Students may not change rooms until October 1, and may do so only after meeting with their Assistant Director of Housing and Residential Life. First year students must go through a mediation process with their CA and with their Assistant Director before a change will be approved.
Roommate Living Agreement Information
During a hall meeting at Orientation, all first year students with roommates are given a Roommate Living Agreement to be completed by all roommates for the room. (Upperclass residents can ask their CA for one if they wish to complete one). It is intended to provide a basis for roommates to communicate and share living space.
Here are a few suggestions that will make establishing your living agreement easier:
- Be willing to compromise, but also assert your rights.
- Be honest with your feelings.
- While considering what is ideal, know what is reasonable.
- Do not argue over difficult agreements, but continue to work on what you can
agree upon; then ask your Community Advisor to help mediate if necessary.
- Agree upon a follow-up date to review the agreement and make any necessary revisions.
Most of us come from situations where we are accustomed to having our own space. Living together successfully is a skill you may have to learn. The agreement is not intended to be a constraint upon your freedom, but rather a way to discuss potential differences you may have with your roommate.
This information will help you address issues that pertain to the specifics of living together peacefully in your room. Talking about these things in advance won't guarantee you'll be compatible, but your chances for getting along and preventing conflict are greatly increased. Above all, you will need to have open and clear lines of communication with your roommate both now and as the year progresses.
The following questions will need discussion and agreement. Write down the basics of your agreement on scrap paper, then when ready, write your answers on the Roommate Living Agreement form which your CA will provide.
- What are our class schedules like?
- What are our noise tolerances while studying (phone, stereo, TV, guests)?
- What activities will take priority in the room?
- When do we best study? How much time? Breaks?
- How much sleep do we need nightly?
- What time do we each go to bed and get up?
- What are our noise, light, and temperature tolerances when sleeping?
- How often and how thoroughly will the room be cleaned?
- How will we share the cleaning?
- How clean do we want to keep the room? Who cleans what?
- How often will trash removal take place? Who does it?
Utilization of Space
- How would we like to set up the room?
- How often do we want to change things?
- How do we divide the storage space?
- How will we divide the refrigerator if we have one?
- What is acceptable to put on the wall?
- How often can guests come over? When are the best/worst times?
- Does there need to be any advance warning or discussion?
- How do we feel about guests sleeping over? How often? Under what conditions?
- What guidelines, if any, do we set for guests of the same or opposite gender?
Use of Possessions/Security/Alcohol
- What items can be shared without permissions?
- What items may only be used by asking permission?
- What items cannot be used?
- What items will we split the bill on?
- What is our policy on others access to our room and possessions?
- What is our policy on alcohol use in our room?
- How will we handle conflicts or disagreements?
- How late/early should we instruct our friends/family to call?
- How will we take messages for each other?
Getting to Know Your Roommate
You and your roommate(s) will share a unique relationship this year. You may not always get along with each other, care to spend a lot of time together, or become good friends, but you will share part of your lives with each other.
This information will help make at least one connection with your roommate a little easier. You will find questions to ask one another and maybe you will find that connecting with your roommate is definitely doable. Kenyon College wants each resident to have a great experience of living and learning on campus. Therefore, each of you needs to do your part to make that happen.
Go through the following questions with your roommate(s) and share your own personal answers with each other. Be honest, and share more than just facts. Feel free to add your own.
- Why did you choose Kenyon College?
- What would you most like to tell me about your family?
- How would you describe your friends back home? How would they describe you?
- What is unique about your hometown?
- What has been your big accomplishment in your life?
- What one thing are you looking forward to this year?
- What did you do over the summer?
Going a little deeper
- What are you hoping to major in?
- What co-curricular activities do you plan to take part in at Kenyon this year?
- What is your favorite kind of music?
- What is your favorite kind of food?
- What do you like to do to alleviate stress?
- What are your pet peeves?
A little more personal
- What are your views/opinions on religion?
- What are your views/opinions on alcohol?
- How do you let others know what and how you are feeling?
- How do you handle pressure/ stress?
- What angers you and how do you express your anger?
- How would you describe your general mood? How/ when does that change?
- When do you like/need to be alone? When do you like/need to be around others?
Personal Habits & Preferences
- What do you need in order to study well?
- What do you need in order to sleep well?
- How do you feel about sharing each other's things? What is off-limits?
- How clean do you want the room to be?
- How do you want to arrange the room?
- How warm/cold do you like it in the room?
- How do you feel about guests/ significant others in the room?
Wrapping It Up
After going through the questions on the inside of this brochure, take a few minutes to process what you've learned about your roommate(s) and yourself by answering the following questions together.
- What things about us are similar?
- What things about are different?
- How do your similarities and differences make you feel?
- What do you like about each other?
- What do you see as being areas where compromise may be necessary?
- What have you discovered about yourself? What have you discovered about your
- What do you hope to gain from living with each other? What do
you think your roommate(s) will gain from living with you?
Hopefully, you and your roommate(s) know more about each other now than you did before beginning this exercise! After going through this information, you and your roommate(s) may wish to complete the Roommate Living Agreement. Ask your CA for details.
What if it is just not working?
1. Communicate. Take the first step and talk with your roommate openly & honestly about issues. Be willing to compromise.
2. Contact your CA, who will assist you and your roommate in completing or reviewing your Living Agreement. Your CA will be able to assist you to resolve your roommate issues. If issues persist, please contact your Assistant Director, or ask your CA to do this.
The staff in the Office of Housing and Residential Life wants your living-learning experience at Kenyon to be a positive one. If you have questions, ideas, suggestions, or problems, contact your CA or Assistant Director. We will do our best to help!