Connecting with Roommates

Conversation Starter with Roommate

We are so excited to see you soon! Just a few weeks until move-in begins! As we move closer to August, we wanted to encourage you to reach out to your roommates to start building connections. Below are instructions and suggested prompts to begin the conversation. Focus this time and energy on connecting with each other and who is bringing which items for your space. There will be plenty of time once you arrive on campus to discuss the expectations of living together and what feels best as you make this transition! Your RAs look forward to guiding you through that discussion.

We understand that living on your own can be exciting and nerve-racking, but we are looking forward to seeing your journey at CSU East Bay.

  • Understand that living with other people is going to be a roller coaster at first. You are learning to be on your own and learning how to live with roommate(s) or suitemates.
    • It might take a little bit to get adjusted to your roommate(s) habits and your academic/personal life.
  • Not all roommate(s) and suitemates become best friends, and that’s perfectly ok. All we want is for you to be able to live together as comfortably as possible.

Before arriving at your Move-In date, consider reviewing the “What to Bring” list together to compare what items you may want to share and/or bring.

Get to know your roommate(s) and suitemates, have a genuine conversation with them; get to know their goals at CSU East Bay, their major, favorite things to do in their free time, etc. Be willing to get to know who you will be living with this academic year.

Understand that you and your roommate(s) might have different goals, interests, sleeping patterns and class schedules, etc.

  • Fun activities to do with each other
    • Share an I Am Poem
    • Talk a walk around campus
    • Check out the community spaces in Housing (Lassen community and El Dorado Hall)
  • Have conversations with table tent topics in your apartments/suites
  • Share each other's social media accounts
  • Show each other your favorite meme, gif, or TikTok
  • Go to campus events together

Living with roommate(s) and suitemates you are previously familiar with can be beneficial to your living experience. However, we want you to understand that even though you all are comfortable with each other, conflicts can still arise. We want you to be able to best navigate that.

Living with roommate(s) and suitemates you are previously familiar with can be a comfort as you know them personally as friends. Additionally, living together in on-campus residential communities will open new experiences. We want you to understand that even though you all are comfortable with each other, conflicts can still arise around these new topics such as cleaning, guests, noise, etc.

Make Time to Have an Honest Conversation

When having the conversation let your roommate(s) know that the concern isn’t something directed at them as a person but it’s something that you care enough about to address.

Communication is essential to help resolve conflict. If you brush off the issue, it can lead to larger arguments down the road.

Embrace Opportunities of Change in Attitude

Understand that your roommate dynamics can change after the semester starts; new classes, clubs, jobs, relationships, academics, and personal life have an impact on how your dynamics work as a roommate(s)/suitemates.

We are not saying you need to change overall to accommodate another person, we want you to have an open mindset on communicating with other residents.

Focus on “I” Statements Rather Than “You” Accusations

Conversations that include the word “you” put people on the defensive and can turn into an argument. Rather than resorting to “you” accusations focus on “I” centered language

By removing the focus off of what the individual should or shouldn’t do, address your concerns in a way that invites your roommate to provide feedback as well as offer solutions to the problem.

Get Creative on Your Approach to Having the Conversation

We understand that talking about issues in the apartment can be a daunting task, try to make the environment of the conversation as comfortable for the two of you as possible

  • Invite your roommate to grab a bite at Pioneer Kitchen or take a walk around campus

Know When to Reach Out to Help with Conflict

We suggest having the conversation with your roommate(s) first is the best way to address the issue before bringing in the Resident Assistant (RA) into the issue.

  • Sometimes roommate(s) feel blindsided when you go to the RA first without having a conversation with them first.

If having a conversation with your roommate(s) doesn't resolve the issue or the environment becomes hostile, reach out to your RA to have them help mediate the issue.

  • RAs are a listening ear and will mediate the conversation. RAs may have a Senior Resident Assistant (SRA) accompany them during the conversation to provide additional support for both the residents and the RA.
  • The RA will document the mediation in an incident report, to show that steps were taken to resolve the issue and is a reference for Housing staff if issues arise again.

Roommate Agreements

Living in a shared community space can be a different experience for everyone. As a part of living in Housing, we require all of our residents to complete a Roommate Agreement with their apartment/suite. The Roommate Agreement was made for everyone in the shared space to communicate on different issues and matters that roommates/suitemates go through in everyday life. We want the space you are in to be as safe and comfortable for all the residents as possible.

You are free to reflect back on the Roommate Agreements if certain issues arise, you can revise it throughout the semester with help from your RA. Take a look at what the Roommate Agreement looks like.