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Tips for a Great Roommate/Suitemate Dynamic!

As Move Week concludes and housing assignments solidify for the rest of the year, we understand that living with new people in close quarters can be challenging. That is why we are providing some helpful tips on how to create a healthy roommate/suitemate dynamic!

Roommate Agreements

This year we are requiring every resident in every building to complete a roommate agreement with their Resident Assistant (RA). Having this conversation early on will help create clear boundaries and expectations. Topics such as cleaning, noise, temperature, guests, and shared belongings are covered in each roommate agreement. Because the roommate agreement is in writing, there should be no confusion as to what guidelines have been laid out. Remember: Roommate agreements can always be revised if something isn’t working out as it was initially discussed.

Communication

We can’t stress this one enough. Communicate with your roommate(s) or suitemate(s) any time something may be bothering you or if you believe someone has broken the roommate agreement. Don’t approach the conversation in an accusatory manner. Just politely express your concerns and see how things go from there. If the conversation goes well, then fantastic! If it doesn’t go quite as planned, then you may need to consider a different approach. Remember: Don’t let things stew. The longer you wait to address a concern or issue, the more likely your roommate(s) or suitemate(s) will feel blindsided. If you never tell someone that what they’re doing is bothersome, they will continue thinking that there are no problems. By addressing issues sooner than later, you can establish healthy lines of communication.

Resident Assistants

As suggested by their title, Resident Assistants (RAs) are there to help! If after talking to your roommate(s) or suitemate(s) still hasn’t resolved the issue, don’t be afraid to reach out to your RA for help. RAs go through extensive roommate mediation training and know how to offer an unbiased ear. If things continue to go awry after a mediation with the RA or the RA establishes that the issues are beyond what they are capable of handling, the Resident Director (RD) of your area may need to step in at that point. Remember: Asking for help is never something you should feel embarrassed about. By acknowledging you need assistance, it shows that you are dedicated to improving a situation for you and the people around you.

 

Thinking About Living Off Campus?

In a lot of cases, the cost of living on campus in a residence hall is more affordable than living off- campus in an apartment or rental home. Your rent living on campus includes utilities like laundry, electricity, gas, water, air condition, and heating, Wi-Fi, and cable.  In most houses and apartments, you will have to pay for these in addition to your rent. Most houses and some apartments don't come furnished so that's another cost you need to add to your expenses. Living on campus also means you don't need a car and therefore won't incur travel expenses such as gas and parking. Plus, the ability to wake up and walk to your class in minutes is priceless. Most importantly university housing provides 24/7 security while many off campuses do not have that readily available.

By living on campus, students get to experience all that Stevenson has to offer, including athletic events, arts programming, and participation in a variety of student organizations without the hassle of having to drive to campus.  All of our residence halls were built within the last 15 years, assuring you the modern conveniences of home. Our residence halls will meet or exceed the offerings of off-campus apartment complexes while giving students better access to on-campus activities.

For those considering living off campus here are things we believe you should consider:

  1. You may feel more disconnected from campus. You likely won't have as many friends residing around the corner or down the hall and need to plan more intentionally to attend and participate in campus events.
  2. You need to do research on the property management company and surrounding area.
  3. Apartment complexes, may not be as flexible as a university when it comes to payment working with student and loan options
  4. You need to build in travel and parking when planning your day
  5. You have to stay more conscious on how much energy you are using as you will be paying monthly for these.

In Addition, living off campus may affect your Financial Aid!

Your award considers whether you will be living on-campus or commuting. All students considering not living on campus should contact Financial Aid to learn how changing their residency status can affect their aid.

Click here to learn more on reserving your bed for the 2019-2020 academic year

Did you know that every full-time staff member in Residence Life & Housing holds a masters degree or higher? Residence Life & Housing creates a home away from home in the residence halls for our residents. Our staff serves as a helpful  resource for all residents and ensures that living on campus is an inclusive, safe, and fun living and learning environment for all. 

Who are the Residence Life & Housing Staff?

Assistant Vice President for Residence Life & Housing: Dr. Sarah Mansfield, Ed.D
Dr. Mansfield joined Stevenson University in 2011 and is responsible for overseeing the on-campus living experience and for providing a safe and community-based living and learning environment in the residence halls.

Assistant Director for Housing Operations: Evan Huckfeldt, M.Ed
Evan Huckfeldt joined Stevenson University in 2015 and is responsible for overseeing the housing operations procedures of the residence halls including: housing assignments, meal plan assignments, residence halls opening, residence halls closing, key management and oversight of the department front desk.

Resident Director for the First Year Area: Jason Summers, M.Ed
Jason Summers joined Stevenson University in 2016 and is the Resident Director for the first year area. In addition to overseeing the first year area, Jason assists with the Office of Multicultural Experience to provide a variety of inclusive programming.

Resident Director for the Upper Class Suites: Elspeth Peterson, M.S
Elspeth Peterson joined Stevenson University in 2017 and is the Resident Director for the upper class suites. In addition to overseeing the upper class suites, Elspeth assists with housing operation and student leadership initiatives.

Resident Director for the Apartments: Patrick Murnane, M.A
Patrick Murnane joined Stevenson University in 2017 and is the Resident Director for the apartment complex. In addition to overseeing the apartment complex, Patrick coordinates our Resident Assistant staff selection and training.

Resident Directors are full-time professional, live-in staff members. Resident Directors assist with problems, supervise Resident Assistants, encourage student development and a direct resource for residents. 

In addition, we have student leaders, Resident Assistants,  who are student leaders who live in the buildings and help make students experience in the halls the best it can be. They are carefully selected and specially trained to help in case of emergencies, roommate issues, or concerns. 

Residence Life staff members are on-duty every night during the regular academic year. 

If you have any questions about the residential experience or need help please contact any of our staff members! 

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