To the editor,
This letter is in response to an article that was published recently in ThePoint, “Living with a terrible roommate? You’re not alone” (Feb. 14, 2011).The article contained several statements that merit a response from Housing and Residential Services. Without getting into details of specific instances, issues between roommates are an inevitable fact of life – even upperclassmen who pick their roommates come to Housing and Residential staff with squabbles.
What we try to do is broker communication between roommates involved in a dispute, first with the Resident Assistant and then to the Building Director and higher up the chain of command, if necessary. In the most serious instances roommates may be reassigned, but space issues sometimes limit our options. We have found that most issues can be accommodated by meaningful communication, which requires all parties to embrace the process. Given the number of students living on campus, and the volume of issues that are raised and dealt with, the one-sided accounts described in the article should not be presented as a full picture of the residential experience. Even though the article is classified, in small type, as an opinion piece, we feel it was inappropriate for the writer to state as a fact that students were “abandoned” by Housing and Residential Services staff without offering anyone from that department the opportunity to respond. We hope this statement can be published in response to that omission.
AnnMarie Dunton, Director of Housing and Residential Services
Matthew J. Bruun, Director of Public Relations