Living with Roommates

Learning to advocate and communicate needs effectively, understand different perspectives, and navigate conflict are all critical life skills that come into play when living in community. Housing & Residence Life supports students to proactively and collaboratively approach problem-solving through roommate agreements, in dialogue with their RA, and facilitated mediations. When conflicts occur, our goal is to provide the tools for students to hear and be heard, clarify issues and interests, identify practical solutions and create an agreement that works for everyone.  

Thinking about sharing a living space with someone else is probably a little bit stressful. However, living with a roommate can be one of your best college experiences if you take the time to communicate well! 

Starting the Year Off 

Getting to Know You

Communicate with your roommate before the start of the school year. This is important whether you chose your roommate or were assigned one. Take some time to learn about the other person and what their hopes and fears are about living together. This can help to break the ice and set the stage for creating some shared agreements about your space. Knowing what is important to the other person will help you understand each other better and set your relationship up for success. 

Roommate Agreement

All residents will complete a Roommate Agreement at the start of the term. This will be the time to talk through how you want to use the space and how you will communicate if there is an issue that comes up. Your RA will sit down with you and your roommate to discuss the agreement and make sure that you are both on the same page with the expectations set. 

Remember to communicate often with your roommate and check in with them on how things are going. It is much easier to address small issues as they come up instead of letting them build and create larger problems.

What happens when there is a problem?

Changing rooms before trying to resolve the issue is not an option. Your first step is to talk with your roommate and let them know what is bothering you. Your roommate may not have any idea that something they are doing is causing you discomfort. If you need some tips on how to approach your roommate, your RA is there to help coach you through it and give you some advice on sharing your feedback. 

After you have spoken to your roommate, and given some time for the situation to improve, talk with your RA. They can facilitate a mediation and help you and your roommate revise or clarify your Roommate Agreement. Your RA will follow up with each of the roommates later to see how things are progressing. 

If you have talked to your roommate, completed a mediation with your RA, and find that you still have concerns, you will want to let your RA or your RLC (Residence Life Coordinator) know. Your RLC will discuss options with you that you may not have tried, facilitate a second mediation meeting, or determine that a room change is best. 

Roommate conflicts can be challenging but can often be resolved by communicating clearly and respectfully. Our Housing and Residence Life team is here to help.

What happens if I have an empty space in my room? 

If you have an empty space in your bedroom, you will be sent a room consolidation email that will provide you the opportunity to pull in a roommate request (a friend that currently has an active university housing contract) into your vacancy or you will leave your space available for someone else to move into. If building occupancy is below 97%, students will also have the option to buy out their double room as a single. A buyout is $800 per term and is the only way to guarantee your space remains a single. 


Department of Housing & Residence Life

Marshall Hall Suite 50
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252-0001
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.