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Living with a Roommate

We get it—living with someone can be terrifying, but it can also be a great experience.

Regardless of whether you have known one another for years or if you are just meeting one another, you will find that sharing a room with another person(s) requires open and honest communication, cooperation, and compromise. Relationships of any kind involve a bit of work, some give and take, and an understanding of each other.

If your roommate is new to you

If you do not currently know one another, we know the first thing you will do when you get your roommate’s information is to look them up on social media—and that’s fine! However, it is important to remember that people’s digital identity does not always give a clear picture of who they are in real life. Use their phone number and actually talk to your new roommate before you make judgments based solely on their social media presence. Some questions/things you might like to talk about with your new roommate: 

  • Why did they pick SUNY Potsdam? 
  • What are they thinking about majoring in? 
  • What do they like to do for fun? 
  • What are they looking forward to the most about coming to Potsdam? 
  • Also, don’t forget logistics, such as: 
    • Who will bring the refrigerator? 
    • Who will bring the microwave? 
    • Who is bringing a TV?

If you are having issues with your roommate

Having conflict with people that you live with is completely normal. Ideally, and most often, roommate tension can be worked out by communicating face-to- face with each other about your concerns. As you talk with your roommate, we recommend that you consider the items included on the Roommate Bill Of Rights. You might also consider developing a Roommate Agreement to help facilitate a resolution to the conflict.  ​In addition to our general roommate agreement, we also encourage you to discuss how you feel about having guests in your room during COVID-19.  The COVID Guest Roommate Agreement (PDF) can help you and your roommate decide on an approach that helps both of you feel comfortable.

If you’ve tried to talk to your roommate and don’t feel like things are getting better, the next step is to contact your RA or RD. They will work with you and your roommate to help mediate the situation and resolve the conflict, if possible.

Changing Rooms

It is important to note that changing rooms is almost never the first step to resolving issues with your roommate(s). However, should you not be satisfied with your living arrangements, you can approach your RD for a room change request. Prior to any changes, you must receive permission from your current RD and from the RD of the new building (if applicable). After receiving permission, you will need to fill out a room change request form and follow instructions for checking out/checking into rooms.

Please note that there is a 2 week room freeze at the beginning of each semester and a one week room freeze at the end of the fall semester where no room changes occur.

I don’t want to live with anyone, I just want a single.

While we do offer a limited number of singles on campus, we are not able to accommodate everyone who wants a single on campus. As such, requesting a single is not an automatic process; people are often on a waiting list for quite a while. Should you like to apply for a single, you can do so by completing the Single Room Wait List Application (available first day of the fall semester) and returning it to the Residence Life Office on the first floor of the Draime Hall Extension.

Should you feel that you need a single for medical reasons, you and your health care provider can request one by using the Medical Housing Form.