The primary goals of Residential Education are to support residents in achieving their academic goals, to enhance the growth and development of residents, and to create and sustain the sense of community.
By organizing Residential Education opportunities and social events, the Residential Education staff will strive to support the academic and interpersonal needs of the University Village community.
Planning and implementing educational and social activities support the residents’ academic endeavors. Residential Education provides new learning experiences for residents through programs; encourages personal interaction in a structured, supportive environment that allows residents to explore new ways of relating to one another; offers an outlet for energy; teaches residents to more effectively use the personal and environmental resources available to them; encourages residents to be more involved in their living environment; and promotes the development of cooperative living communities.
All of these outcomes of Residential Education serve to increase the residents’ satisfaction with their living environment and enhance their personal and academic development.
Each semester, wing/floor meetings will be conducted by the resident assistant staff. Attendance at these meetings is strongly encouraged because important information concerning safety and security, regulations, and services is distributed.
Residents are responsible for the information given at all such meetings and are encouraged to contribute ideas or address concerns or problems at these scheduled meetings. All meetings are planned and posted in advance.
Diversity: Celebrating the Dignity of All People
The Department of Housing and Residential Education recognizes and celebrates that the University community is made up of people who represent diversity at many levels — diversity of thought, belief, race, ethnicity, culture, gender and sexual orientation. All members of the University community are equal and accountable to each other.
Housing and Residential Education embraces the philosophy that all persons who are ridiculed and demeaned for their differences are entitled to “places where allies dwell.”
In a community of scholars, there is no place for hateful behavior. The Department of Housing and Residential Education affirms the dignity of all people.
~Attribution with permission from Dr. David B. Stephen, the Director of University Housing & Food Service, California State University, Chico
One of the greatest advantages of living in a collegiate residential environment is the opportunity to live and work closely with all types of people. The key to getting to know your suitemate and getting along with them is communication; it’s difficult to get to know one another without talking to each other.
We believe that a structured opportunity to get acquainted and to set some ground rules for your apartment will enhance the development of your suitemate relationship and thus provide you with a more positive living experience.
As a result, Suitemate Agreements are required to be completed by every resident in every suite. Please use this agreement as a guide to help you get acquainted with your suitemate(s). A discussion of your intended living situation should include division of housekeeping tasks, sleeping and study patterns, methods of resolving concerns/problems, and use of your apartment and the resources located within.
Following your completion of the suitemate agreement and discussion with your suitemates you should review it periodically throughout the semester.
If you and/or your suitemates are having a difficult time completing your suitemate agreement, please contact your Resident Assistant. Your Resident Assistant will provide you with advice and/or setup a meeting with you and your suitemates to help you complete your Suitemate Agreement.
Helpful Hints for Living with Suitemates
Living together involves learning and using some valuable skills such as communication, assertiveness, and cooperation. It is important that you let your suitemates know exactly how you feel about any situation that arises.
Stand up for your rights. Do not “give in” just to prevent an argument. In the long run it will just make you unhappy and lead to bigger disagreements in the future. Remember that your suitemate has rights, too. He or she will be asserting their rights.
Cooperation is the best way to deal with differences. The “problem” is not over unless both suitemates feel better when the difference is settled. If you know the needs and concerns of your suitemates, and they know yours, tiny irritations can be dealt with before they develop into larger problems.
You have the right to do and act as you like in your room (within the constraints of the community standards, expectations, rules and regulations). However, so does your suitemate. Because your lifestyles will differ in some aspects, it will be helpful to sit down together and discuss similarities and differences you may have.
The following questions are examples of what you may want to discuss with your suitemates:
- How would you like to share cleaning responsibilities?
- Do you need absolute quiet when you sleep?
- Do you care if your suitemate uses your personal belongings?
- What are your thoughts in regards to having guests over?
- How should we regulate the temperature in the apartment?
Getting to Know Your Suitemates
How Do You Begin?
Take a few minutes to review how much you know about each other. Do you know each other’s hometown, major, birthday, favorite musical group, favorite TV show, and favorite movie? If not, just ask!
After You Know The Basics!
Move on to other topics. Below are suggested topics for discussion between suitemates. Begin by one of you completing the following statements and the other listening to the answers. Ask for clarification on anything that seems unclear. Then, switch.
- I need ________ amount of sleep.
- I like to go to sleep around ________.
- Having a clean/tidy room is ________ important to me.
- Living away from home makes me feel ________.
- The things I’m excited about doing within the Village are ________.
- Some of my habits that might be important for you to know are ________.
- When I relieve stress, I ________.
It is important that you make an effort to remain honest and sincere. Try to spend time finding out what you have in common as well as what makes you different. When sharing reactions with each other, address the behavior. By focusing on the behavior, you do not destroy the person. For example, if your suitemate has done something that bothers you, try expressing your thoughts like this:
- When you do ________, I feel ________; therefore, I need ________.
Be timely with your feedback. Unresolved tension will fester until you burst with anger at the smallest thing. Remember avoiding conflict does not make it go away.
Issues That Affect Suitemates:
- Types of music you listen to
- Overnight guests
- Sharing food, clothes, etc.
- Religious or cultural awareness
- Sleeping times
- Study times
- Things that annoy you
- Watching TV
- Things that make you happy
- Using each other’s things
REMEMBER: Be patient and develop a plan of action. Approach your suitemate in private if you have a problem. Do not use notes and/or social networking sites to express concerns. Face to face interaction is strongly recommended and most effective when done respectfully. Involving third parties will only escalate or further complicate the conflict or issue at hand.