Some students mix it up at semester with new roommates

By Rachel Small

Getting back into the swing of things after winter break can take time, but some students have an additional challenge: adjusting to a new roommate.

Some residents of University residence halls or private certified housing choose to change living situations at the semester break, and switches occur for a variety of reasons.

New roommates Lauren Kilcommons, freshman in general studies, and Emily Metzger, freshman in LAS, decided they would be a better match after Kilcommons had difficulties living with her roommate from first semester. The two live in Newman Hall, private certified housing in Champaign.

“My roommate and I, it wasn’t that we didn’t get along,” Kilcommons said. “We had really different living habits.”

Metzger had similar experiences with her original roommate.

“It’s not that we didn’t get along or anything, we just had totally different personalities,” Metzger said. She said she offered to trade roommates in order to make the process easier for Kilcommons and her previous roommate, who wanted to switch.

Kilcommons said she is optimistic about the new situation.

“We didn’t know what we were getting into first semester,” she said. “Now, I think it will be better.”

Talisa Chambers, resident advisor at Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall and sophomore in general studies, said that while roommate disagreements and differences in study habits and lifestyles do lead to changes, switching rooms is viewed as a last resort.

Chambers said that her floor has gotten along well, and she advises her residents to talk about the issue before taking more drastic measures.

“There’s always some sort of agreement you can come to,” Chambers said.

If mediating the conflict does not work, Chambers said the resident can apply for a change of rooms and the request will be submitted to the resident director.

Allen Hall resident advisor Fadi Salem, sophomore in FAA, said his floor has five or six new students. Two of them switched floors within the residence hall, and the others were transfer or foreign exchange students.

Salem said some of his floor’s residents from first semester moved out because they wanted to go to Greek housing.

“They wanted to be more involved in their fraternities; I wanted them to be more involved in Allen Hall,” Salem said. “In the long run, they would rather be involved in their fraternities, so it’s better for them.”

Meanwhile, Salem is trying to help the new residents on his floor adjust.

“I feel like the (resident advisors) do a pretty good job introducing them into the community and getting to know their names,” Salem said.

While Salem organizes floor meetings, an “open door night” and tries to eat dinner with his residents to encourage them to interact, he said most students have someone in the hall that reaches out to include them.

“If they want to get to know people, there’s definitely opportunities,” Salem said.