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SMC Residence

Roommate Etiquette: Living with Others

Our Roommate etiquette suggestions:

Having a roommate during your freshman year is a time honored part of the university experience. The Residence Admissions staff tries hard to match compatible people based on the information provided in their personal questionnaires. While having a roommate has its advantages, sometimes you'll both have to make an extra effort to live together harmoniously. During your first week at St. Mikes, you and your roommate will be required to sit down to discuss how you would prefer to handle the following issues included on the roommate contract:
Download the Roommate Agreement


  • Sleeping schedule: Discuss your time preferences for going to bed and waking up during the week and on weekends. How will you handle a situation where you come home and your roommate is already asleep or vice versa? Please be considerate if your sleeping patterns don't match.
  • Decide how you will handle a situation where it is discovered that one of you snores.
  • Do either of you like to have a nap during the day? If so when?


  • Do you want your room or the library to be your preferred study area?
  • Do you prefer to study with music on or off?


  • What is the latest you would prefer your roommate talk on the phone and receive calls until?


  • What kind and how loud do each of you prefer the music in your room? Although the Dean does his best to match people with similar musical preferences, do not automatically assume your roommate shares your tastes.


  • Whenever two people share such close quarters it is imperative that both practice good hygiene. Be sure to shower regularly with soap, use deodorant, brush your teeth regularly and use mouthwash. Do not use overpowering amounts of cologne.
  • Don't cut your finger or toe nails in your room; use the washroom.
  • Do not let your dirty clothes pile up and always keep them in a laundry basket. Your roommate should never be forced to handle your dirty clothes.
  • Don't throw wet garbage (e.g. banana peels, apple cores, pizza crusts) in the garbage can in your room; use the one in the washroom (or corridor) which is changed daily.
  • When should dirty dishes be washed? The same day they are used? The day after?


  • Though you might think you have the greatest friends in the world your roommate might not be so sure. If you are entertaining and your roommate comes home, make plans to go to the common room or elsewhere.
  • Make sure your guests realize that your roommate's possessions are off limits (this includes their bed for sitting on).

Borrowing & Lending

  • If only one of you brought a fridge, stereo, VCR, hairdryer, microwave, computer etc., are you prepared to share these items or would you prefer if your roommate bought his own? Don't be offended if your roommate prefers not to lend out his/her possessions.
  • It is strongly advised that you refrain from making a habit of continually borrowing things from your roommate, even if he/she originally gave you permission to use anything you like. Every year roommates who initially said "what's mine is yours" often grow to regret their initial generosity.
  • If your roommate lends you something such as a book or CD, remember that you are not at liberty to lend it to anyone else.
  • Always put borrowed CDs and tapes back in their cases.
  • Try to avoid borrowing anything without asking, even if you're sure your roommate won't mind.
  • If you do borrow something (no matter how trivial) always replace it, or at least offer to replace it - even things like soda pop, a razor blade, etc.
  • Do not ask your roommate for a bite of food or a sip of beverage which he/she is in the process of consuming. Wait until it is offered (and do not expect that it will!). Mooching is often a source of friction.
  • It is strongly recommended that you never ask your roommate to lend you money, buy things for you on his/her credit card, or cover your share of a joint bill. Unpaid debts are a quick way to ruin a friendship.
  • If your roommate was generous (or foolish) enough to lend you money, he/she should never have to ask for the money to be returned. Pay him/her back immediately!