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Roommates and Room Changes

As part of the residential experience at Smith College, most students will reside with a roommate. The transition into this new living situation can be both rewarding and challenging, but always requires work on the part of both roommates. The college believes that communication is fundamental to a successful roommate relationship and has taken steps to formally encourage dialogue on a variety of levels. The roommate contract and discussion guide, facilitated by the residence life staff, promotes discussion of common roommate concerns and fosters communication regarding roommate issues for the year. The residence life staff encourages a continuing dialogue and, when necessary, is available to facilitate conflict mediation and resolution to assist students with their concerns.

When attempts to resolve a roommate conflict have been exhausted, the option to change rooms may be made available. During the room change period, a room change form can be obtained from the residence life staff or online at It must be signed by the resident’s roommate and their head resident and area coordinator. The assistant director of residence life makes all final decisions regarding student placement. It is the responsibility of a student who wants to move to communicate this desire with their current roommate.

If a student resides in an “open double,” a double occupancy room with one occupant, they should expect to receive a roommate at any point during the semester. The college reserves the right to request students in an “open double” to consolidate with other students in the same situation in order to create space for students needing housing. It is imperative that ample space remain available for the new roommate. This includes but is not limited to their own desk, dresser, bed, closet space and wall space. Intentionally discouraging a potential roommate through any means is a violation of a respectful community environment and will not be tolerated. Students engaging in such behavior should expect to meet with their area coordinator.

Physical violence and/or behavior that could harm or threatens to harm someone is not tolerated within the Smith community. The Department of Residence Life reserves the right to reassign the housing location of any student(s) involved in such situations. The reassignment may be temporary or permanent depending on the outcome of the college conduct process.

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