Questions & Resources

How to address a guest policy with your roommate

At college, you may find your roommate likes to have guests over in your room and while you may also enjoy having people over, you also use your room as a private place to study and sleep. How should you talk to your roommate about finding the right balance in your room when it comes to having guests over?

The best thing to do is to communicate with your roommates; sometimes they do not know something is a problem if you do not first bring it to their attention. As an independent college student it is important to clearly say what you need in order to help ensure those needs are met. It is also important that you listen to your roommate in an attempt to help them make sure their needs are also met. Try to set up a reasonable time of night in advance where guests are no longer welcome in the room. If you plan to have a guest spend the night, make sure you give your roommate a heads up as a courtesy since you both would be sharing the same space.

The Roger Williams Guest Policy can be found here.

What to do if you have a roommate conflict

College is a place where people from different backgrounds and lifestyles come together to learn new things and live under one roof. Throughout your time at Roger Williams University, it is possible you may end up having a conflict with one of your roommates. Before assuming the worst and immediately trying to seek a room change, talk to your roommate to see if compromises or solutions can be made.  Again, many times your roommate may not even be aware there is a problem; appropriately and cordially bringing it to their attention is a great first step in working towards a solution.

If you tried talking to your roommate on your own and a reasonable and fair solution is unable to be reached, seek the support of your RA as they are trained to help facilitate roommate conflicts. A mediation between an independent third party (the RA) will allow all roommates involved to openly express how they feel and allow the RA to recommend changes to your previously agreed upon roommate agreement and offer any applicable advice. Click here to refer to a sample roommate agreement.

If the RA is unsuccessful in mediating the problem, have them seek the help of the CORE. Each CORE also receives an extensive amount of training in roommate mediation and conflict management; they may be better equipped to help find a solution. If a solution is eventually reached, give it a couple of days to work itself out; problems cannot change overnight.

If after all of these attempts are made you still feel like the problem in your room cannot be resolved, then you can make an appointment with the Assistant Director of Housing to try and navigate a potential room change. **Please note, you cannot make your roommate change rooms. If you do eventually want to explore a room change option, you must be the one to move out, not your roommate.

What happens if I don’t end up being best friends with my roommate? 

A lot of students enter college with the idea they will be best friends with their roommates. Although that does sometimes happen it is also not uncommon for that not to happen and that is OKAY! Some people are just not looking for a best friend in their roommate and only want their roommate to be someone with whom they share their space. If it turns out you and your roommate do not end up being best friends that does not mean you both still can’t get along; maintaining a civil relationship will help the both of you be as successful as possible during your time together. As long as you and your roommate are able to communicate about the expectations you have for your room and how you can both live comfortably, then that alone also creates a healthy and successful roommate pair.

What happens if my roommate is too clingy?

If you feel your roommate wants to do everything together and isn’t giving you enough of your own personal space, it would be beneficial for the both of you to sit down and have a conversation so you can express your concern and need for more personal space. Set some boundaries ahead of time about things you like to do on your own and things you like to do with some company. It is okay to voice your concerns to your roommate because if you don’t they may never know anything is wrong. If you think you will need help voicing your concerns, feel free to ask for help from either your RA or CORE.

What to do if your roommate confides in you they are gay

If your roommate chooses to confide in you they are gay it is best to thank them for trusting you with that information and do your best to let them know you are there for them to make them feel even more comfortable. If it turns out you come from a background that does not fully accept homosexuality, it is best to keep your opinions to yourself. While it may be hard to hear your roommate identifies as someone from the LGBTQ+ community, their coming out process could be very difficult but they felt comfortable enough sharing that information with you.

For more information, visit our pamphlets with guiding information if your roommate identifies as LGBTQ+. Click here if you identify as LGBTQ+ for more information and resources.

What to do if you want a room change

If you would like to explore a change in rooms after you have exhausted all available resources to solve the initial room problem, you must come to the Residence Life & Housing Office, located in the Center for Student Development and make an appointment with the Assistant Director of Housing, Katie Graffum (kgraffum@rwu.edu.)

As a reminder, room changes do not take place during the first two weeks of each semester so our Housing department can confirm each residential student is living where they are assigned and so they can take note of any potential room vacancies within the residence halls. This process is known as a “room freeze.”

If a room change is granted you will be assigned a specific time and day where you must vacate your previous room and move into your new space. The RAs on duty that night in the living area to which you are moving must check you in to your new space and will be in contact with you during the time of your move.

Please remember room changes not authorized by the Housing department are not permitted and may result in fines.

Can I request to have my friend move in with me after the year has already started?

The Housing department always does its best to try and accommodate room change requests that may affect more than one person as long as it falls after the designated room freeze period. However, all parties involved must agree to a room change before permission is granted.

For example, if Bobby and Frank live together and Seth and Steve live together and Bobby wants to live with Seth, then all four parties involved must agree to the room switch in order for it to be approved by the Housing department. If every party does not agree to the switch then the room change will not be granted. 

I’m living in a temporary triple, what will that be like and what should I bring?

Living in a temporary triple is no different than as if you were assigned to live in a permanent triple; except there would be one additional person living in that room. Regardless of which room you are placed in, every resident is provided with equitable space and storage. You will still be provided with a bed, a desk and chair, a closet and at least one piece of additional furniture to store clothing. Anything else you choose to bring is up to you. Click the following link for a complete list of permitted and prohibited items allowed within the residence halls.

It would be a good idea to coordinate with your roommates ahead of time as to who is bringing what items in order to avoid duplication.

Please note that depending on vacancies within the residence hall rooms, it is possible some temporary triples could be de-bunked to be made into a double before the end of the fall semester. If this were to happen you would receive either a written letter or an e-mail from the Housing department.

How can I get involved within the residence halls to meet people and make friends?

Roger Williams has a lot of opportunities for its students to get involved, both within and outside the residence halls. One of the more common groups students join is Hall Council. Hall Council is the governing body within each residence hall; if you were in student government in high school then Hall Council may be a great way for you to plan fun events and initiate change within your living community. Hall Council is open to every residential student on campus so as long as you live in any one of the residence halls, you are eligible to join. Each resident who joins Hall Council also receives a full merit point to be added to their total when selecting housing. If you have other questions about Hall Council, please ask your CORE.

Above Hall Council is the umbrella organization, Inter-Residence Hall Association (or IRHA, as we call it). This body oversees each living area’s Hall Council and even puts on some pretty cool events of their own throughout the year. (just wait for Midnight Breakfast!) If you do not have time to join your living area’s Hall Council but still want to join IRHA, don’t worry, you still can! Meetings are every Tuesday night at 6:30pm in the Rec Center Conference Room. If you have any questions about IRHA you can e-mail CORE Kyle McAuliffe at kmcauliffe@rwu.edu or  Adrianne Harris at aharris@rwu.edu.

Another great opportunity to get involved is joining Roger After Dark (we call it RAD). RAD is the late-night, substance-free programming initiative, which is usually held every other Friday from 10pm to midnight in the GHH Atrium. There’s always awesome food and good times to be had by all. If you prefer a drug and alcohol free lifestyle but still like to have fun on the weekends then RAD might be a great opportunity for you. Planning meetings are Wednesdays at 4:30 in the Center for Student Development lobby. For more information you can contact CORE Nick Frias at nfrias@rwu.edu or Katie Graffum at kgraffum@rwu.edu.

Click the following link for a complete list of every club and organization Roger Williams has to offer, there’s bound to be something that interests you! 

How do I submit a maintenance request?

If a university-owned piece of furniture is to break or not properly function in your bedroom or your suite or apartment’s common area, students can submit a maintenance request to get that fixed or replaced.

**Please note: The request system asks for a password with each request made. The password for every request submitted is simply “password.”