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Division of Student Affairs

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UW Tacoma home > Offices and services > Student Affairs > Student Engagement Developing a Positive Roommate Relationship

Developing a Positive Roommate Relationship

UW Tacoma is committed to creating a positive living environment for our residents. Residents will be held accountable to the Housing Agreement.

You will notice the word "positive" - not the word "easy." Positive growth can happen through challenging conversations, managing conflict with civility, learning to voice your needs and listening to others.

Our goal is to provide you resources to prepare and work through conflict as it arises.

Resource #1: The Roommate Agreement

When you move in to UW Tacoma Housing, you will be required to complete a Roommate Agreement. This document will walk you through many common pitfalls in a roommate relationship-cleanliness, guests, belongings, and noise. The more discussion and detail you bring around this document, the easier it will be to live together. When each of you sign the agreement, you are stating that your roommates can expect you to follow and be held accountable to the items discussed in the document.

Done correctly, this document will prevent many minor conflicts from ever occurring. You may discover that a revision is needed to this document.

Resource #2: The Resident Assistants (RAs)

An RA is a sounding board for each resident and works towards the benefit of the community as a whole. The role of the RA in navigating roommate conflicts is two-fold:

1) Preparing you for your conversation with your roommate. They can listen, provide a different perspective, and role-play the conversation before it happens.
2) Mediating the conversation with roommates. RAs have been trained with basic mediation skills to assist in facilitating conversations between roommates.

A secondary mediation may be available by a staff member within Student Engagement after the roommates have had a meeting facilitated by one of the RAs.

Resource #3: Room Change Request Form

Residents may request a room change only after a consultation with RAs and Student Engagement Staff. These requests will only be processed during the 3rd and 8th weeks of fall, winter, or spring quarters.

1. The resident who is requesting to be moved must fill out a Room Change Request form. Requests will be processed on a first come first serve basis and are based upon availability of the pending request.

2. The resident will receive an EMAIL notifying them of their assignment and further instructions.

3. The resident must complete their move, check out with their RA by the specified deadline or the move will be forfeited and/or improper check out fees assessed.

Room changes will not be accepted at any other point during the year, unless approved by the Housing professional staff. Students, who change rooms without following the above guidelines, or receiving expressed permission will move back into their original space and are subject to disciplinary action.

Room change requests involving safety issues may bypass the mediation process and be addressed directly with the Housing professional staff. Safety issues may include matters related to a person's race, creed, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, religion, age, disability national origin, or other characteristic that could cause a safety concern if addressed through the normal medication process. Room change requests based on safety are given first priority.