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Roommate Stories

Purdue University’s student newspaper, The Exponent, did a three-part series on roommate relationships. The stories profile three successful roommate pairings. The stories are: “Roommates become closer through crisis, culture,” “Roommates bond over paper airplanes, pranks,” and “Twin sisters grow closer as roommates.”

If you’re in a more academic mood, below is a sampling of research on the effects roommates have on each other.

What were your college or university roommates like? Do you have any good stories from your campus?

Roommate Effects on Grades: Evidence from First-Year Housing Assignments. McEwan, Patrick J.; Soderberg, Kristen A. Research in Higher Education v. 47 no3 (May 2006) p. 347-70

Judging Roommates by Their Facebook Cover. Farrell, Elizabeth F. The Chronicle of Higher Education v. 53 no2 (September 1 2006) p. A63-A64

College Living: Issues Related to Housecleaning Attitudes. Ogletree, Shirley M.; Turner, G. Marc.; Vieira, Ana. College Student Journal v. 39 no4 (December 2005) p. 729-33

A Documentary on Disagreement

If there is one thing that college and university housing professionals understand, it is roommate conflict. So it makes sense that when MTV and its “True Life” documentary series went looking for subjects for their upcoming project on battling roommates, that they would ask ACUHO-I if we had any suggestions.

The producers are looking for people between the ages of 16-28 who have serious roommate issues (those who are interested, or know someone who may be, can e-mail MTV directly at The producers promise a non-exploitive look at how conflicts can develop and what can (hopefully) be done to help roommates find resolution whether it is through conversation, mediation, or intervention. They sounded particularly interested when background about roommate selection processes was shared, as well as different potential solutions that can be available for students in conflict.

What are some of your most time-tested approaches to roommate conflict? Share in the comment section.

ACUHO-I is in the News (Again!)

Online publication The Daily Beast wrote a story about room assignments, How to Play Roommate Roulette. As you may suspect, we did not suggest the headline. To cover our bases, I will add that ACUHO-I does not compare the assignments process to roulette (though it can make some of our members a bit shaky with anxiety) and we do not condone roulette in general, in residence halls or otherwise. That said, there’s a nifty photo essay about celebrities and their roommates.

Also, I heard a story on NPR’s Morning Edition that may be of interest to you: Becoming Close: The Geography of Friendship. The story discusses how friendships form, particularly in the college roommate housing context.