How are Suite assignments done?
Our Residence Life Team comes together during the summer and goes through the Personal Information Forms that you submitted with your deposit. They group people of the same gender who indicated similar preferences with regards to noise level, cleanliness and any other lifestyle and suitemate preferences listed on their personal form. In some cases the Team places first year students with upper year students, especially if they share similar interests or are in the same program.
Will I be placed with my preferred suitemate(s)?
We will do everything we can to meet requests, however, we do not guarantee that all requests will be met. Once the residence has finished it’s admissions for the fall (usually mid-July), an e-mail will be sent to all residents providing them instructions on how to request/update their suitemate requests. Please note that we only accept up to one (1) suitemate request.
Can I change rooms?
Unfortunately, once the building is full, there is little flexibility to move residents around. All residents have been grouped together according to the information provided on their Personal Information Sheet. The Residence Life Team will assist you in mediating any conflicts with your suitemates. A Suite Contract is one of the strategies that our team uses to ensure harmony within the suites.
When will I know my room & suite assignments?
Room assignments will not be known until late August. As soon as the information is available, you will be sent an email indicating your room and suite number, as well as the names and email addresses of your suitemates so that you may correspond with each other prior to your arrival.
On rare occasions, your room assignment may change due to circumstances beyond our control. We will make every effort to contact you to advise you of this situation, but the Administration does reserve the right to change room assignments at any time.
How can I ensure compatibility with my new suitemates?
Sharing space with others requires an individual to be open, honest, flexible and have a great deal of respect for others. You must be able to communicate with your suitemates to be able to get along, share the space and responsibilities of living together, all the while acknowledging each other’s differences. This is an on-going process throughout the year and learning to live with others in this context will provide you with a valuable life experience.
In early September, your Don will set up a meeting with your suite to help you put together a Suite Contract. This contract will help suitemates reach consensus on things like cleaning responsibilities, guests, parties and noise considerations. It should be thought of as a tool to initiate discussions and to clarify issues.
Remember though, that suitemates may often disagree on a variety of issues, but all residents must strive to respect the individual differences of their suitemates and housemates in order to get along. Read the Rights and Responsibilities section of this handbook for more tips on learning to live with roommates.
Getting Along with Suitemates
With all suitemate conflicts, it is important that you first try to resolve the situation on your own. Try to use some of the strategies listed below to sit down with your suitemate(s) to come up with a compromise or solution to your conflict. If this does not seem to help, then it is important for you to contact your Residence Don to ask for their assistance in mediating the conflict.
It can be helpful to sit down with your suitemates soon after move-in to discuss the following issues. Resolving these conflicts before they even materialize is a long-term investment worth your time.
- Engage in an open and honest discussion about your family backgrounds and culture.
- Discover what part of the world you are from and discuss your religious or cultural views in an effort to fully understand where each of you are coming from.
- Allow yourself to become open to new ideas and experiences.
- Sharing Food.
- Storage within the suite.
- Set personal private space within the suite.
- Study time vs. social time within the suite.
- Noise levels.
- Cleaning responsibilities.
- Use of each other’s personal items.
- When you usually go to bed and wake up.
- Guests within the suite, especially any overnight visitors.
- Security issues that affect each of you.
If conflicts do arise, remember:
- Communicate: Be open and honest in your communication with each other. Avoid being sarcastic or blowing the issue out of proportion. Deal with minor issues immediately and don’t let them become major conflicts. Try to be assertive in your position without becoming aggressive and accusatory.
- Listen: Allow others to state their cases without interrupting, or reacting immediately without evaluating what has been said. Try to understand without judgement what the other is really trying to communicate.
- Be Flexible and Understanding: Try to understand and appreciate the differences in others’ points of view. Respect others’ different opinions and values.
- Cooperate & Compromise: Conflict resolution requires that both parties enter into negotiations with a spirit of cooperation and a desire to effect a compromise that benefits all.
Get your Residence Don involved to prevent the conflict from escalating, thereby making it more difficult to resolve. Your Don will use the following strategies to effect a resolution to your conflict:
- They will listen to your concerns and encourage you to take the first step in initiating a dialogue with your suitemates.
- They will follow up on your discussion to see if or how it was resolved.
- If further action is required, the Don will speak to your suitemate(s) to gain more insight into the situation. It is important that you tell your suitemate(s) that you have asked your Don to assist in resolving the issue.
At this point, if warranted, the Don may request that you and your suitemate(s) engage in a mediation process. This process involves both you and your suitemate(s) discussing the issue in a controlled manner in the presence of a Residence Life team member. The Dons will try to assist each of you to come to an agreeable and satisfactory resolution to your conflict in a safe, neutral environment.