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Living With a Roommate, Suitemates, and Hallmates

Three roommates posing for a picture.

A New Space

This may be the first time you share a small living space, a bathroom facility, and more with another person. While it can be challenging, it's also an important part of the college experience and can lead to close friendships that last beyond your time at Virginia Tech. Below are a few tips on making your roommate experience more rewarding for everyone.

Roommate 101

In order to promote academic success and personal growth, roommates should create a living environment where they can:

  • Read and study free from unreasonable noise and distractions
  • Sleep without undue disturbances from noise, another roommate's guests, etc.
  • Respect each other's personal belongings
  • Have a clean environment to live in
  • Have access to the room and facilities without pressure from a roommate
  • Have personal privacy
  • Host guests, as long as they respect the rights of roommates and other residents
  • Be free from fear, intimidation, and physical or emotional harm

Student Leaders

Student Leaders, also commonly referred to as an SLs or house supervisors, are innovative and adaptable student leaders assigned to residential halls to promote the well-being and safety of the students. These staff members are trained to help mediate a situation and find a solution before making a room change.

Compromise and open communication between roommates can help prevent problems before they arise, or help settle them if they do happen. If you and your roommate can't reach an agreement after discussing your concerns with each other, contact your Student Leader.

Two students having a discussion.

Next Steps

Discussions to Have With Your Roommate

There are some key topics you should discuss with your roommate to ensure that both of you are on the same page regarding rules, how to handle conflict, and any boundaries you'd like to set:

  • Are you a morning person, or a night owl who sleeps in? Are you a light sleeper? Do you take naps?
  • Do you intend to share personal belongings? If so, are some things off limits?
  • Will there be scheduled quiet times for studying or sleeping? If so, when should they be and how will they be managed?
  • What are the conditions that help you study best (e.g., music, silence, privacy)?
  • How frequently should guests visit?
  • How should we communicate and manage problems with each other, should a problem arise?
  • How clean do you expect the room to be?

Guidelines for Living in a Residence Hall Community

Here are some tips for living in a residence hall community that will help create an enjoyable living environment for you and everyone in your hall.

  • Take an initiative to join hall meetings (if your hall offers them) to stay connected with others living around you.
  • You can agree to disagree without being disrespectful.
  • If you see a problem, report it. Take care of facilities, report vandalism, and pick up trash if you see it.
  • Lock your suite and/or room door and do not prop open outside doors.
  • Follow policies and report any incidents to a Student Leader.
  • Read and respond to e-mails sent to you by housing and residence life, hall staff, and the university.
  • Take responsibility for your actions, admit mistakes, and make amends.
  • Be open to new experiences and challenge yourself to listen, understand, and compromise.
  • Take initiative by getting involved in hall council and other programs.

Hokie Living

Talk to your SL about ways to be more involved in your hall or community! Your experience at Virginia Tech starts with you and how you decide to make the most of it!

Two students taking a picture on the drillfield.