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Sharing your space: Anxiety of having a room-mate

By Lauren Solarz

October 14, 2010

As the fall semester unfolds, a Cleveland State student that lives on campus will most likely experience many ups and downs of having a roommate. In the fall of 2006, Fenn Tower, formerly known as the Fenn College of Engineering, was renovated into a 19-story dormitory located in the heart of the urban CSU campus. Four years later, in August of 2010, CSU continued residence expansion with the brand new Euclid Commons. Being paired up with a complete stranger can be quite aggravating for a college freshman, especially a student living with their parents prior to entering college life.
Experiences with a college roommate or several roommates can leave a person with either a very positive or negative outcome. Students that deal with disagreements and tension in a dorm room may have a more difficult time focusing on their studies. CSU Counseling Services, located on the 12th floor of Rhodes Tower, is currently running an eight week series of group sessions that CSU freshmen can attend. The first week was a group discussion about the roommate experience coming in as a freshman. The session is led by Zac Bruback, who is a bachelor’s level counselor that sits in on each session and allows students to openly talk about their issues.
“For the first session, we had a turnout of only four students,” Bruback said. The Counseling Center is hoping to reach more students in the coming weeks. “We had posted flyers around campus as well as sent out a notification in the campus Mailbag,” Bruback explained.
So, how exactly do some students deal with having a roommate and how does it affect their studies? “Just know that going into it, in most cases, having a roommate will not be a perfect situation,” said sophomore and Euclid Commons resident Sarah Scava. Euclid Commons are very modern dorms with hard wood floors, full kitchen, two separate bathrooms and they also include furniture. However, CSU continues to take precedence over many other colleges when it comes to the amount of commuter students. The university is slowly working to become a more residential campus.
On the other end of the hall is Senior Peter Oleksiw who lives with three other guys. “It’s actually been really nice, we all get along pretty well and there’s no one year obligation here,” Oleksiw stated. Although Oleksiw and his roommates seem to have a good system going, they did mention that there is definitely conflict between other students in the building.
“I’ve heard stories from other students in the building that live with extremely messy roommates which makes it hard to focus on schoolwork,” Scava explained. When students sign up for the dorms before an academic year begins, they often fill out a sheet of all their likes and dislikes in order for Residence Life to pair them up with others who share the same interests. Unfortunately, that does not always work effectively.
“Some people are stressed over where they live. I’ve noticed students that are already having group counseling sessions because of roommate problems,” said Oleksiw’s roommate, Sophomore Sucha Singh. Several of the students passing through in the halls agreed that there doesn’t seem to be as much vandalism in Euclid Commons as there was in Viking Hall or Fenn Tower. Many feel that because the dorms are brand new, it’s a privilege to live somewhere nice, therefore, making the place easier to take care of.