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Living in a Community

Resources to assist you in living with others in our community

Community Expectations

Inclusive Communities allow individuals to learn and experience new concepts, ideas and relationships. In order for such a community to develop residents should think about their interactions with one another. Inclusive Communities...

  1. ...are open and welcome people of all ages, cultures, sexual orientation, genders, religions, abilities, lifestyles, races and images.
  2. ...do not use humor to humiliate persons or groups and understand the impact that it has to others and the community.
  3. ...appropriately address comments that are interpreted to be biased.
  4. ...do not make assumptions about others and their personal experiences. Not every student has two parents, not every relationship is heterosexual, etc…
  5. ...allow people to learn from differences, traditions, holidays, cultures and practices.
  6. ...maintain their common areas, bulletin boards, door decorations in a manner that is welcoming to students, families and guests of the university.

Roommate and Community Expectations

Relationships at DePauw are one of the most rewarding aspects of the collegiate experience. The relationships that you develop within your community and among your roommates can be lifelong.

Your roommate will be one of the first relationships that you will develop here at DePauw. If this is your first time sharing a room or living space with others or if you have in the past, here are a few tips that can assist in establishing a strong relationship:

  1. Realize that not all roommates, will have a lot or everything in common. This does not mean that you cannot live together or develop  commonalities during your experience.
  2. Understand that roommates do and don't share things, but must develop mutual respect and flexibility.  Establishing this clearly and early on in the roommate relationship can lessen any misunderstandings.
  3. The room/suite is a shared space and should be treated that way. Make sure that both of you are able to feel comfortable, have ownership of the set-up and understand how it will be shared by each of you.
  4. Know each others schedules (academic, athletic, etc.). Talking about your sleeping patterns can help you both understand your needs. This is especially helpful when the alarm clock is going off or when studying late into the night.
  5. Discussing your comfort level with guests (either gender) both overnight or within the room, can lessen mis-communication. What are each of your boundaries and how will you work through any differences?
  6. Be flexible with both of your needs, but you should both be flexible. One person should not need to always compromise for someone else. If this becomes the case, be honest and speak up.
  7. Gossiping or bad mouthing each other can lead to conflicts and isolate relationships. Avoid sharing issues with others, instead, open the lines of communication with that person. Complaining or talking badly about your roommate, even if it is due to frustration, can hurt your relationship and carrying hard feeling into the semester. Talk to them directly and appropriately about how you are feeling and why.
  8. Like any relationship, it will take time and effort to establish a positive and lasting roommate relationship. Take time to work on this relationship, starting early in the year and carrying this out throughout the year, will make you more successful.

Developing a Sense of Community

As DePauw is a residential campus, developing a sense of community is something that you can contribute to. Communities form through interactions in relation to common and uncommon interests, that foster positive experiences among community members. Within our residential communities, you are in an environment to meet diverse and interesting people, which create learning opportunities. This out of class learning is our goal for the campus living experience. Some ways to developing pride and community in your residence hall are:

  1. Show interest. Genuinely getting to know people for who they are and giving them a chance. Remember to not judge a book by it’s cover, people may surprise you.
  2. Cooperate and Compromise. Understand that sometimes you have to give and take in situations. You cannot always get what you want.
  3. Say “Hello.” Introduce yourself to others in your community and building. Start up conversations and ask questions, you may never know what you may learn.
  4. Introduce yourself. Remember and use first names, it emphasizes that you care and pay attention to your interactions.
  5. Be responsible. This is your home while away from home. Take care of it and encourage others to do the same. Take responsibility for any damages or messes you create.
  6. Be Inclusive. Allow others to join into conversations, programs, events or meals. Include others in your experience instead of excluding them. Your actions will translate to others within the community as well.
  7. Be Helpful. Provide support and assistance when others around you are seeking it, you will never know when you may need a helping hand.
  8. Be Accountable. Holding members of your community accountable for their actions does not mean creating conflict or “drama”. Instead, communicating directly and in person, why you care and are concerned.
  9. Be a Team. As any good team, each member impacts each other and should support and seek out to develop a common good. The actions and behaviors of all community members impact the residential experience.
  10. Be Open to New Experiences, Ideas and Opinions. Be involved! Be invested! Be yourself! Each community members is an individual and adds to the residential community, take part in learning and engaging with others.

Need some additional assistance?

Student & Professional Staff in Campus Living & Community Development

Campus Living and Community Development is comprised of various staff members who are available to support you regarding your living experience on campus.  If you have a roommate situation that you need support with, start by talking to your First-Year Resident Assistant (FYRA) or Community Resource Assistant (CRA) when you need support with conflicts. You can do this by first finding a time to meet with your FYRA or CRA as well as meet with your roommate/suitemates/housemates to discuss any concerns. If circumstances escalate, communicate with your Hall/Area Coordinator regarding your living experience in order to find a solution. Understand that in communicating with your Hall/Area Coordinator, they will assist you with the process. For information about who to contact, please refer to the "Contact Us" section of our webpage.

Additional Online Resources

Communicating Through Difference

Roommate Agreements