Main content

What You Should Know: The Roommate Experience

Advice for living on and off campus from Mario Rappetti, Assistant Dean of Student Life

Welcome to the Purchase College community.

As the director of the Office of Community Engagement (OCE), I lead a dynamic group of staff members who oversee student life at Purchase. We help encourage students to become engaged, empowered citizens in our diverse and inclusive learning environment. OCE is involved in managing housing and residence life, enhancing the commuter student experience, promoting student involvement, leadership and service opporrtunites. We also manage orientation, the Multicultural Center and lots of other areas.

The Roommate Experience

Sharing a living space with a roommate, especially for the first time, can be a big adjustment. It’s important to remember the college experience isn’t only about academics. Outside the classroom, students learn from their social interactions and grow by challenging themselves as they consider the kind of person they want to be. The roommate relationship provides an opportunity for all students to hone their interpersonal skills on the road to adulthood.

Following are some helpful hints to ensure a successful roommate experience.

BFF Not Required

Roommates do not have to be close friends or share every aspect of each other’s lives, but they will need to learn to live together harmoniously as they navigate college life.

Talk, Talk, Talk

The best way for roommates to get to know each other and avoid unintentional conflicts is to talk about their likes, dislikes, personalities, and attitudes. It’s not always easy for students to share a room with someone whose family, education, values, beliefs, opinions, and habits could easily be quite different from their own. Some find it awkward at first to talk about their differences, while others have little difficulty. It’s imperative, however, to develop healthy patterns of cooperation, communication, and mutual trust to make their room an enjoyable and comfortable place to live.

Roommate Agreement

We encourage roommates to discuss and agree to a living environment that’s mutually beneficial. The Residence Coordinators (RC) and Residence Assistants (RA) are available to assist students who wish to complete a roommate agreement. You can find a lot of tips and helpful information on our Housing Services page.

For Commuters

Our commuter population makes up roughly one third of the student body. The biggest challenge these students face is feeling disconnected. We offer many resources for commuters. Encourage your students to take advantage of them.

Here’s some advice we provide to students who commute to Purchase:

Stay on campus before and in between classes.
Use available lockers, the commuter lounge, the wellness and/or fitness centers. Get involved with a student club.

Contact a Commuter Assistant.
These student leaders provide a great connection to campus. Our commuter assistants (CAs) answer questions, present programs, and hold open hours in the commuter lounge for support.

Purchase a meal plan.
Eating in the dining areas is a great way to meet other students. Meal plans save money on purchases and encourage commuters to stay on campus to socialize.

Join a club or organization.
From economics to hip-hop, from musical theatre to cheese, we have a wide variety of groups, clubs, and organizations.

Become a Panther fan.
Encourage your commuter to attend games. We have 17 teams that compete in the NCAA Division III Skyline Conference. Purchase also offers dozens of intramural and and recreational activities.

Our doors are always open to support your student’s success on campus. Please encourage them to visit our professional staff within their residence halls/apartments or to contact our resident or commuter assistants for peer support.

Know they are in great hands while living at and attending Purchase College.