UHDS offers services to help students dissatisfied with their roommates

Erin Dose News Contributor

Hundreds of first-years switch rooms each year, university provides resources 

It happens all the time. When people of any age share a small space, tensions build and conflicts can occur. This is especially prevalent in the lives of college students, mainly for those living in the residence halls. 

So what can students do when these problems arise? Often, students involved in these conflicts will decide to seek assistance through their residence halls, but may end up switching rooms altogether.  

Hundreds of students move each year, some due to roommate conflict, according to Brian Stroup, associate director of operations at University Housing and Dining Services. 

While UHDS offers resources to resolve conflicts, students do occasionally end up moving. 

“We offer room changes each academic term,” Stroup said. 

However, UHDS offers many resources to help resolve student conflict in other ways.

“Our residential education staff organize roommate agreements to have a document to serve as a foundation for other issues to work through it,” Stroup said. “That’s helpful before it becomes an issue.”

The residence halls are also equipped with trained staff to help with conflicts. Resident assistants and resident directors are available for mediation between roommates, as well as one-on-one discussions, according to Stroup.

“The resident directors are a great resource,” Stroup said. 

To avoid conflict, Stroup strongly advises students to use the roommate matching system provided by UHDS. 

“We want them to use roommate matching to have the best roommate experience,” Stroup said.

However, students who do not use the matching service are paired together by UHDS employees using

required questionnaires. 

“We ask a lot of questions on our application if we have to assign roommates,” Stroup said.

According to Stroup, students who engage early in the roommate decision process have a better experience living in the residence halls and are far less likely to move. 

Roommates Alyssa Meyer and Natalie Parker met online before pairing up as roommates and coming to OSU, according to Parker. The two have an easy, friendly relationship.

“We met on Facebook,” Parker said. “We knew general information about the other person, and we’re just gonna see how it turned out.”

According to Meyer, the two are a successful pair. They share their favorite foods and joined the same sorority. 

“We support each other through experiences,” Meyer said.

However, not all roommate living situations are as successful as Meyer and Parker’s. According to Stroup, some students just want a different environment and end up moving. Pearl Cutting, a first year student currently living in Buxton Hall, had this experience. 

Cutting started the year in Wilson Hall. According to Cutting, she had applied too late to participate in roommate and room selection. She ended up in a double room, despite having budgeted for a triple, and did not enjoy the environment.

“I wanted a normal dorm experience with people who shared my interests and I wasn’t getting that,” Cutting said. 

The moving process was efficient, Cutting said. After meeting with the Wilson resident director and being offered a room through email, she gained the approval to move within five days. 

Because of her quick move, Cutting had limited time to reach out to her new roommates, but she is enjoying living in Buxton Hall. 

“My roommates are both really nice and we get along really well,” Cutting said. 

However, the moving process is not always easy.

Ryan Alexander is a first year student, and began the year in McNary Hall. According to Alexander, his roommate was designated, as they both selected the same room. Their relationship grew strained over fall term.

“Tension built up with no communication and resolution. I think the tension was from our different upbringings,” Alexander said. 

According to Alexander, the UHDS room change system hesitated to reassign him to a new room. 

“I had to do a protected move because I was no longer comfortable,” Alexander said. 

According to Alexander, his protected move consisted of unofficially moving into a temporary room until a new one could be assigned. This is done when students need an immediate change, typically for safety purposes.

After the protected move, Alexander was assigned a new room in Sackett Hall. He did not know his new roommate upon moving in, but is in an improved environment. 

“We hardly interact, but it’s not bad at all,” Alexander said. 

For more information regarding UHDS roommate resources, visit the UHDS webpage or contact the resident director of your specific residence hall.