Dear Miss School Manners: My daughterâ€™s college roommate is simply appalling: parties, booze and her taste in â€“ well, Iâ€™d call them clothes if there was enough fabric to warrant that. But when I called the college, they refused to give my daughter a new room. What do I do now?
Signed, Peeved in Pleasanton
Oh, we can trump that. Our daughterâ€™s roommate conducted Wiccan rituals in their dorm room. Fortunately, she was geometry-challenged so the chalked pentagrams she drew on the floor all had six sidesâ€¦which we donâ€™t think summons anything. Ah, but back to you…
(Read more after the jump. Or write to Miss School Manners now.)
Youâ€™ve been looking at Facebook and MySpace, havenâ€™t you? The Times just ran a story about that. Has your daughter even met this girl yet? We only ask because what gets posted online doesnâ€™t always reflect reality. That distinctive plastic cup may have held soda pop; the skanky outfit could have been for Halloween. You just donâ€™t know.
In general, partying and skimpy clothes bother parents, not roommates. What bothers students are roommates who â€śborrowâ€ť their things, eat pungent food in their rooms (and then donâ€™t take out the trash), have unexpected sleepovers or indulge in X-rated public displays of affections while roomie is trying to study, sleep or gaze anywhere but, er, over there. Those are all issues that can be talked out and resolved. But if they really are incompatible, hereâ€™s how the roommate switcheroo works:
Most university housing offices are loathe to swap room assignments before students have had a chance to at least try to get along, to communicate about their issues and try compromises. Resident advisors or RAs are on hand to help with that. At the end of two weeks, i.e., early October for most of the UCs, if things are still not working, then your daughter â€“ not you â€“ can contact the housing office and petition for a roommate swap.
As for that Wiccan roommate? She turned out to be a great roomie â€“ quiet, pleasant, plus she went home every weekend. Only problem was, her mom called every dang morning at 6:30 to check on her.
- Miss School Manners