A Guide to Residence Hall Living

A Guide to Residence Hall Living

Housing Information

Before a student moves into his or her room, the College requires that the student sign a residence hall contract. In signing, the student agrees to abide by the residence hall regulations stated in the contract and in the student handbook. The housing agreement terminates when the student withdraws from the College. A student who withdraws from the College may not continue to live in the residence halls.

Living with Roommates

The college roommate experience is a difficult one for just about everybody. It's tough to share a small space with another person, especially when you're in a stressful college environment. And if you live in a residence hall room with a total stranger, there's bound to be some conflict.

Along with practicing common sense roommate etiquette, one smart thing you can do to minimize conflict is to write a roommate contract. The concept is simple: you sit down with your roommate at the beginning of the semester, talk about "rules" to regulate behavior in your room and put it all down on paper and sign. Compromise will almost certainly be necessary. Regis College strongly encourages freshman to draw up roommate contracts and we train the residence assistant to help.

How to Avoid Conflicts

So how can you be a good roommate? First and foremost, be polite. You don't have to be best friends, but things will be much easier if you mind your manners and treat each other with respect. Consider drawing up a college roommate contract to establish expectations early, and read here for some tips on how to deal with college roommate conflicts.

Here are some residence hall etiquette tips to keep the relationship with your roommate as smooth as possible!

  • Clean up after yourself
    Keeping your room neat can seem unimportant when you've got exams and a million things to do. However, this isn't your room alone, so being a slob is rude. Be sure to pick up your laundry, throw away your trash, and make your bed. After all, it's just a room. It doesn't take that much effort to clean it. Here are some tips for how to keep a dorm room clean.
  • When your roommate wants quiet, be quiet
    Doing otherwise is very rude. When your roommate is studying, go chat with your friends somewhere else. If you want to listen to music and your roommate does not, get some headphones.
  • Never wake a sleeping roommate
    Sleep is a valuable resource for a college student, so don't be the reason your roommate doesn't get enough. Be quiet when you're coming in late at night, and respect the need to nap.
  • Do not use your roommate's stuff without permission
    This goes for everything, including food. Similarly, don't snoop through your roommate's things. It can be tempting, but resist the urge.
  • Be reasonable about visits from friends
    Of course you can have friends over, but make sure you are not monopolizing the room. If a friend is going to stay overnight, be sure to ask permission. It's also important that your visitors are polite to your roommate. By the same token, be polite to your roommate's visitors.
  • Be reasonable about visits from "special" friends
    Visits from boyfriends and girlfriends can cause serious roommate conflicts. Never invite your date to sleep over unless you are sure it's okay with your roommate, and be careful not to abuse that privilege. You and your roommate might want to devise a "necktie" system to keep roommates away at inopportune times. However, only do this if your roommate is comfortable with the idea, and be sure your "necktie" incidents don't keep your roommate out too often. Never get physical when your roommate is around, even if he or she is asleep! This brings up a related issue:
  • Don't do anything that makes your roommate uncomfortable
    It's always a bad idea to keep illicit drugs or alcohol in your room, but if your roommate objects, it's an even worse idea. This rule goes for more minor issues as well, including grooming. If your roommate is grossed out when your cut your toenails in the room, then don't.
  • Never gossip about your roommate
    It's tempting to vent about your roommate's annoying habits to your buddies down the hall, but don't. If your roommate finds out (and there's a very good chance this will happen), he or she will be hopping mad. If you have issues with your roommate, talk to your roommate about them. This isn't the easiest thing to do, but it's a heck of a lot more mature than gossiping with your friends.
  • Never spread your roommate's secrets
    Even if your roommate doesn't share his or her secrets with you, you're bound to stumble upon some private and juicy information. Spreading this kind of information isn't just rude: it's bad karma.
  • Do not break your roommate's things
    If you do break something, apologize profusely and pay for it immediately. It also goes without saying that you should not steal your roommate's things.
  • Never make fun of or belittle your roommate
    A little gentle teasing is okay, especially if you become friends. But keep your opinions to yourself about your roommate's funny little quirks.

The Guidelines

The most important word is “respect.” Give everyone else at least the same degree that you expect to get. Treat everything — things that belong to the residence hall and things that belong to other students, as well as your own property — with respect. Residence halls are unique places. Living in a residence hall is a privilege, not a right. Please remember that the rules apply to your guests as well as yourself, and it is your job to tell them how to behave when they visit you.

Every community has guidelines that encourage respect for the people we live and work with as well as the space we share. Because you are living in a Regis College residence hall, which is part of an educational environment, you will find some of the living expectations different from the ones that cover living off-campus or at home.

Some things you should know

  • The college is not responsible if your personal belongings are stolen or damaged. You should have them protected either by your family’s homeowners insurance or by purchasing apartment insurance.
  • Each Residence Hall has a conveniently located laundry room. Please follow the care and safety directions you’ll find there.
  • Keep your door locked at all times even when you are inside.
  • Carry your keys and ID’s at all times. (Do not have your ID attached to your key ring)
  • Keep your valuables and money out of sight, even in your room. Take them home over vacation.
  • Report suspicious people and activities immediately. Call extension 7777.
  • Don’t sign in other people’s guests.
  • Don’t prop doors open.

The residence hall is intended to be a place that

  • helps you study comfortably
  • lets you live free from violence, harassment or disrespect
  • lets you learn how to live in a community with other students
  • offers you a chance for personal growth and development.
Regis College Residential Life: A Guide to Residence Hall Living