Living With Roommates

Living with roommates

“You will make new friendships that last a lifetime and have plenty of support for those tough assignments and exams.”

Roommate requests

Students can request to live together but we cannot guarantee requests will be accommodated. Roommate requests work best when these steps are followed:

    1. Submit all applications on the same date with identical preferences (residence area, room type).
    2. Include each other’s student ID numbers.
    3. Submit Winter Session roommate requests before the May 1 deadline.
    4. If applying using a PDF form, staple the forms together and submit them at the same time.

Students can also request to live among peers who share similar interests in an Integrated Learning Community.

Getting acquainted

First encounters can sometimes be a bit awkward and first impressions deceiving. Try easing into the initial conversation with new roommates by using simple dialogue starters and then exchange more detailed information when you feel comfortable around each other.

Begin with easy questions

  • Where are you from?
  • What’s your major?
  • Why did you choose UBC?
  • What are your favourite things to do?

Plan activities together

  • Have lunch, take a walk, or attend an orientation event together.

Discuss sleep and study habits

  • Are you a morning or night person?
  • Are you a heavy or light sleeper?
  • Will you be studying in our room or elsewhere?
  • Can you study with music on or with guests in our room?

Talk about alcohol

  • How would you describe your drinking habits?
  • Do you think it’s okay to drink alcohol in our room?

Guests and sharing

  • How do you feel about overnight guests?
  • Is there a time that guests of other genders cannot be in our room?
  • Do you prefer to be asked before someone borrows something?

Discuss cleaning responsibilities

  • How do you prefer to arrange our room?
  • How do we define a clean room?
  • How do we rotate cleaning and household chores?

Set basic expectations

  • How should the unit common space be used?
  • How loud is too loud?
  • How do we feel about parties or gatherings in the room/unit?
  • How we will keep our unit safe and secure?

Conflicts

Sometimes there’s conflict between roommates, typically due to noise levels, unwanted guests, and cleaning responsibilities. If you’re having trouble, speak to your roommate (s) about the issue before getting other people involved. It is always best when roommates take a direct and tactful approach to conflict resolution before asking a Residence Advisor for help. Here are some suggestions that have proven effective for some of the most common sources of conflict:

Cleaning

  • Divide the work and take turns.
  • Set a cleaning schedule and clear consequences when someone fails to do their part.
  • Hire someone to clean, then split the bill.
  • Have a communal ‘money bowl’ to share the cost of cleaning supplies.

Daytime noise

Some daytime noise is reasonable, however:

  • Set limits on reasonable volume from TV, music, etc.
  • Choose to go to the library to study.

Evening noise

  • Set limits on reasonable volume from TV, music, etc.
  • Consult with your roommate (s) before inviting guests over.
  • Decide on computer cut-off times.
  • Use headphones or earplugs to reduce noise.

Guests

  • Only on weekends.
  • Only on weeknights, before 10 p.m.
  • Only during the daytime.