Housing & Residential Life


2017-2018 Student Handbook

 

You & Your Roommate

This section was prepared to assist roommates in learning about one another so they may be able to live together harmoniously. The variety of topics attempts to provide a broad cross-section of the potential encounters you will have when sharing living space. Your roommate needs to know your general personal background, your attitude and emotions, your values (feelings, attitudes, opinions), and personal preference.


You always heard this as a child, but the term “sharing” is most important here because residence hall living requires a concept of cooperation, whether it is with your roommate or with other residents on your floor.  You can begin with a willingness to share some of yourself with your roommate. Open and honest communication usually ensures a satisfactory roommate relationship.

 

During the first week of the fall semester, your Resident Assistant will schedule an opportunity for you and your roommate to meet and discuss some very important aspects about living together. The three of you will come up with a Roommate Success Plan that will be your guide to a healthy living environment. When things are getting tough or you need to clarify something with your room you can use the Roommate Success Plan as a starting point. Be open and honest during the process and ensure your voice is heard. The living experience is shared and not one sided.

 

The questions outlined below are provided to help you get started in your mandatory roommate contract. Take each question separately — be open, be honest, and be complete. If you have difficulty talking about an issue or subject, make note of it and tell your roommate that you would like to come back to it.

 

PERSONAL BACKGROUND

You should start by using the questions below to give your roommate some basic information about yourself — the place where you have grown up, information about your schooling, your family, your hobbies, your interests, etc. Try to offer more than “I’m from Austin and I’m interested in the outdoors.”

 

Members of my family include:

I am glad to be away from home because: I was not glad to leave home because:

I chose Montana State University Billings because:

 

PERSONAL VALUES:

In this section, you are challenged to communicate — try and share ideas, issues, and values. Learn what you should know about each other. This is the most crucial portion of THE YOU AND YOUR ROOMMATE SECTION, because it will help establish the basis for your living arrangements.


How do I want our room to be utilized? I expect our room to be…

Who will clean what and when?

How about friends and visitors in our room? How about overnight guests?

My feelings about my personal belongings are… My feelings about smoking are…

Grades and studying are… I prefer to study…

 

ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS:

Attitudes and emotions (our feelings and how we express them) are an important part of us. We convey feelings both verbally and non-verbally. This portion of YOU AND YOUR ROOMMATE encourages you to clarify the emotions and attitudes that you express.

 

I am generally (reserved, outgoing, etc.)… My pet peeves are…

When I am:

…angry, I generally…

…frustrated, I generally…

…sad, I generally…

…concerned, I generally…

…excited, I generally…

…happy, I generally…

It is (easy, hard) to talk about my feelings. Why?

 

OUR REACTIONS TO EACH OTHER:

Last but not least, you are at the point of drawing some conclusions and identifying positive and negative factors in your living situation with your roommate.

 

Some things that I have learned from this discussion are…

An important difference between us is… And we will work on this by…

We agree that we’ll do the following, If conflict occurs between us…

 

ROOMMATE DISAGREEMENTS

It is impossible to get along with every person all the time. We hope this information and roommate contract has helped to create a stronger connection with your roommate. If you and your roommate are at a stalemate, however, we are here to help. Your RA has been trained in conflict resolution and has many resources available to help you and your roommate find resolve.  If things are still not working out, you can contact your Hall Director to learn about other options.

 

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