by listening to your roommate's point of view, can you understand and better resolve conflict.

Residence Life will not take action or move students until all perspectives have been heard.  Students should seek the help of the Residence Hall staff when a difficult situation arises and staff will work with students thru mediation.  If the situation is deemed irresolvable by the RA, the RD and members of the Residence Life head staff, roommate changes will be discussed with the students.

Social Media Issues

With the advent of social media and sites such as Facebook, most students turn to pulling their potential roommate's Facebook page up rather than calling and having a direct conversation. We have heard requests from people, who have never spoken to their roommate, asking for a new roommate. The first thing to remember is to not rush to judgment. Many students don't accurately reflect themselves on social media pages. For that reason, we will not reassign a student based on information ascertained from social media. Sometimes our office hears concerns related to a student’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or class standing/age. Our staff is well equipped and trained to speak with anyone regarding these concerns, however, reassignment due to one of the aforementioned reasons will not happen as this can constitute a discriminatory housing practice.  We understand that you may be living with someone different from yourself. We encourage you and your family to approach the circumstance with an open mind, and stay open to accepting and learning about the differences of others.  You may make roommate changes during Open Room Change during the semester.

Please remember to remain open-minded, if you see something of concern, talk with the new roommate about the issue.

Open Room Change

At the beginning of each semester, there is a two-week waiting period on room changes. After this period ends, if you wish to change rooms, please follow the process outlined below:

  • Talk to your current roommate about your housing plans for this semester.  If you are having difficulty communicating with your roommate please ask your resident assistant or the Resident Director for assistance.
  • You cannot occupy a space to which you are not assigned, even if the space appears to be vacant (an empty bed in a double room, for example).  We do not open rooms to accommodate the room change period; room changes are done body for body.
  • It is important that all residents be respectful of each other during this process. It is not acceptable to pressure residents to make a room change, including through offers of monetary compensation or other incentives or rewards. Room changes made to circumvent the room change process will be null and void.
  • Students making unauthorized room changes are subject to fines and will be required to move back to their assigned room. 
  • Please come to the Residence Life Office and fill out a Room Change Request Form. All roommates that are involved in a room (i.e. if you are switching places with a roommate from another room that already has two people occupying it, all four people need to come to the office at the same time).
  • While we can assist in facilitating moves or connect you with students who are looking for new roommates, it is your responsibility to make the appropriate introductions to potential roommates and facilitate potential moves.

Room Changes during the Winter Break

During winter break, the Office of Residence Life experiences vacancies due to students who study abroad, graduate or take a leave of absence. Additionally, we have students who are returning from a leave of absences or from study abroad who will be assigned to these vacancies

More often than not, fall semester residents are aware there will be one or more vacancies in their room for the spring semester and coordinate with a friend who is returning to campus.  In situations like this, Residence Life makes every effort to honor these requests.  Other times, residents may be unaware that a vacancy is created in their room during the break period.  These vacancies may still be filled. Unfortunately, due to the short break period and the volume of transactions being managed, Residence Life cannot communicate with all parties involved.

Fall semester residents who are interested in changing rooms for the spring semester must contact the Residence Life Office before the first Friday of December. If a student knows of an expected spring semester vacancy, they can request to change to this room once the vacancy has been confirmed. Once approved to make the move, the student will be required to coordinate with the current residents and move prior to leaving for winter break.  Vacancies cannot be held for a room change after the last day of finals.

Things to Keep in Mind for Room Changes

  • If there is a vacancy in your room, please keep in mind that our policies require that the resident create a welcoming environment for any new student assigned to that room.
  • If you are moving to a different building on campus, there may be a price difference and change in the meal plan. Any changes will be pro-rated based on when the room change occurs.
  • Once you have completed your move, please take the time to introduce yourself to your new resident assistant.
  • The Office of Residence Life reserves the right to change the policies and process of room change and consolidation in order to meet housing needs and demands.
  • Even though the Office of Residence Life tries to honor housing requests, due to housing needs and demands, this is not always possible.