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KarenNC

Issues with getting roommate assignment for freshman year

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4 minutes ago, shawthorne44 said:


And mutual grudges from each person in each pair that thinks that the other rejected them.  
That sounds like a great way to start dorm life  (sarcasm alert).  

I don't understand though how the school would have a logistical reason to do this.   

Me either, particularly in a small learning community like the honors college. There are between 175-200 freshmen in this group who will be living together in the same dorm, taking certain required classes together, doing service projects, and taking trips together.

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Karen,

I've been reading this thread and I feel for your daughter and all the (now known unnecessary) angst she has gone through.  I hope things are smooth sailing from now on.

Dd is in a learning community and she found out that she is in a single suite (despite not even choosing that as one of her ranked options.)  She has looked forward to having a roommate since she was little and asked us why she doesn't get to share a room like Mommy and Daddy or her other siblings.  We are not happy with the additional cost.  We looked into getting it changed, but it looks like that won't happen.  The learning community is in one of the newer dorms that has a higher percentage of singles than the other dorms.  Since she can only room with people in her learning community, it is only likely that a change will happen if another double splits up and someone wants to pony up the extra money for a single.  She was very upset when she got the news ... actually sobbing.  I think she was idealizing the whole roommate situation.  I did try to help her realize that it can be a crapshoot ... she can get the roommate from Hades.  My first roommate treated sex as a spectator sport and I knew way too much about the most of the members of the basketball team.  The second was a friend and I found out that she was batsh!t crazy and had a batsh!t crazy boyfriend.  Too much drama. Dd is mostly resigned to the situation, but not yet ready to embrace it is as a positive.  I think once she gets there and participates in the learning community activities, as well as the other activities she plans to join, she will find her tribe.  

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47 minutes ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

Karen,

I've been reading this thread and I feel for your daughter and all the (now known unnecessary) angst she has gone through.  I hope things are smooth sailing from now on.

Dd is in a learning community and she found out that she is in a single suite (despite not even choosing that as one of her ranked options.)  She has looked forward to having a roommate since she was little and asked us why she doesn't get to share a room like Mommy and Daddy or her other siblings.  We are not happy with the additional cost.  We looked into getting it changed, but it looks like that won't happen.  The learning community is in one of the newer dorms that has a higher percentage of singles than the other dorms.  Since she can only room with people in her learning community, it is only likely that a change will happen if another double splits up and someone wants to pony up the extra money for a single.  She was very upset when she got the news ... actually sobbing.  I think she was idealizing the whole roommate situation.  I did try to help her realize that it can be a crapshoot ... she can get the roommate from Hades.  My first roommate treated sex as a spectator sport and I knew way too much about the most of the members of the basketball team.  The second was a friend and I found out that she was batsh!t crazy and had a batsh!t crazy boyfriend.  Too much drama. Dd is mostly resigned to the situation, but not yet ready to embrace it is as a positive.  I think once she gets there and participates in the learning community activities, as well as the other activities she plans to join, she will find her tribe.  

Good luck to her! It's a hard transition and I wouldn't be happy about the extra expense either. Hopefully the benefits of the learning community will outweigh the negatives she's experiencing now. At all the schools I've seen, it appears that they work hard to foster connections and a sense of support and belonging in the learning communities. I also hope for smooth sailing, but expect there will be further choppy waters, at least from time to time.

We've emphasized from the get-go that it's a crapshoot (my husband and I have related our negative experiences) and my daughter has never idealized having a roommate. As an only child, she's actually had to resign herself to not having a private bedroom, however small. She is absolutely aware that her best chances of finding her tribe will be in her activities--classes, theatre, aikido, other clubs--and isn't at all expecting a roommate to be anything more than civil. As I've said, it's the totally unnecessary ridiculousness of this school's approach to the process that I find objectionable.

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On 7/17/2018 at 7:56 PM, KarenNC said:

The school has yet to actually tell her previous roommate they made a switch. My daughter had to tell her.

 

Wait, both she and roommate #3 were fine with living together, but the school wanted to split them up?  Why would they make the roommate assignment and then change their mind?  

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1 hour ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

 

Dd is in a learning community and she found out that she is in a single suite (despite not even choosing that as one of her ranked options.)  She has looked forward to having a roommate since she was little and asked us why she doesn't get to share a room like Mommy and Daddy or her other siblings. 

I lived in a suite that had four bedrooms and a shared bath my freshman year. My suitemates were my room mates. I don't think it makes a huge difference (other than price) if you have to actually share a bedroom or you have a room in an suite with room mates.

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1 hour ago, daijobu said:

 

Wait, both she and roommate #3 were fine with living together, but the school wanted to split them up?  Why would they make the roommate assignment and then change their mind?  

I have absolutely no idea. Evidently, based on what the school told her:

  • she and roommate #1 were fine living together, had been in touch and talked about room plans, and the school moved the roommate to a different room after a couple of weeks with no warning or explanation as part of an administrative shuffle. She found out because roommate #2 messaged her, "Hi, I'm your roommate." 
  • Then she and roommate #2 were fine living together and the school moved the roommate to a different room after a week, with no warning or explanation as part of another administrative shuffle. She found out because the school called "to check and make sure that students who've had 2 requests for changes know they have support," despite later telling her that there had been no requests for changes from either #1 or #2, and #1 was as confused as my daughter was.
  • Then she and roommate #3 were fine living together, had fairly extensive discussions, and had been making plans for room arrangement, etc and the school moved my daughter to a different room after a few weeks with a phone call asking if she was okay moving a couple of doors down the hall (which apparently came across as physical room along with her roommate, not also switching roommates, and they did no notification to roommate #3, my daughter had to tell her) as part of yet another administrative shuffle. They then sent an email that it was "due to her wish list request" which she had not made. She was finally willing to get on the phone with them and press enough for details to find out that they claim all the switches were done just because the school was shifting people around "to meet requests by people to live in specific rooms" and that this one should be final because wishlist requests end on July 20th. When asked about the "due to her wish list request" bit, they said it was a form letter that went to everyone (though this was the first one she'd received out of the four changes).
  • Now she's in a different room than she had been with the other three, on roommate #4, and I haven't yet heard if they have managed to connect yet (my daughter is out of town).

In none of this has my daughter ever requested any specific room or to be changed from any roommate and had no indication that any of the roommates had put in requests to be changed (#1 and #3, in particular, expressed a lot of confusion and #3 specifically said she hadn't requested any changes).

Beats all I've ever seen. It seems like a logistical nightmare of the school's own making if what they are saying is indeed accurate. I can't understand why they simply didn't wait to notify students about roommate assignments until they had all the wishlist requests they planned to honor (so after July 20th) or at minimum include the information that all assignments were to be considered tentative and were subject to change, perhaps multiple changes, before that date. The school does have an "open change" period two weeks after move-in where students can shuffle if they need/want to do so, based on rooms that come available. I can't understand what advantage there is to give out an assignment then change it without a very compelling reason. Unfortunately, I really can't step in and call the housing office to give them my opinion of this practice. I can only encourage my daughter to do so once she's in. Now if they send a satisfaction survey of some kind, all bets are off.

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44 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

I lived in a suite that had four bedrooms and a shared bath my freshman year. My suitemates were my room mates. I don't think it makes a huge difference (other than price) if you have to actually share a bedroom or you have a room in an suite with room mates.

Actually, I think that the separate individual bedrooms in a suite would be an asset to developing relationships because you have the option to be social but also the option to close the door and have some privacy, rather than a constantly shared space. That's theoretical on my part, however, since I went from sharing a room with my little sister to having roommates in the dorm (in a double two years and a triple two years).

 

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Just to show that this kind of random roommate shuffling is sadly not uncommon, I just discovered this morning that DS's roommate has been changed AGAIN, with no notice to anyone — I only discovered there was a new name on his room assignment when I went to check that his early move-in date was approved. The coach requires that team members room with teammates as freshmen, to help build team spirit. The coach gave him the name of his assigned roommate 3 weeks ago, then a week ago a totally different name appeared on his official housing letter. He called the office to see if there was an error and was told that the name on his housing email was definitely his fall roommate. This morning there is a new person assigned as his roommate, and this kid is not even a team member, just a random international student they stuck in with my son. He never got any email or notification of ANY of the changes, and I can't imagine the changes were requested by the other roommates, since his only social media is a rarely-used FB page full of fencing photos, nothing political or controversial at all. He's really bummed about being the only team member with a random roommate. ? 

 

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3 hours ago, Corraleno said:

 He's really bummed about being the only team member with a random roommate. ? 

 

Could he contact his coach for help navigating the housing bureaucracy? Maybe the coach can scare up a suite or a triple?

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4 hours ago, Corraleno said:

Just to show that this kind of random roommate shuffling is sadly not uncommon, I just discovered this morning that DS's roommate has been changed AGAIN, with no notice to anyone — I only discovered there was a new name on his room assignment when I went to check that his early move-in date was approved. The coach requires that team members room with teammates as freshmen, to help build team spirit. The coach gave him the name of his assigned roommate 3 weeks ago, then a week ago a totally different name appeared on his official housing letter. He called the office to see if there was an error and was told that the name on his housing email was definitely his fall roommate. This morning there is a new person assigned as his roommate, and this kid is not even a team member, just a random international student they stuck in with my son. He never got any email or notification of ANY of the changes, and I can't imagine the changes were requested by the other roommates, since his only social media is a rarely-used FB page full of fencing photos, nothing political or controversial at all. He's really bummed about being the only team member with a random roommate. ? 

 

I'm sorry, my sympathies. The transition is hard enough without all of this. I was astonished because in the last four years of immersing myself in all of this college information and in my husband's and my own college experiences, I have literally never heard anyone talk about this happening. Maybe by hearing about our students' experiences, others will be more prepared.

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10 hours ago, chiguirre said:

I lived in a suite that had four bedrooms and a shared bath my freshman year. My suitemates were my room mates. I don't think it makes a huge difference (other than price) if you have to actually share a bedroom or you have a room in an suite with room mates.

This dorm has several different suite styles, some like what you describe.  In hers, they share a bathroom between them but have separate doors to the hallway.  So, it is just a single without a large communal bathroom.  she may or may not have much contact with the person on the other side of the bathroom, other than navigating sharing that space.  

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2 minutes ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

This dorm has several different suite styles, some like what you describe.  In hers, they share a bathroom between them but have separate doors to the hallway.  So, it is just a single without a large communal bathroom.  she may or may not have much contact with the person on the other side of the bathroom, other than navigating sharing that space.  

That seems a pretty awkward design.

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Just now, KarenNC said:

That seems a pretty awkward design.

Looking at the layout, I suppose it saves space.  It would be a lot of wasted space to have an entryway between the rooms for just 2 people.  I didn't realize that I had something similar in my first dorm ... I was in a suite where I had a roommate, but the person on the other side of the bathroom had a single.  We had separate entrances.  The bathroom thing was sometimes awkward ... we had to keep the bathroom door closed and had to knock.  One time, I knocked and there wasn't an answer so I walked in to find the boyfriend of my suite-mate naked and asleep on the toilet.  An image I'd rather not have in my head.?.  

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That latest update is nuts, but believable.  If they felt that they needed the assigned room for another set of people, why didn't the they move roommates together?   

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8 minutes ago, dirty ethel rackham said:

Looking at the layout, I suppose it saves space.  It would be a lot of wasted space to have an entryway between the rooms for just 2 people.  I didn't realize that I had something similar in my first dorm ... I was in a suite where I had a roommate, but the person on the other side of the bathroom had a single.  We had separate entrances.  The bathroom thing was sometimes awkward ... we had to keep the bathroom door closed and had to knock.  One time, I knocked and there wasn't an answer so I walked in to find the boyfriend of my suite-mate naked and asleep on the toilet.  An image I'd rather not have in my head.?.  

Just the thing one wants!

7 minutes ago, shawthorne44 said:

That latest update is nuts, but believable.  If they felt that they needed the assigned room for another set of people, why didn't the they move roommates together?   

Agreed. That's what she thought the school was doing when they called. She's currently out of town, so I haven't had a chance to ask her if she knows whether roommate #3 got to stay in the original room or was moved as well. I'm curious now.

She briefly considered asking them to change her back to roommate #3 once she found out what had actually been done, but didn't want to instantly request being moved out from roommate #4, particularly once she found out #4 is a person of color (my daughter is not). Given her experiences so far, she said she'd rather do the 4th switch than risk roommate #4 feeling someone had rejected her within hours of assignment based solely on her skin color, even though that would have had nothing to do with it. She had very little actual info yet on #4 when we talked, but was hopeful because #4's instagram had a post on the importance of kindness, and she is from our area, so shared rides might be a possibility. 

 

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All this talk about religion and roommates and gayness and roommates brings to mind both my and my husband's freshman roommates- and we all got along fine. My roommate was of a similar major- I was econ and she was math and she was the daughter of either Reform or Conservative Rabbi (I knew then but can't remember now).  We got along just fine but weren't best friends.  Since she came from Chicago suburbs (I went to school in Chicago), I met her family  SHe invited me to her house for Sabbath dinner one time.  She did not try to convert me to Judaism and I didn't to Christianity. My dh's first roommate was openly gay and they got along fine as I did with his roommate too.  My dh was physics and his roommate was something like History. Anyway, dh's roommate got a boyfriend who was a grad student and had his own apartment and he decamped after about a month anyway.  It wasn't like we never saw him but he never slept in the dorm again.

NOw my older dd's roommate in hon didn't have apartment mate or mates).  And yes, she totally ignored my daughter the entire time she was there.  She was just totally strange.  

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On 7/3/2018 at 3:51 PM, HeighHo said:

 

With all due respect, college is full inclusion.  Its not wise to assume evil intent when its medical or genetic - both of which are private information that the roommate need not divulge. 

 

Also, if a roomie is on full ride, expect a lot of study and no talking if they are guaranteeing continuing on.  For some people, college is a ticket out. It's not personal when they spend more time studying or coding than other people beleive necessary, and don't stop to trade greetings with anyone who pops in. 

Ha! Just because a kid’s on a full ride doesn’t mean they’re sitting at their desk in their small room studying all day. Where have you been? My son’s honors dorm was super loud, and these were supposedly the brightest/tons of scholarships. Dorm quiet hours didn’t start until about 10 pm. I think the upper class dorms were a bit more studious, but freshmen dorms can be quite zoo-like, lol. And last of all, it is totally possible to be a serious studier and manage to politely talk to your room-mate. If they can’t handle that or other dorm noises, they haul themselves to some silent corner in the library or other study nook.

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On 7/17/2018 at 10:16 PM, KarenNC said:

I cannot for the life of me understand why the university employs such a method. So much disruption, frustration, confusion, wasted time trying to plan on room arrangement, and potential for awkwardness and ill feelings could have been avoided by simply not sending out the assignments until after the 20th.

 

Yeah, that sounds like a bananas system. So much potential for emotional whiplash and hurt feelings. Just weird.

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Seriously - the way many of these colleges deal with roommate assignments is nightmarish. My dd is entering her junior year and only her sophomore year was fiasco-free. This year, after being "promised" that Housing would take care of the roommate mixup immediately, we are STILL waiting. I had dd gather all her info together today (she and another roommate have been doing all the phone calling and emailing thus far) so I can spend a hefty portion of my time-I-don't-have next week calling Housing and trying to sort through the mess.

After having a single bedroom (with 2 suitemates) last year, the school changed their "Who Can Live Where" policies based upon credits. Since dd dropped a class last year, she is 3 credits shy of being able to move to the other apartment... so... they are trying to put her in a double bedroom (shared room!) with a stranger. She's trying to get into a room with two other girls from her team, and housing actually moved one of the OTHER girls out of her assigned room into a random room in ANOTHER BUILDING to make the whole process even more convoluted now!

So! Much! Unnecessary! Aggravation! (The three girls weren't allowed to sign up at the same time, or this would've been avoided entirely!)

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Oh, well, so much for hopes for making a reasonable connection with #4. My daughter just contacted #4 asking if she would like to split the rent of a microfridge and got the reply that the other girl has a fridge already, but doesn't plan to share because "it might cause problems" so my daughter should get her own.<Sigh> Going to be interesting to have two fridges in that little room. Doesn't augur well for a particularly pleasant start to a relationship and I doubt there'll be much ride sharing. Is it bad to wish now they would do one more switch? I've reminded my daughter that there is still the room change option at two weeks if things are really wretched.

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11 minutes ago, KarenNC said:

Oh, well, so much for hopes for making a reasonable connection with #4. My daughter just contacted #4 asking if she would like to split the rent of a microfridge and got the reply that the other girl has a fridge already, but doesn't plan to share because "it might cause problems" so my daughter should get her own.<Sigh> Going to be interesting to have two fridges in that little room. Doesn't augur well for a particularly pleasant start to a relationship and I doubt there'll be much ride sharing. Is it bad to wish now they would do one more switch? I've reminded my daughter that there is still the room change option at two weeks if things are really wretched.

You might want to check to see if they're even allowed to have two fridges. My college won't allow that unless it's medically necessary due to allergies or something like that.

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8 minutes ago, obsidian said:

You might want to check to see if they're even allowed to have two fridges. My college won't allow that unless it's medically necessary due to allergies or something like that.

Good point. I'll have my daughter check. Since the girl is local, my daughter has asked if they can get together for lunch or coffee to discuss the rooming face to face. Hopefully that will make things a little clearer than trying to do it over text when my daughter is not in a particularly optimistic frame of mind after all the jerking around the school has done and it's possible the other girl has had to deal with the same. Frankly, we're all discouraged and tired of the whole situation at this point. Makes it easy to misread or put an incorrect tone to texts.

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13 minutes ago, KarenNC said:

Good point. I'll have my daughter check. Since the girl is local, my daughter has asked if they can get together for lunch or coffee to discuss the rooming face to face. Hopefully that will make things a little clearer than trying to do it over text when my daughter is not in a particularly optimistic frame of mind after all the jerking around the school has done and it's possible the other girl has had to deal with the same. Frankly, we're all discouraged and tired of the whole situation at this point. Makes it easy to misread or put an incorrect tone to texts.

Sorry that you have had so much trouble and stress over this.  I guess there were advantages to the way things were done in the dark ages when I went to college; we showed up and there was a list that you check to see what room you were in and who your roommate was.  For the most part, people were place in rooms alphabetically by last name.  The big concern was if one roommate wanted to smoke in the room and the other did not 

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10 hours ago, jdahlquist said:

Sorry that you have had so much trouble and stress over this.  I guess there were advantages to the way things were done in the dark ages when I went to college; we showed up and there was a list that you check to see what room you were in and who your roommate was.  For the most part, people were place in rooms alphabetically by last name.  The big concern was if one roommate wanted to smoke in the room and the other did not 

 

You brought back bad memories of the dark ages.  I think a roommate that smoked would be a deeper level of hell then what the OP's daughter is going through.   

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14 minutes ago, shawthorne44 said:

 

You brought back bad memories of the dark ages.  I think a roommate that smoked would be a deeper level of hell then what the OP's daughter is going through.   

Can't totally disagree.

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18 hours ago, KarenNC said:

Oh, well, so much for hopes for making a reasonable connection with #4. My daughter just contacted #4 asking if she would like to split the rent of a microfridge and got the reply that the other girl has a fridge already, but doesn't plan to share because "it might cause problems" so my daughter should get her own.<Sigh> Going to be interesting to have two fridges in that little room. Doesn't augur well for a particularly pleasant start to a relationship and I doubt there'll be much ride sharing. Is it bad to wish now they would do one more switch? I've reminded my daughter that there is still the room change option at two weeks if things are really wretched.

 

Won't they each have one side of the room? That's what I've seen in roommate situations, you basically know exactly what space is yours. Whoever wants to sacrifice some space to a fridge can do so. 

It would be nice if the roomie wanted to share the same things your dd wants to share, but it doesn't always work out that way, and I wouldn't automatically take it as a bad sign. It's not unreasonable to choose to not share a fridge. It often does cause problems when people share a microfridge. First of all, they're, y'know, MICRO. Back in the day, I always had enough food in the room that I wanted (and had) my own fridge. I didn't have enough room for someone else to regularly use it. My oldest has her own room and she keeps a mini freezer in there because they have a quite big fridge in the common area. Youngest will also have her own room, and will most likely keep her fridge there and not in the common area (which does not have a fridge or anything supplied), for the same reason as me: she will be keeping a lot of fresh food and will need a lot of space. Oldest had pretty good luck but there are definitely thoughtless people who will eat your food or create a horrific mess (and this is easier for them to do and justify in a shared fridge situation). 

 

We say no a lot in dorm situations, but I swear it doesn't make us horrible people or bad roommates. We just like to keep ownershp separate, and we would not buy a lot of the suggested items to begin with for a college student. No, we do not want to share a fridge, put in for coordinated dorm decor, or go halves on a tv, coffee maker, or gaming system. 

What they do put in for is Walmart runs for necessities, which mostly means toilet paper and garbage bags. Because, for some reason, they rarely run out of cleaning supplies ?

I think you are reading way too much into this. Not wanting to share a fridge doesn't mean they won't have a pleasant relationship or share rides. They might, they might not, but you have to let things develop naturally. I wouldn't jump right in asking about shared rides for sure, or feel badly if she's noncommittal. Just see what happens. 

 

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7 hours ago, katilac said:

 

Won't they each have one side of the room? That's what I've seen in roommate situations, you basically know exactly what space is yours. Whoever wants to sacrifice some space to a fridge can do so. 

It would be nice if the roomie wanted to share the same things your dd wants to share, but it doesn't always work out that way, and I wouldn't automatically take it as a bad sign. It's not unreasonable to choose to not share a fridge. It often does cause problems when people share a microfridge. First of all, they're, y'know, MICRO. Back in the day, I always had enough food in the room that I wanted (and had) my own fridge. I didn't have enough room for someone else to regularly use it. My oldest has her own room and she keeps a mini freezer in there because they have a quite big fridge in the common area. Youngest will also have her own room, and will most likely keep her fridge there and not in the common area (which does not have a fridge or anything supplied), for the same reason as me: she will be keeping a lot of fresh food and will need a lot of space. Oldest had pretty good luck but there are definitely thoughtless people who will eat your food or create a horrific mess (and this is easier for them to do and justify in a shared fridge situation). 

 

We say no a lot in dorm situations, but I swear it doesn't make us horrible people or bad roommates. We just like to keep ownershp separate, and we would not buy a lot of the suggested items to begin with for a college student. No, we do not want to share a fridge, put in for coordinated dorm decor, or go halves on a tv, coffee maker, or gaming system. 

What they do put in for is Walmart runs for necessities, which mostly means toilet paper and garbage bags. Because, for some reason, they rarely run out of cleaning supplies ?

I think you are reading way too much into this. Not wanting to share a fridge doesn't mean they won't have a pleasant relationship or share rides. They might, they might not, but you have to let things develop naturally. I wouldn't jump right in asking about shared rides for sure, or feel badly if she's noncommittal. Just see what happens. 

 

I thought I had indicated in my second post that we all realized we were at a low point in terms of frustration and tiredness, so there was an increased risk of misinterpreting texts, but I may not have been clear (it's been a long week). We also discussed that this girl may have gone through as many changes as my daughter and be equally wary, tired, and frustrated. She's also aware that, as a person of color, the girl may have additional reservations about being placed with a white girl, ones that may not be apparent to us. My daughter reached out to the girl (who is local) and suggested they meet for coffee, which they are planning to do soon. We are all hopeful that things will go well. We are far from the point of talking about shared rides, that was just a "maybe this could be an option to help both families if it worked out" thought among ourselves, as we are 4 hours from the school. 

By MicroFridge, I mean the combo microwave/fridge/freezer unit that the school rents, not one of the little cube things. http://standardsforliving.com/about-us. Fridge use can be negotiated in the same way roommates have to negotiate music, lights on/off, etc. I shared one of that size with two roommates at once (triple in a traditional hall-style dorm) for two years with no issues. I have to say I never encountered any students who had more than one fridge in their room. The expectation was that you worked it out and shared, along with sharing some other basic large things to save room.

I have to admit your post made me laugh to remember the time my little sister decided to mark out "her half" of our shared room that I couldn't come into. Worked great until she realized the closet, the door out, and the light switch were all on my side. ? These rooms are smaller than we saw at some schools. The room itself is basically 11x14.5, with one door that opens inward (requiring floor space for clearance) and one window, which is offset in one corner. In that space, there are two beds, two desks, two chairs, two dressers, and two wardrobes (no closets). The areas covered by your portion of those items are your "personal" space. The rest of the floor space is common usage for both roommates, so it's common courtesy to negotiate anything that will take up much at all of that space (fridge, extra chair, bean bag, etc) because it decreases your roommate's ability to move around, get in and out of the room, move their desk chair, etc. It's not a case of "your half and my half and never the twain shall meet, do as you will with yours." Unlike any of the other items you mentioned, a fridge takes up some of that limited floor space all the time for the entire year, and two (assuming the school allows two, it may not, she's emailed asking) take up at least twice as much floor space, as well as impacting the ways in which the room can be arranged. My daughter lived in this particular dorm for a summer camp last year. There is basically one corner that would have space for one fridge, even with both beds lofted 3' and dressers put underneath. It's possible the other girl may want to loft her bed 6' and put her desk and/or her fridge underneath, I suppose, to make more room, but 3' is as high as my daughter intends to go. If they happen to be in a corner room, there would be a bit more space and my daughter plans to call to try to find out if they are and, if so, the dimensions of the room. 

If the school doesn't allow more than one fridge per room and the roommates can't come to an agreement on sharing in some way, then it turns into "who gets their fridge in and who has no real access to any refrigeration at all for the rest of the year." Not a great way to start a relationship. You mention how much you valued access to fresh food in the room for yourself and for your children. It's no different for my daughter. She does have a meal plan, but no access to any refrigeration would mean a year with no access to the things your children want fridges for. Nowhere to put leftovers, no way to store any perishable food at all, and no way to have anything but shelf-stable (usually pretty processed) or expensive vending machine food if the dining options are closed, you are sick, running late, the weather's rotten, you're tired of everything in the cafeteria, or any other reason you may not want to trek across campus to the dining options, while your roommate has all of those options three feet away from you on full display, every single day. I suppose it would be possible for the roommate without a fridge to bring a small cooler and constantly resupply it with ice to keep a few things. There is one kitchen for the entire dorm of about 100 students, on the floor above my daughter, and that contains one regular household fridge. Not a realistic option for keeping any personal food, especially not for more than a very brief period. To me, that's a little different than "coordinated dorm decor, a tv, or a game system." Again, not a great way to foster a decent rooming situation.

If the roommate continues to desire not to share and the school allows more than one fridge, I guess we'll rent the combo unit for my daughter's personal use, as we don't have the ability to transport a fridge in our Prius V. The school puts it in prior to the student's arrival. I don't know if the other girl also has her own microwave. Unfortunately, this decision has to be made before they get there and once the MicroFridge is delivered, we only have two weeks to be able to return it with only a $40 loss, so there's not as much time to let things work out as there is with something like a tv which we could bring later. I can ask my daughter to check to see if the company will deliver to the school after move-in or only in the one mass drop-off before the beginning of the semester.

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10 hours ago, KarenNC said:

 

By MicroFridge, I mean the combo microwave/fridge/freezer unit that the school rents, not one of the little cube things. 

 

 

 

Ah, not a micro-fridge, but a MicroFridge! I didn't know there was such a thing, and didn't notice you said 'rent' instead of buy. If you're lucky, the school will require this particular brand for the extra safety features. Hopefully, you can get a definitive answer to that pretty soon. It would be ideal if the school solves this problem for you. If they don't, you could preemptively order the MicroFridge to be delivered and it will be there before they arrive ? . I'd be pretty surprised if the RAs didn't side with letting your dd keep it in the common area, especially as she is willing to let the roommate go in on it. 

If they only allow one fridge per room, and it doesn't have to be the rented one, I'm going to imagine that the RAs will push, and perhaps require, some kind of sharing arrangement (she says optimistically). Or require that the shared space somehow accommodate two fridges, or perhaps make roommate loft her bed high enough to keep hers out of the shared space. 

My dorm was definitely my space/your space. I agree that any common areas require a lot more negotiation. 

 

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Also, holy moly, it is expensive to rent! But at least you won't spend the summer tripping over extra microwaves and fridges the way we do. 

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7 minutes ago, katilac said:

Also, holy moly, it is expensive to rent! But at least you won't spend the summer tripping over extra microwaves and fridges the way we do. 

Yeah, that's a definite downside. I'm as cheap as the day is long, but we don't have the ability to transport a fridge in our vehicle and my daughter has no car, so in order to get one any other way would require finding a way to have it delivered to the dorm, finding a storage option for the summer, finding a way to get it to and from the storage unit, etc, etc, all of which add expenses to the initial purchase price, so that lowers the effective cost. We actually already have a microwave she can bring to share if the other girl is interested in sharing (which will be enough of a challenge to transport!). She'll be eligible for the honors apartments next year (if she doesn't get an RA position, then all bets are off), which have separate bedrooms and a common area with kitchen for 4-6 girls, so I'd just as soon not go through all the hassle of buying a fridge right now. It's a calculated risk that the cost will be worth it. The rental needs to be set up by Aug. 10 in order for them to do the delivery (Aug. 11), so it will by default be in there before we arrive if we have to go that route.

Ideally, the school would negotiate a price with the rental company to just put one of these units in all the dorm rooms (as opposed to the apartments), and then just tack a smaller fee to the already slew of fees they're charging. It would save on utilities, enhance safety, make move-in and move-out much easier, and remove this as an issue between roommates and in changing roommates if needed (as a previous poster mentioned). Even if they didn't get a better fee than the one the students are currently charged (which I cannot imagine would happen if done on that scale, this isn't a small university), you're talking roughly $100 per student per year for a shared unit in a double room.

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On 7/19/2018 at 9:31 AM, dirty ethel rackham said:

This dorm has several different suite styles, some like what you describe.  In hers, they share a bathroom between them but have separate doors to the hallway.  So, it is just a single without a large communal bathroom.  she may or may not have much contact with the person on the other side of the bathroom, other than navigating sharing that space.  

I don't want to hijack, but I would encourage your dd that living learning communities tend to form great relationships. Ds participated in one. They all had a class together the first semester and lived on the same floor in the same wing together. They all had individual rooms with a bathroom for every two rooms, but instead of two room suites it was 4 room suites that all shared one outside door, then had a little hallway that led individual bedroom doors and bathrooms. They didn't have any other shared living space like some I've seen. However, the exterior doors for all the suites were usually open and the interior doors stayed open a lot too. The whole wing became a community and it was a great experience for ds. It was far better than an actual roommate because you could close the door when you wanted to. His school only allowed people to live in that dorm format if they were in a LLC so that they built relationships to make up for the single rooms. I really hope your dd has a similar experience and that the school does a good job of building the learning community so your daughter doesn't feel isolated.

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47 minutes ago, Mom22ns said:

I don't want to hijack, but I would encourage your dd that living learning communities tend to form great relationships. Ds participated in one. They all had a class together the first semester and lived on the same floor in the same wing together. They all had individual rooms with a bathroom for every two rooms, but instead of two room suites it was 4 room suites that all shared one outside door, then had a little hallway that led individual bedroom doors and bathrooms. They didn't have any other shared living space like some I've seen. However, the exterior doors for all the suites were usually open and the interior doors stayed open a lot too. The whole wing became a community and it was a great experience for ds. It was far better than an actual roommate because you could close the door when you wanted to. His school only allowed people to live in that dorm format if they were in a LLC so that they built relationships to make up for the single rooms. I really hope your dd has a similar experience and that the school does a good job of building the learning community so your daughter doesn't feel isolated.

 

Thanks! I'm not actually worried about her being isolated overall. She'll be in the honors learning community, where the freshmen all live in the same two dorms (about 100 beds each), are required to do a freshman seminar together (in groups of 20 or so), work on service projects together, and will be taking a trip to DC over fall break. Her roommate is also in the honors college. Unfortunately, those two dorms are all the shared doubles in a traditional hall style format. Next year as a sophomore she'll have the option to move into the honors wing of the apartments next door, which is set up with small individual bedrooms and shared bathrooms, with 4, 6, or 8 bedrooms sharing a common room and kitchen.  I agree that set up would be highly preferable to a roommate for my daughter so that she could just have her little space and be able to shut the door once in a while. It's the fact that all the roommate switching and needless drama have been within this small honors community that has been the most irritating thing to me precisely because they will be interacting so heavily all year with the same group of a couple hundred students rather than mixed in with the close to 14,000 other students.

There are other LLCs but this one is what her scholarship is tied to, so I'm not sure she could move into a different one, particularly at this point. In addition to that, she's already made connections with the aikido club (she's been training since she was 6) and was able to train with them when we went down for accepted student's day. She's also taking a tech theatre class so will be involved in the theatre community, which she enjoys. The faculty advisor for the aikido club teaches in the theatre department, which is very handy.

She doesn't expect her roommate to be her bestie or be her primary social interaction. It's just that it's been one thing after another after another, and the fridge issue was the last straw the other night. While she's still excited about classes and school overall, this mess has basically drained all the enthusiasm for moving in that was present at the beginning of the summer when this all started. She's now gritting her teeth and looking on the dorm as an unpleasant chore to get through, which saddens me a bit, as she tries very hard to be optimistic about most things. The situation may look a bit better next week after they have a chance to have lunch together. It's entirely possible this other girl has been jerked around in a similar fashion and is similarly wary and weary.

I've told her that I had nothing in common with my first year roommate and spent all my time hanging out with two other friends on my hall but was fine, so it's doable. We literally did nothing but coexist in the room. She's actually stayed in touch with roommate candidate #3, who did indeed get to stay in the room my daughter was originally assigned through the initial three roommate changes, just down the hall. It'll be ironic if they end up friends and wanting to room together next year. I have no clue what the school is up to, but they have handled it in an extremely ham-handed fashion.

 

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I am very curious to hear the outcome of this refrigerator situation!

I will say that my daughter did have some issues at the beginning of her freshman year that involved the refrigerator. We offered to rent the Microfridge for the girls (it was a triple) just to lessen the amount of hassle. Sharing space wasn't a problem, but one of the girls ended up having a fairly significant eating disorder, and would binge on my daughter's (carefully chosen for athletic performance) food. An entire jar of (pricey unhydrogenated) peanut butter would suddenly be empty. The girl was aware of her binging and was getting help for it. My daughter and the other roommate were able to protect a lot of their food by hiding it out of sight in closed containers, but the refrigerated items were a challenge in a shared refrigerator. Ultimately the girl returned home for more intense help (she returned to school this year, healthier, happy ending), so the problem resolved itself.

That said, fitting two refrigerators in a tiny room is going to be a pain!

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1 hour ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I am very curious to hear the outcome of this refrigerator situation!

I will say that my daughter did have some issues at the beginning of her freshman year that involved the refrigerator. We offered to rent the Microfridge for the girls (it was a triple) just to lessen the amount of hassle. Sharing space wasn't a problem, but one of the girls ended up having a fairly significant eating disorder, and would binge on my daughter's (carefully chosen for athletic performance) food. An entire jar of (pricey unhydrogenated) peanut butter would suddenly be empty. The girl was aware of her binging and was getting help for it. My daughter and the other roommate were able to protect a lot of their food by hiding it out of sight in closed containers, but the refrigerated items were a challenge in a shared refrigerator. Ultimately the girl returned home for more intense help (she returned to school this year, healthier, happy ending), so the problem resolved itself.

That said, fitting two refrigerators in a tiny room is going to be a pain!

I'm glad the girl was able to get help. I am not saying that real potential issues in sharing anything can't and don't arise, even among friends, much less randomly assigned strangers. Hopefully the vast majority are much less severe and difficult to deal with than your daughter encountered. Having a known issue like this might well be an argument for a separate fridge with a lock for the other two girls, both to help the girl in managing her condition and in providing peace of mind and peace of purse for the other roommates.

I'm hoping my daughter and the new roommate can come to some agreement, even if it needs to go to the level of a written contract outlining expectations for the use of shared items.

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It makes absolutely no sense to allow only one fridge per room, without the school stating it’s to be rented from them and shared. It can’t be just that the first person to move their fridge in wins. At my son’s school they each could rent their own. He actually preferred this. So the girl saying she has her own really wouldn’t worry me.

Walt had a roommate from Nepal, I think, that did not want to rent or buy one, and declined the offer to  use my son’s to store his milk. I’m not sure if it was a culture thing or just a personal quirk, but the boy would buy milk, leave it out, and drink it as it curdled. The smell of it in his dirty glasses/bowls drove DS nuts.

 

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11 hours ago, KarenNC said:

OK, so the school says two is okay, so she goes from there. 

Honestly, this is better. She'll have more space for her personal stash and will be able to maintain her cleanliness standards. Are you locked into having to buy breakfast on the meal plan or can you choose a cheaper option and have her eat breakfast at home? That would pay for the rental and let her have quicker and healthier options.

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16 hours ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

It makes absolutely no sense to allow only one fridge per room, without the school stating it’s to be rented from them and shared. It can’t be just that the first person to move their fridge in wins. 

Dd's school did this. Her originally assigned roommate decided to go somewhere else and she hadn't been informed of a new one, so on move-in day we got there early to be sure her fridge won - just in case. ?

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Several times throughout this thread I've thought, "I really hope DD aged 8 stays local, there is several to choose from, so that she doesn't have to deal with this."  

 

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3 hours ago, Mom22ns said:

Dd's school did this. Her originally assigned roommate decided to go somewhere else and she hadn't been informed of a new one, so on move-in day we got there early to be sure her fridge won - just in case. ?

So the first person in could have a fridge and not be required to share? So a parent can spend $150 and haul it up 4 flights of stairs, only to realize the other kid got there 2 minutes earlier. That’s unbelievable and insane. I’d  be wary to attend a school with such an idiotic practice.

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21 hours ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

It makes absolutely no sense to allow only one fridge per room, without the school stating it’s to be rented from them and shared.

 

That's how DS's school does it. Every room includes a Micro-Fridge by default, there's no separate fee, and it's expected that roommates will share.

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12 hours ago, chiguirre said:

Honestly, this is better. She'll have more space for her personal stash and will be able to maintain her cleanliness standards. Are you locked into having to buy breakfast on the meal plan or can you choose a cheaper option and have her eat breakfast at home? That would pay for the rental and let her have quicker and healthier options.

We don't have any reason at this point to think she'd have to worry about cleanliness standards in sharing, but that's the kind of thing roommates have to work out as things arise anyway.

Freshmen only have two meal plan options (and it's required if you live on campus) and we've already chosen the cheaper of the two, so that won't change. 

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8 hours ago, shawthorne44 said:

Several times throughout this thread I've thought, "I really hope DD aged 8 stays local, there is several to choose from, so that she doesn't have to deal with this."  

 

She was accepted to the school less than half an hour from our house, but without the scholarship or ability to live on-campus, which she really wanted to do. Don't think that your thought hasn't occurred to me as well.

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5 hours ago, Corraleno said:

 

That's how DS's school does it. Every room includes a Micro-Fridge by default, there's no separate fee, and it's expected that roommates will share.

See, that makes so much sense!

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19 hours ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

So the first person in could have a fridge and not be required to share?

I had never considered that someone would have to be "required" to share. I don't know if they were or not. Dd had every intention of sharing. I would think it would be required since only one was allowed, but I don't know. Dd is vegetarian and specifically had the maximum size fridge allowed and one with a separate freezer because she knew the dorm food would be challenging. She just wanted to make sure their one and only fridge would be a good one.

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I’m sorry your daughter has had such issues.  Just to commiserate and say it may not be a result of any of the info you mentioned, my son has had a time with his roommate too.  First of all, NO ONE chose him as a roommate in the honors dorm.  There weren’t many honors students, really, and most were female.  Despite messaging a few of the ones who seemed most compatible (few seemed to care much about academics or studying, oddly enough), he ended up with a student who decided at the last minute.  Now the student won’t respond to my son’s emails or FB requests.   My son was trying to introduce himself and see if there were any common things he could bring, like a mini fridge. The pod-style dorm has a kitchen for every 17 students, but we thought a tiny fridge would still be nice.  

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38 minutes ago, Nestof3 said:

I’m sorry your daughter has had such issues.  Just to commiserate and say it may not be a result of any of the info you mentioned, my son has had a time with his roommate too.  First of all, NO ONE chose him as a roommate in the honors dorm.  There weren’t many honors students, really, and most were female.  Despite messaging a few of the ones who seemed most compatible (few seemed to care much about academics or studying, oddly enough), he ended up with a student who decided at the last minute.  Now the student won’t respond to my son’s emails or FB requests.   My son was trying to introduce himself and see if there were any common things he could bring, like a mini fridge. The pod-style dorm has a kitchen for every 17 students, but we thought a tiny fridge would still be nice.  

 I'm sorry it's such a mess. 

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On 7/25/2018 at 10:08 PM, KarenNC said:

We don't have any reason at this point to think she'd have to worry about cleanliness standards in sharing, but that's the kind of thing roommates have to work out as things arise anyway.

 

 

I have found that there is always reason to worry about cleanliness standards with college students, lol. 

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34 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

I have found that there is always reason to worry about cleanliness standards with college students, lol. 

Lol, fair enough! I meant any more than the usual.

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