Random roommate selections can lead to lifelong friends

By Jennifer Wheeler

Trying to make your room a home away from home can be tough enough, but having to share a room with another person may prove to be more challenging.

“I didn’t know people until the second week of school, so I hung out with my roommate for a couple of days”, said Briana Lucas, freshman in Education.

Housing on campus has recognized this concern and has taken steps to ensure that the roommate experience is a happy one.

tudents have two options when deciding a roommate for University Housing, either requesting a roommate themselves or allowing housing to make a roommate, said Kirsten Ruby, assistant director of housing for marketing for University housing.

Random roommate assignments chosen by the University are processed by the date when the contract is received. Then, roommate decisions are made based on the resident’s year and school, also taking into account of whether the resident smokes, Ruby said.

“We haven’t as of yet seen significant evidence that matching in any other fashion produces any greater success in roommates than the process that we have,” Ruby said.

However, not all housing areas on campus use these qualities to process roommate applications.

In Bromley Hall, part of private certified housing, factors taken into the selection process include music tastes, study habits, hobbies and interests, said Gwen McDuffy, administrative services manager for Bromley Hall.

McDuffy, who personally makes all the roommate decisions for Bromley Hall, said she doesn’t look at student’s majors often because they likely change. She also said residents’ choice in music has become more of a deciding factor for the roommate selection in the past several years.

Roommate selection for Bromley Hall begins in July and takes a few weeks to process all the roommate applications. Returning residents’ applications are processed first, and then the decisions are made on a first come, first serve basis.

Housing at Bromley Hall also allows residents to request or have the hall randomly select a roommate.

Because freshmen are required to live on campus, either in University or private certified housing, virtually all students are fortunate enough to experience this once.

“As of now, it’s pretty solid, but it was rough in the beginning,” said Kelson McAuliffe, freshman in FAA. “I didn’t previously know him. We have different schedules and didn’t know when we’d be there, but we get along well now.”

McAuliffe said the key to making sure residents have a pleasant roommate experience is to communicate and be respectful of one another.

“Stay open-minded,” McAuliffe said. “Most likely, you wouldn’t have chosen or gotten the roommate you expected, but take it as an opportunity to meet someone new.”