ResLife Pro-D in a Bag: Designing a Roommate Agreement Process to Reduce Roommate Conflict (1 hour)

The “Pro-D in a Bag” series provides all the details you’ll need to create a professional development opportunity for your staff around a given topic. Each facilitation guide outlines free and open source videos to watch, articles to read, quizzes and inventories to complete, and suggested questions for discussion and activities. You can facilitate this as a professional development session or integrate it into a staff meeting. It’s professional development “in a bag.”

We offer 3 tracks of our “Pro-D in a Bag” series:

  1. ResLife Pro-D in a Bag (for Professional Staff)
  2. RA Pro-D in a Bag (for Student Staff)
  3. Roompact Pro-D in a Bag (highlighting software features for users)

Topic: Designing a Roommate Agreement Process to Reduce Roommate Conflict

This Pro-D in a Bag is designed for schools to review how they set up their roommate/suitemate agreement processes and how to implement a more comprehensive approach to aid in the reduction and mitigation of roommate conflicts. It is intended to encourage a discussion that will not just improvement one’s agreement documents, but also the surrounding process itself.

Time: 1 hour
Audience: Professional staff members
– Review current agreement processes and documents.
– Articulate the goals of an agreement process.
– Design an agreement process with intentionality that reaches departmental goals.
– Revise agreement documents.

Before the session:

1. Read These Two Articles:

2. Skim/Scan These:

3. For Roompact Schools, Review:

Suggested Facilitation:

Begin the session by asking staff what they think of the current roommate/suitemate agreement process.

  • What works? What doesn’t?
  • How do we introduce agreements?
    • Do we just give the residents an agreement and ask them to complete it?
    • Do we have residents complete agreements at a floor meeting?
    • Do we have student staff meet individually with roommate pairs/groups to facilitate writing the agreement?
  • What do our student staff think about the agreement process?
    • Do they treat it as a checklist item or an opportunity for engagement?
  • What do our residents think about the agreement process?
    • Do they understand its importance?
    • Do they take them seriously?
  • What do we do with the agreement documents after they are completed?
    • Do we review the data?
    • Do we use the agreements in conflict resolution?
    • Do we encourage residents to revisit the agreement document?

Define your goals for a roommate/suitemate agreement process as you wish for them to be. Write these out in shared document or on a whiteboard so all staff can review them.

  • How does our current process meet or fall short of these goals?
  • Where can we enhance our process to better meet these goals?
  • How will we know we’re successful in achieving our goals?

Strategic what changes need to be made to the agreement process and the agreement documents themselves.

  • How can we design a better process for roommate/suitemate agreement completion?
    • How do we design a process around the documents to bring more intentionality?
    • Should there be supporting activities/initiatives/information provided before the agreement document is introduced?
    • How do we follow up the agreement document after completion?
  • What changes might we need to make to our agreement documents?
    • Should our questions be more practical, philosophical, or behavioral? Or what mix of questions should we use?
    • How are we testing our questions with resident and staff focus groups?
    • What kind of data might we collect for assessment?

To conclude the session, make plans on what revisions you may want to make to your agreement documents, how you might re-design the process for their deployment, and how you will train staff on this new approach. Additionally, think ahead to how you might review the changes you’ve made for effectiveness.

Additional Resources To Dive Deeper:

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