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Category: Notes from Resident Director

Keys to Successful Roommates in College  August 8th, 2011

Most student residents living in the International Living-Learning Center will have a roommate from a country and culture different from their own. We’ve been getting some questions about what it means to have a domestic student as a roommate and what it means to have an international student as a roommate. This will be an ongoing learning process for all of our residents and will vary because people vary. That said here are some general things to think about if your roommate is from a different country than your own—and some general things to remember no matter where your roommate is from.

First, let’s look at some general things to keep in mind about living with another human being.

Key qualities of a successful experience

  1. Flexibility, commitment, and willingness to communicate in an honest and tactful manner are all key qualities of creating a successful living environment with your roommate. Creating this will take time and effort—and it might be difficult. It will also be one of the most important things you learn outside of the classroom during your time at OSU.
  2. Sharing a space with another human being can be challenging with different personalities, class schedules, interests, and habits. The key is to remain open to learning from your roommate and situation. Keep asking questions. Seek to understand where your roommate is coming from and do your best to be kind.
  3. At the beginning of the year, you will work with your roommate and suitemates to complete a roommate agreement form. Filling out this form is a great way to talk about what you need to be successful and establish the way you want to communicate those needs throughout the year. Be honest and flexible as you work through the agreement. If you put the effort and time in, you will reap the benefits of creating a strong foundation for communication with your roommate from the beginning. This makes it easier to work through issues that come up later.

Having a domestic student roommate

When I studied abroad in Germany, I remember one of the most difficult things for me was communicating verbally and in writing with my floormates. I knew very little German, and their English was also limited. This might be something you encounter as well with your roommate. I will pass along some wisdom that was passed along to me: keep trying! Keep trying to speak the language. Your roommate will probably understand more than you think.

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Welcome message from Dawn Snyder, Resident Director of ILLC  July 26th, 2011

It’s hard to believe that new students will be arriving on campus from all over Oregon—and the world—and moving into the International Living Learning Center (ILLC) in less than two months. The resident assistant staff and I are excited to meet you all!

I am Dawn Snyder, and I will be the resident director in the ILLC. As a resident director, I supervise eight resident assistants (RAs), advise our hall government, and help students as they transition into living on campus and attending Oregon State. Whether you are from Tianjin, China or Oregon City, Oregon or Riyadh, Saudi Arabia or Southern California, coming to college will be a time of change. The RAs and I are here to help you navigate that change and OSU.

University Housing and Dining Services will be teaming up with INTO-OSU and other campus partners to encourage your academic and personal success at OSU. In the fall, writing assistants and math tutors will be available to residents on one night a week in the ILLC. The staff and I will be working with you and your roommate, suitemates, and fellow residents to help you learn about each other’s cultures and how to communicate effectively. The RAs and I will be checking in with you to see how classes are going and how you are adjusting. We want to do what we can do to help you make the most of living in the ILLC and thrive as students at OSU.

I’m anticipating that one of the things students will like most about living in the ILLC is the variety of different spaces available to you. There are so many beautiful spaces that are yours to use to study, to hang out, to watch movies, to cook, to play games, and to talk. Read the rest of this entry »