As a former RA, I’ve seen a lot of nasty roommate combinations. It turns out, throwing two or more strangers together based on a six question form doesn’t lead to the most compatible matches. “Do you smoke?” really doesn’t help when it comes to snoring, using the microwave at 3 a.m., or being rowdy in the adjoining bedroom.
Being a resident assistant, you get to hear all the obnoxious and salacious details of horrible roommate combos, and most of the time, you’re the one that has to solve them. Generally, people can negotiate decent living conditions, but some are downright awful. Here are five examples of the many cases of terrible roommates. .
Due to capacity, either meeting minimum or dealing with overflow, housing will move room assignments around before move in. One of my residents was moved from Martin to Argo last minute for whatever reason they had. Her roommate hated her from the start because before she was switched, her roommate didn’t have to share the room.
They were complete opposites, which didn’t help when it came to respect. The roommate was very entitled, pissed her parents wouldn’t let her bring her car to college due to parking tickets. Her nails were always done and her hair re-colored every other week. The other played intramural sports, a bit of an activist, and somewhat shy.
When this resident was finally fed up, she spilled every detail she’d held in. Her roommate would bring alcohol, drugs, and friends whenever the resident was trying to take a nap or sleep for the night. The roommate even had her friends sleep on the floor of the room.
Despite all this, if the resident had her light on too late or got up too early, her roommate would give her hell. However, the nightly phone fights the roommate had with her boyfriend were totally acceptable.
All of the Resident Assistants knew about these fights because everyone would receive calls on the duty phone around 2 a.m. about a female shouting in the common area or in a room. She’d fight with her boyfriend almost every other night because he was sure she was cheating on him. He went to a different college, so he couldn’t keep an eye on her 24/7. Sometimes, he’d call her drunk and just ramble, which pissed her off.
Toward the end of the first semester, the roommate brought her boyfriend without asking the other resident. He just appeared one week for a function the roommate needed a date for. The roommate and her boyfriend had to share a twin-sized bed, and apparently, they got very cozy in it.
Frustrated, the resident snapped. She informed the RA on duty that there was a squatter in her room. Anyone who stays more than three consecutive days in a room that they do not reside in is considered a squatter to housing. So, the boyfriend was kicked out but continued to sneak back in. This continues for a week until the resident’s parents call central housing and make a complaint. Immediately afterward, they allow the resident to move into a different room.
The roommate signed up to live in housing again the following year, and I was going to be her RA again. However, she left UWF to pursue a different boy, not her boyfriend, at a different college. I guess it didn’t work out because I see her around campus occasionally.
2. Dealing with Roommates
During my first year as an RA, I hung out with a lot of “returners,” people who’d previously worked as an RA. So naturally, I heard quite a few horror stories from previous years. Apparently, 2015 was a rough year for the housing staff.
Argo and Martin kept tally of incident reports to see who had the most. This was all before the Next, Edge, and Fountains existed, so some of the sketchy students who now live off-campus had to live on campus.
Even in 2015, they used GroupMe to talk to each other about RA business. A common conversation revolved around a freshman drug dealer. They all knew what he did but had no definitive evidence to report him. He just had a lot of happy guests. The dealer’s roommate always looked uncomfortable but never said anything.
RAs have to do a health and safety check every semester. The RAs go into every room and check to make sure there are no on-going violations. They can’t touch or open anything, but if they see something, they have to take a picture and report it. The dealer passed the fall semester health and safety.
For the second health and safety, he left his scales out along with a few other things. So, the dealer’s roommate finally spoke up and confirmed what everyone already knew. The cops came, took the dealer’s equipment, but because of some technicality, probably having no actual drugs in the room that day, the kid wasn’t arrested.
So when the dealer came back, he was pissed at his roommate. They kept living together though. Within a week, the roommate’s brand new Xbox One disappeared from the room. From the security footage, you can’t see who went into the room and took it. The cameras don’t show down the hallways and no one walked out with the Xbox in their hands, but there were several people with backpacks big enough to hold the Xbox.
The roommate filed a complaint. He was pissed, but he couldn’t press charges against anyone. Later that day, the drug dealer returned with a brand new iPhone 7. He obviously pawned the Xbox, but no one could prove that.
I know that screenshots of the RA conversation still exist, somewhere, on someone’s phone. Honestly, it’s hard to be an RA. Between central housing and cruddy residents, it’s frustrating. Even when situations suck, RAs will still find something to laugh at, if they can. If you take the job too seriously, you’ll go crazy.
3. Dog Really?
I worked for housing when the pet-friendly community was established. To have a pet, it had to fit the guidelines and be registered. However, many unregistered pets, especially dogs, appeared two months into the year. We had a lot of incident reports about barking dogs that didn’t belong.
The week after spring break, we got one of these calls. We showed up to the area reported, and we could hear a dog barking from one of the rooms. One of the residents (it’s a four-person room), lets us in, but we couldn’t enter the actual bedroom.
So, we called up the resident of the room, but she’s on her two-week spring break still. It’s a Tuesday, and she’s in NOLA. She kept insisting she didn’t have a dog. Even when we held the phone up to the door so she could hear the barking, she still insisted she didn’t have a dog. This went on for 20 minutes. Not being able to do anything, we left to go write the incident report.
As we’re about to submit the IR, her sorority sister walked into the office; she said that the resident does have a dog, and that she’s here to take it. She got the resident, her sorority sister, on the phone to confirm that she does have a dog and to give permission to housing to enter the room. Her sister had the room key and had kept coming in to feed, water, and walk the dog.
So her sorority sister took the dog back to her off-campus apartment where dogs aren’t allowed. Smart, right? This girl had to pay something like a $200 fee for having the dog, a $100 fee for giving her key away, and write an apology letter to the university. I guess the takeaway is don’t go on a two-week spring break and leave your dog to someone who’ll rat you out.
4. Sleep’n Around
When I worked in a hall with first years, there was this one room with two “bro” type guys. One had a steady girlfriend and the other frequently got around. They were decent roommates, and we never received a complaint about either of the residents.
Mid-spring semester, the tomcat roommate started to see one of the girls from a floor above. The only problem is that her boyfriend lived in the same building and even down the hall from her side piece. It was so obvious, but none of us could say anything without breaking some rule or regulation. The boyfriend had his suspicions, but we couldn’t answer any of his questions.
Then on a random afternoon, the front desk was alerted to a disturbance in the hallway the side piece lived in. Apparently, the girlfriend came clean to her boyfriend. The boyfriend stormed to the side piece’s room, in a fit of rage, and proceeded to fight the side piece. The side piece got a black eye and the boyfriend tore that room up! He even included the innocent roommate’s belongings.
Honestly, the fight didn’t do a thing because the couple didn’t break up and the girlfriend continued to cheat with the side piece. I see the roommate around campus occasionally. Apparently, the side piece doesn’t go to UWF anymore and he hasn’t heard from the side piece since his arrest.
5. Afternoon Delight
The most frustrating and difficult incident I heard about was from one of my coworkers. She had a room of all sophomore girls in a four-bedroom. Basically, there were two bedrooms and two beds in each room. I honestly think prisoners may have more living space than these dorms. Two of the roommates got along well, but the other two– not so much.
They both either had boyfriends coming back to college or got them at some point during the year. So the first roommate didn’t spend too much time in her room until she broke up with her boyfriend. That’s when she began to notice how her usually made bed was disheveled. The second roommate would apologize and blame her friends for carelessly sitting on the bed. The first roommate thought it was odd but didn’t say anything as it continued to happen.
One day the first roommate returned from classes early and discovered the bed messier than usual like someone was just in it. It was also damp from sweat. The first roommate put two and two together and confronted the second roommate. The second roommate cracked and admitted that she was using the first roommate’s bed to have sex with her boyfriend.
Outraged, the first roommate filled out a complaint with her RA. Both the first roommate, her RA, and the Hall director all asked the girl to stop having sex in her roommate’s bed. She continued to do so anyway. The RA group chat theorized it was some kink. However, it took housing a month to approve the first roommate’s moving request. They never moved anyone into the spare bed after that, for obvious reasons. All I can say is that I’m glad they didn’t live down my hallway, so I didn’t have to deal with it.