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Tips for Successful Community Living

The opportunity to enter into a university housing Contract is a privilege, not a right. If there is evidence that a resident has abused this privilege through a violation of Barry University Policies, the Department of Housing and Residence Life guidelines and regulations or terms of an executed agreement for residency, Barry University reserves the right to take disciplinary action as set forth here-in which may include, among other sanctions, a change of housing assignment, cancellation of the University Housing Contract and refusal to enter into further University Housing Contract. Prior to imposing such sanctions, the resident will be given notice and opportunity for a hearing with a member of the Housing and Residence Life Staff. Appeals from Housing and Residential Life disciplinary decisions are made to the next highest judicial level or designee.

Mutual consideration and respect are the building blocks for a successful community. Your housing community is made up of you and all those who live in your residence hall area, from your roommate to your neighbors down the hall. Your community has the potential of offering support for academic excellence, a sense of belonging, self-reliance, and self-understanding. However, the direction your community takes depends largely upon your involvement in it.

To be a responsible member of the university community, residents must participate in departmental activities, appropriately express themselves individually or through student groups, participate in judicial proceedings to determine appropriate standards of behavior, and contribute positively to the community by participating in educational and developmental activities. Your interactions with other residents and their interaction with you will determine how your community will evolve.

Communication

The easiest way to solve a problem is to talk about it. Your roommate may not realize that something is bothering you, and silence will only make things worse. Consideration and communication will smooth out problems, large and small, before they become stumbling blocks in your relationship.

Borrowing

Some people love to loan things to others. Some don't mind if a roommate borrows from them. Some believe in never lending or borrowing. Find out where your roommate stands on this issue and state how you feel about your belongings. Make definite rules such as: "Hair dryer and radio may be borrowed. My car and clothes are off limits."

Cleaning

Cleanliness and neatness are paramount in making university-housing life a comfortable living environment for all residents. Make definite commitments on cleaning responsibilities and stick to them. If someone forgets an appointment with the vacuum cleaner or toilet, a gentle reminder often helps more than complaints or threats. Resident Assistants do perform monthly health and safety inspections.

Visitation

Consider one another's dispositions and feelings, and arrange guests around each other's study times. Communicate with your roommate/suitemates/apartment mate regarding all guests. DO NOT ASSUME!

Independence

Get to know your roommate(s) and/or suitemates. Learn what interests you share and build on them, but remember, respect one another's individuality and privacy. Do not depend on your roommate(s) to supply every emotional and social need. Make other friends and get involved in campus activities.

Sleeping & Studying

During the first week of school, decide what your study and sleep schedule will be. If your hours coincide, determine who sets and turns off the alarm. Determine if either of you requires total darkness and quiet to sleep. Also, decide if you are able to study with a radio or TV on or if they should be turned off.

Shared Costs

During the first week of school decide if and how you will share costs on anything, from cleaning supplies to snacks.

Roommates

Living successfully with a roommate(s) requires communication, thoughtfulness, flexibility, and consideration towards each other. It requires willingness to communicate in an honest and tactful manner. The following are some issues that roommates should keep in mind and discuss:

Roommate "Bill of Rights"

Enjoyment of life in the university housing will depend, to a large extent, on the thoughtfulness and consideration that roommates have towards one another. Basic rights of a roommate include:

  • The right to sleep without undue disturbance.
  • The right to read and study free from undue interference.
  • The right to expect that a roommate will respect one's personal belongings.
  • The right to live in a clean environment.
  • The right to free access to one's room and facilities without pressure from a roommate(s).
  • The right to privacy.
  • The right to set ground rules with one's roommate(s) for the entertaining of guests within the guidelines set by the university visitation policy.
  • The right to amend grievances. Residence Life staff members are available for assistance in conflict resolution.
  • The right to be free from fear of intimidation, physical and/or emotional harm.
  • The right to respect from roommate(s) and guest of roommate(s).

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