Can you believe the fall semester at MSU is already coming to a close. For some students, the end can’t come soon enough. Many students find themselves counting down the days until winter break. After exams, they are shutting the door and saying sayonara to their roommates. For good.
When living with one or more people, there is a vast potential for something to go wrong. From roommates deciding to study abroad, to a personality change for the worst, from students living on campus to those living off, from undergraduate to graduate students, there are countless situations that might lead to the living arrangement shuffle come second semester.
Diane Barker, Brody Complex housing manager, said that the Brody Complex alone sees about 100 room changes at the end of the first semester. These changes do not only involve freshman and those who were unlucky rooming blind, but also upperclassmen and people who are (were) good friends.
This dorm room shuffle is also prevalent among graduate students. Graduate Housing Manager Ronald Smith said that he sees about 60 room changes at the end of the first semester. Many graduate students who change rooms “are in a double and want to move to a single, move from east side to west side, move from a lower floor to higher, or from a smoking floor to a non-smoking floor,” Smith said.
Many students think that room changes occur only because roommates do not get along, however, at second semester, this is often not the case. Ashlee Silva, a pre-veterinary freshman, and roommate Christine Cue, a no preference freshman, have found themselves in this situation. Cue is not leaving her room because of a clash with Silva, but because she is withdrawing from the university. “I think we get along very well. We’ve never really had any major issues, except for maybe joking around about me eating her food,” Cue said. “I don’t know what I want to do job-wise, and MSU is boring and kind of far from home.”
Silva will face many of the same consequences other students face when her roommate leaves at the end of the semester. Instead of paying extra and guaranteeing herself a single for next semester, Silva has decided to chance being placed with a new roommate. If the university does not place Silva with a new roommate, she will keep her room as a single. Although if this occurs, she will have to purchase many of the items that she and Cue shared. “My roommate brought the microwave and refrigerator, which is kind of inconvenient, but those are two items I would need in the future anyways,” Silva said. “I also will need a Playstation 2 so that I may continue playing Dance Dance Revolution.” If Silva or any other stranded roommate is placed with someone new, she will surely have bigger problems to attend to other than how they will continue to play Dance Dance Revolution; she will have to adjust to living with a new person.
A new roommate situation is a bit like luck of the draw – it could work out perfectly, or it could not work out at all. If you absolutely cannot get along with your roommate, Barker has some suggestions. “See your resident mentor or resident director first. If the student feels they need a change, I suggest they inquire at the Complex Manager’s Office and ask for one of our housing assistants. We will assist based on space availability,” he said.
Clearly the roommate switch that occurs at the start of the spring semester presents a number of trials and tribulations for students, housing managers and other administration that help remedy the situation. It occurs for a multitude of reasons, but for many students, it is worth a little hassle if the end result is better than toughin’ it out in a present living situation. Sometimes, a little change is a good thing.

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