Roommate Rights and Responsibilities

Personal issues, such as academic stress, alcohol abuse, depression, and eating disorders, may strain relationships in a living situation. It is both a student’s right and a student’s responsibility to seek help when such issues become disruptive.

Studies on alcohol abuse at colleges and universities show that there are significant secondary effects for roommates and friends of those who drink excessively. Roommates and friends report that sometimes they cannot study or sleep because they are worried when a friend gets so drunk he or she does not return home until the next morning. Roommates often “baby-sit” for those who cannot make wise choices for themselves or who need actual medical help due to intoxication.

A student’s concern about protecting a roommate’s privacy, in this and other instances, should not keep him or her from getting support personally or for that other person. If a student is worried about a friend, if this concern affects living habits, he or she has the right and responsibility to seek help both personally and for that other person. It may be that the student’s action spares the individual painful consequences now or later. Sources of help: