There are three suite types in River Crossing. We have singles, doubles, and quads. There are only eight singles, so most residents will have a suitemate or three. However, it is important to note that every resident has his or her own bedroom. This way every resident has a private space where s/he can access cable tv, the internet, or just get away. But, there is still a lot of shared space, too. It is really important for the residents get to know their suitemates.
First, most kitchens and bathrooms are shared spaces. When residents know each other they have a better chance of setting workable rules for how food is shared, spaces are cleaned, or when guests are welcome.
Second, and more importantly, knowing suitemates is about safety. We'd like all residents to feel like they can have guests and friends come to their home away from home, within the parameters of our policies. But, we also want suitemates to respect each others' feelings of safety and security. Suitemates who know each other are more likely to respect each others' property and use it only with permission and to take care to make sure that windows and doors are appropriately locked.
We also know that this might be the first time that a student has to share space with another person, especially a person who may not already be a friend or relative. We plan "getting to know you" events at the beginning of the year for suitemates. We also have a roommate negotiation exercise we'd like all suitemates to do with each other, or with their resident assistant, that helps them figure out their shared rules for food, cleaning, guests, and more. Please encourage your student to participate in these activities.
Not every suitemate match is a match made in heaven. We know this, but we think it is important that everyone learn to confront each other with what is working and what is not working in the suite relationships. So, when we find out there is conflict in the suite, a resident assistant or staff professional will help the suitemates mediate between themselves to see if we can find a workable agreement. If that fails, and we have space, we will honor suite change requests. However, we really do consider that at a last resort. Learning to work with differences and overcome challenges is part of the college experience that teaches patience, tolerance, critical thinking, and problem solving skills that will aid your student throughout their work and personal lives.