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How to Solve Roommate Problems:

bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14376 replies103 threads Forum Champion

Let's say you have an 8:00am class and go to bed at 11:00pm. Your roommate stays up to 2:00am every night watching videos. Quiet hours are after 12:00am.

1) Think about the reasonableness of your request. Not having the light of TV on until 2:00am is reasonable. Not having noise is reasonable Not being able to turn your desk light on all day because your roommate never gets out of bed isn't. Not being able to leave your dirty clothes all over the floor isn't. Having guests over occasionally is reasonable…but having a boyfriend move in is not.

2) Take steps to ameliorate the situation yourself. Try eyemasks or earplugs, for example.

3) Discuss issue with Roommate. Yes, this is hard and can be awkward. Try not to make them defensive (Don't say "You are always noisy!" but use "I words" like "I can't go to sleep when you play videos." Say that you are wondering if s/he could use headphones to listen to videos after midnight.

4) See if roommate is compromising..No, s/he won't use headphones.

5)Think about what you want to the end result to be..that works for both of you. For example: Overhead Lights out at 12:00, and after that, s/he goes elsewhere or uses headphones

6) Go to RA. State the issue, state that you have talked to roommate (because they will ask), state that you have tried other steps (like eyemasks) and ask for help in resolving the situation. "RA, I would like to get your advice on figuring out a resolution to an issue I am having with my roommate. <describe issue>."

Most likely they will come up with a roommate contract for you both to sign.

7) Follow the contract..and if your roommate doesn't, then go back to the RA. If your roommate retaliates, go back to the RA.

8) If RA doesn't follow through or is useless, see if there is a different RA in your building. If not, go to the Housing office. Explain you have gone through the "chain of command"...that is, you talked to your roommate and then the RA but the issue still exists and it is preventing you from sleeping.
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