An RA’s Perspective of a Roommate Conflict
Quick story: I was a Resident Assistant (RA) my sophomore year of college.
I saw and dealt with a lot of stuff that made me at points question people’s common sense as well as my own. Most of the troubles I had to deal with were, of course, roommate conflicts. (Well, that and finding alcohol in student’s rooms and making them throw it out.)
Dealing with conflicts is something I took seriously. No one likes having a problem with their roommate, so I definitely gave my full attention and effort to my residents.
I know I had one conflict that was my first one ever to deal with, and it honestly still gives me a good laugh to this day.
I had to deal with an issue with two girls who lived in my hall (which was Texan Hall). Now, if you’re familiar with that dorm, you can basically keep to yourself forever in your room if you want to and not even see your roommate. (Of course no one recommends doing that, but it is possible.)
Anyway, I got a call about the problem so I went and spoke to each woman separately and then together as a mediator. When I talked to the first girl — we will call her Ashley — her problem was with the temperature of the room always being set too high for her comfort. When talking with her I think she said every cuss word in the book about three times in a row, and I just started cracking up in front of her on accident. I had never seen a woman so angry about temperature.
So long story short, I talked her down and went to talk to her roommate, and she was the exact opposite of Ashley. This chick was the calmest most rational person I had ever met and was immediately OK with setting the room’s temperature down to help accommodate her roommate. She was upset that Ashley didn’t talk to her first, from what I understood.
Moral of the story, if you have a problem with someone — especially your roommate — go to them first before your RA.
I remember a lot of great and unfortunately long stories from my RA days. To be honest, I had a blast doing that job. It was a great way to learn some fantastic leadership skills, meet fun people and work for a great university. It will always be a fond memory I have of college.