The Daily Eastern News

RAs give advice for living with roommates

Logan Raschke, Staff Reporter

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Resident assistants shared their professional and personal advice for students having trouble adjusting to living with roommates.

Natalie Fadden, a junior communication disorders and sciences major and RA for Andrews Hall, said it is common for new roommates to not connect immediately.

“Living with people can be very hard, especially if you aren’t good at communicating,” she said.

In case a student wants to switch roommates, Fadden said they first need to contact the assistant resident director.

“It is fairly easy to switch roommates,” she said. “The (student) would have to meet the ARD in the building and then pretty much just sign some paperwork … They just move all their stuff and return their keys.”

There is no time limit for students to request switching rooms, but there is something called “housing lockdown” for the first week of school that prohibits it, she said.

“We can’t actually switch any roommates around the first week of the semester,” she said.

Even though switching roommates can be done easily and quickly, Fadden said residence halls prefer to help roommates communicate to solve their problems themselves.

“Usually switching rooms is one of the worst case scenarios that we do, because we want (roommates) to talk about it,” she said. “A lot of the issues they want to move out over can be easily solved.”

Steven Connor, a junior marketing major and RA for McKinney Hall, said he hardly ever receives complaints concerning roommates.

“(A roommate complaint) is definitely one of those things that happens once in a blue moon,” he said. “The people I do find complaining the most are people who have been best friends their whole lives, or people who have talked a lot before moving in.”

For students who need a lending ear during hard times, especially when it comes to living with another person, Fadden said resident assistants like her and Connor can help.

“Sometimes (students) just want someone to vent to,” she said. “A lot of the time I am just a facilitator in that conversation (roommates) have together.”

Connor said his role as an RA is to make sure all students, with or without roommates, feel comfortable with where they live and who they live with.

“We want to have everybody on our floor feel like there’s a sense of community,” he said. “We try to have a program every six weeks and make sure everybody understands that even though it’s our jobs to be policy enforcers and handle that side of it, that’s only 50 percent of what we try to do.”

RAs have an open door policy, which means they always welcome students who may feel isolated to speak with them about the issues they’re experiencing living on campus, he said.

Fadden said it is normal for students to have arguments with their roommates, but sitting down and solving their problems together is the best solution.

“You just have to be really upfront and honest with each other,” she said. “I tell all my girls that there will be a time when they’re annoyed with each other, even if they’re the best of friends, but if (they) can talk about it and kind of overcome it, it’s really important.”

Fadden said having a roommate, despite the inevitable petty arguments, can be one of the most rewarding experiences and she recommends everyone to try it.

Both Conner and Fadden know a number of students who met from living together as roommates on campus who are still good friends after graduation, and some of them choose to continue living together.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
RAs give advice for living with roommates