Answers Define You
Pairing leads to unpredictable results
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 20:10
With each new semester comes a new roommate. The first step in the process of choosing a new roomie is filling out a housing application.
Students that request to room with someone they know are usually placed together automatically. Something new students may not know is that if incoming freshmen are from the same high school, they will not be placed together unless they request it, Cathy Moulton, director of housing at Plattsburgh State, said.
The housing office at PSUC chooses roommates in a specific order, Moulton said.
The criteria is broken down by gender, seniority and whether the student is a transfer. Next, lifestyle preferences are discussed, she said.
Some of the lifestyle preferences include whether or not a student would like to be placed with an international student, their sleeping times, cleanliness, age preferences, study habits and whether they are a smoker or nonsmoker. Those who have medical conditions and make requests such as a single room, or no stairs, can be accommodated.
PSUC student Kristin Conway filled out the roommate questionnaire and doesn’t think it is specific enough. On the questionnaire, Conway answered that her bed time is late, meaning 12 a.m., but her roommate answered the same but meant 3 a.m. Conway’s sleep time was often disturbed by her roommate because of the issue.
Upon arrival, there is a housing agreement both roommates can sign. This agreement states any rules that are being set between the roommates, including sharing of items, guests, etc.
“There aren’t too many problems with roommates getting along,” Moulton said.
Resident Assistant Jessica Bautista said her residents get along, and she hasn’t witnessed any conflicts. But if there was an issue, Bautista said she would talk to each roommate individually and try to find the source of the problem.
If all other resolution options have been exhausted, the student then fills out a room change form. If a student changes rooms, housing will give him or her a list of all the single rooms left, and it is up to the student to knock on doors and ask if they would mind a roommate.
PSUC student Mel Fiore said she gets along with her roommate well. She said their schedules are almost the same, so there is no conflict.
If interested in living off campus, students can read, “The Survival Guide to Off-Campus Living.” Some of the things the guide offers are a sample lease, a housing condition checklist and housing laws. There are links to where students can find listings of apartments as well.
PSUC student Alli Dillenbeck said she is living off campus for the first time this semester, forced to cope with new real world responsibilities.
“We split electricity, internet and garbage equally,” Dillenbeck said. “For groceries, if we know we are all going to share something, then we will split it, but things we don’t want to share, we pay for ourselves.”
If roommates are having difficulties, clear communication is the key, Moulton said. The best option is sitting down and talking to the roommate in person instead of using technologies like text.
“You can’t hear the tone of voice that someone is saying something,” Moulton said. “So you may think a person is upset or angry when, really, they were being sarcastic or ironic.”