Living-Learning community expectations

At Earlham, the Office of Residence Life is committed to working with students to facilitate the creation of residential communities where students feel safe, valued and respected. Community life is central to a great experience at Earlham, and our hall staff is committed to supporting and challenging students through these developmental processes.

Below is more information about the ways we help residents develop healthy communities as well as our expectations for community living among your peers.  

All first-year students, and most returning students, live with a roommate. This experience helps to strengthen interpersonal skills through communication and negotiation regarding use of a shared space.

Characteristics of healthy roommate relationships

  1. Flexibility: Make sure that you are reasonable in all situations.
  2. Compromise: Don’t expect things to go your way or no way at all.
  3. Assertiveness: While you may need to cool off after being upset, it is best to address situations sooner than later.
  4. Respect: Keep personal boundaries, beliefs and values in mind.
  5. Optimism: In most cases, there is a reasonable solution. Persistence is key!

Characteristics of Unhealthy Roommate Relationships

  1. Assumptions/pre-judgments: Always ask questions before you make up your mind about something.
  2. Gossip: Go directly to the source! Slandering your roommate will not help the situation.
  3. Passiveness: You can’t expect a roommate issue to resolve itself without speaking about it.
  4. Minimizing: Just as you may expect your roommate(s) to take you seriously, you should do the same for them.
  5. Negative language: Threatening and escalating the situation blows everything out of proportion!

Roommate Agreement

During the opening days of the semester, our staff introduces our Roommate Agreement to residents.  This agreement is designed to facilitate dialogue between roommates around the following areas:

  • Study habits
  • Sleeping habits
  • Guests and visitation
  • Living space & personal property
  • Cleanliness
  • Communication

All first-year students are required to complete this agreement and returning students are strongly encouraged to do the same. This document is available to be completed online and can be revisited throughout the year to help roommates learn how to communicate with one another while navigating conflict.

Once submitted, each roommate will receive an email with a copy of their completed agreement for their records.

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You can find all residential life and college policies on the Dean of Students page or by searching the Policies and Handbooks section of our website.

More information and resources

The Office of Student Life works behind the scenes to keep you safe, healthy and fulfilled throughout your journey at Earlham College. Whether you are looking for academic advice, a shoulder to lean on or opportunities for personal and professional growth, our team is here to support you through it all.

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