Room Changes & Roommate Resources

Residential students are assigned to bed spaces for the entirety of an academic year unless they are granted a mid-semester room change. Although sometimes necessary, it is our philosophy that continual room changes are disruptive to the formation of strong and healthy communities. Room changes are processed on a case-by-case basis and are not automatically granted due to high residential occupancy. 

We know that there are a variety of reasons why a student might request a room change, such as:

Roommate Conflicts:

There are times when a student’s living situation becomes challenging due to conflicts with their roommates, suitemates, or floormates. This can include but is not limited to different sleeping schedules, poor communication, differences in cleanliness and general expectations as well as violations of a roommate agreement. 

Our philosophy on roommate conflicts dictates that learning to respond to and manage conflict appropriately is a skill that is necessary for long-term success in our residence halls and adulthood. Given our philosophy, students experiencing roommate conflicts are likely to be asked to meet with CLRE staff to mediate a dispute before a room change is approved. If you are struggling to manage conflict with a roommate, please reach out to your Community Coordinator for support and the next steps. 

Emergency & Safety Moves: 

The safety and security of our students in our residence halls are of the utmost importance. We recognize that there are times that emergency situations arise and require a room change to be made. Safety moves can be due to Title IX reports/cases, threats of violence, physical violence incidents, bias, and discrimination-based incidents but are not limited to these reasons. 

Emergency and safety moves are made at the discretion of professional CLRE staff. If you believe you require a move due to a safety issue, please contact the administrator on call for your neighborhood. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or GW Emergency Services at (202) 994-6111. 

Needs-Based Moves: 

Students with a medical need requiring a room change should work with the Office of Disability Support Services to register with them. If approved for a DSS housing accommodation, the DSS office will let us know, and someone from our team will reach out to you with the next steps. 

If you believe you have a need-based move that is not due to a medical condition we encourage you to reach out to your Community Coordinator to discuss your specific situation. In similarity to all mid-semester room changes, we cannot guarantee that needs-based moves that are not medically necessary will be granted. 

Vacancy in a friend's room: 

Although infrequent, there are times when a student has a vacancy within their assigned room and desires to have their friend move in as opposed to a randomly assigned student. We know that living in a room with close friends is extremely important to some of our students, and do work to make these moves happen when possible. 

If you have a vacancy in your room and have a friend that desires to move into this space you and your friends should reach out to the Community Coordinators of your building directly. 

Administrative Moves:

As stated in our Housing Licensing Agreement, CLRE reserves the right to move a student administratively at any time. Although this is not typically our desired option, please know that students may be administratively moved as determined by professional staff members. 

Living with a Roommate in our Residence Halls

Learning how to effectively be part of a community and navigate the relationships you have with those you are living with is an essential skill for every resident to develop. Our Residential Community Development Plan (RCDP) is our approach to programmatic initiatives and events hosted in the residence halls by our team. The RCDP focuses on building skills to support roommate relations, conflict management, interpersonal skills, and community responsibility.  These skills are essential to ensuring our residents have a positive experience at GW, but it also prepares residents for the future.     

Our team supports residents in building these skills through a variety of ways, some of which include roommate agreements, mediations and dialogues, and active and passive programming.  

Thinking about what you and your roommate can do together in the residence halls?  Check out GW Engage!

Navigating Conflict in Your Room

CLRE trains Community Engagement Advisors and Assistants who are equipped to help residents learn about conflict and resolution strategies. They can also provide assistance in talking through disputes within a room. Check out the tips below from the peer mediators if you're experiencing a potential conflict in your living space! To talk to a Community Engagement Advisor or Assistant, reach out to your Community Coordinator/Area Coordinator.

Common Causes of Conflict

  • Poor communication
  • Misunderstanding
  • Differing perspectives/perceptions of a situation
  • Unwillingness to compromise

Tips & Tricks to Cope with Conflict

  • Remember to take a deep breath and remain calm/composed
  • Always put yourself in the other person's shoes to see the conflict from their perspective
  • Understand before being understood
  • Keep in mind, awkwardness and uncomfortable feelings are natural and expected responses when in the middle of discussing conflict
  • Vocalizing a concern is better than remaining silent and allowing a problem to persist. The other person may not know that an action they are doing is negatively impacting you
  • Be respectful and treat the other person the way you would like to be treated