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Living Cooperatively Resources

two roommates smile and sit on a bed together in front of a wall decorated with flowers and lantern lights

Living in a residence hall can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your college career.

Residence hall staff work hard to provide opportunities for residents to connect with one another and build community within their hall, but it is up to you to engage in and invest in your community. You will get out of your experience what you put into it, so start first with a positive attitude!

FLOOR COMMUNITY 

Our Community Living Standards help maintain a positive living environment for all campus residents. During your first floor meeting, your resident advisor will help your floor set its own expectations for the year. Help develop a vibrant community by introducing yourself to your neighbors, speaking with your resident advisor, and attending floor and hall programs. 

ROOMMATE RELATIONSHIPS

Once you receive your housing assignment, reach out to your roommate(s) to introduce yourself and communicate about your expectations and hopes for the room. Before you make the call, reflect on your own needs and expectations so you can express them accurately and openly. It can be both challenging and fun to live with someone else, and the better you are able to communicate, the better your relationship will be. Keep in mind that it may be difficult to get to know someone over the phone, on social media, or through email, so avoid making quick judgments about your new roommate(s) before meeting them in person. 

Before you arrive on Move-In Day, we encourage you to coordinate with your roommate about what each of you will bring for the room. Make sure to discuss color schemes, electronics, gaming systems, dishes, and any other items that may be shared. We recommend that students wait to buy furniture, rugs, or other large items until they move into their room and can plan their space.

COMMUNICATING EXPECTATIONS

Tulane students have a variety of beliefs, values, and experiences that influence their expectations around their living space. Some students may want to be best friends with their roommate and do everything together, some students may only want to be acquaintances, and some students may want an experience somewhere in between. It is important to develop a genuine relationship with your roommate and approach your living situation with an open mind. As you continue to get to know each other, take time to discuss your needs, your pet peeves, your quirks, and your hopes for the space. Be proactive in discussing issues such as sleep schedules, room cleanliness, borrowing each other's belongings, and having guests over.  

Communication Tips:

  • Reflect First: Take time to process your own thoughts before trying to communicate them with someone else. 
  • Write It Down: It can be helpful to write out your thoughts to keep them organized and to make sure you do not forget anything.
  • Common Language: Make sure you are talking about the same thing. What does 'messy' mean, exactly? Be specific and ask for clarification if you are not sure.
  • Location, Location, Location: It may be difficult for someone to be open and honest about personal things while in a public space, but someone else may like the safety of a coffee shop or cafe. Find a space that is comfortable for everyone. 

ROOMMATE AGREEMENT

All students living in a shared space on campus are asked to complete a roommate agreement in the beginning of the fall semester and after any room changes. You will receive the document from your Resident Advisor, complete it with your roommate(s)/suitemate(s) and review it with your RA.  We encourage residents to keep a copy of their Roommate Agreement in the room and refer to it when conflict or questions arise. It can be updated and revised at any time and is a great tool for roommates to communicate their expectations and hold each other accountable.

CONFLICT 

At some point, you and your roommate(s) may disagree and conflict will arise. Conflict is a healthy part of any relationship and can improve your relationship if it is dealt with properly. When conflict does arise, address the issue promptly and constructively. Speak with each other face to face and avoid posting about the issue on social media. The goal of managing a conflict should be to reach a compromise and create a solution in which everyone's requests or needs are met on some level. If you need advice on how to approach a conflict, or feel you may need a conflict mediator, reach out to your Resident Advisor.