You're moving away from home and you've got a lot of new experiences ahead. Navigating a new roommate, a new university and safely navigate the back end of COVID-19 is a lot to process.
This page has a number of helpful tips for those of you living with a roommate in a double room or one of our suites where you could have multiple students in your living area. These suggestions help you navigate the new environment of community living in a residence hall.
Most new students to NIU do not have a roommate preference and they receive a random roommate and have a great experience. But if you do know someone and want to be roommates you log in to MyHousing.niu.edu, and select Roommates. There you can create a Group for you and your roommate choice, and the group leader may select the room for both students. Multiple group leaders can coordinate and try to select certain suites (New Hall and Stevenson) so that groups of roommates can select the same suite together. If you have any difficulties with your group, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you sign up with someone you know or we assign a roommate for you, we always let you look up your roommate's name and email address. This gives you a chance to reach out to them and introduce yourself before move-in day.
It's important to set expectations for living together. How late do both of you usually stay up? Do you plan to do homework in your room at a certain time each night? When are guests allowed into the room or suite or cluster? What are the expectations of each other in terms of personal hygiene, including face coverings? What are your expectations for other community members and suite mates for bathroom use and cleanliness? Some of these things might be a little awkward to talk about, but we've seen that having these discussions at the beginning of the year helps prevent issues later on.
Your community advisor helps you start the conversation with your roommate or suitemate by having both of you complete a roommate agreement after you move in. It helps you set expectations about visitors, cleaning, quiet time, sharing, privacy and other situations that can cause tension between roommates. It works!
Once you move in, get to know your roommate and others on your floor or in your cluster. Maybe go to lunch or dinner together following our physical distancing guidelines. See if there are any events happening at NIU that you want to check out. Even though we have restrictions on large gatherings, there will be events happening on campus, especially during Week of Welcome Days in August.