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Question from a parent: how to handle a roommate conflict

A parent writes:

What should we do about a roommate issue? Our freshman daughter’s roommate has her boyfriend living in their room. Since they have been in the dorm there have only been 3 days that he didn’t sleep there. This is very stressful for her and we don’t know how we should help her.

I would suggest starting by reading Scott Slattery's article from our current newsletter, which addresses how students can handle conflicts with their roommates.

Dr. Slattery offers advice on evaluating whether a conflict can be resolved through negotiation, setting ground rules for a residence hall room, and drawing up a "roommate contract" with the help of a community adviser that I think might be helpful for you to review and discuss with your student.

If those efforts are not successful, students can seek mediation through their CA or residence hall director.

Parents whose students have had conflicts with their roommates, what has (or hasn't) worked for your sons or daughters?


Dear video parent,

Thanks. I haven't been able to get time to come up for a weekend to walk the campus myself after dropping off my 1st year graduate student in August. You've allowed me see the campus by video.

Regards, Mark