Roommate Response System
Part of the college experience is learning how to live with new and different people. Residence hall rooms at American University are either double or triple occupancy, so residents must negotiate the high-points and pitfalls of living with a roommate(s).
The first and most effective step in managing roommate conflict, however, is for roommates to talk openly and honestly with each other regarding potential problems well before the problem even begins. A frank and honest discussion between residents at the beginning of the roommate relationship regarding habits, likes, dislikes, etc can often prevent future conflict. A Roommate Agreement Guide – also used to manage existing roommate conflict – is a useful tool for roommates to use at the beginning of a semester to help facilitate such a discussion. These Guides are available at the Housing and Dining Programs Office in Anderson Hall or from your RA.
Remember: This is likely the first time you are living with someone other than a sibling. Even best friends may not make good roommates. Thinking of and talking through potential issues of conflict early on will, if nothing else, make managing future problems that much easier.
When conflict between roommates does occur, the Roommate Response System is in place to assist residents toward a resolution of their problem(s). Roommates should use the System as a framework when managing conflict within their room. Residents should also utilize the live-in para-professional, undergraduate Resident Assistants (RAs) and full-time, masters-level Area and Resident Director staff to help make the best of their roommate experience.
Basic steps through the Roommate Response System:
1. Talk to your roommate(s) about the problem
2. Get your RA involved
3. Use a Roommate Agreement Guide to help facilitate a resolution
4. Have your RA mediate a discussion between you and your roommate(s)
5. Utilize the resources of the American University Mediation Services (AUMS@american.edu)
6. If you, your roommate(s), and your RA are unable to come to a resolution, the AD or RD may get involved in managing the conflict