University of Southern Indiana


Practicing Civility
On the most basic level civility is the act of being civil to all members of the human race, regardless of any personal definable characteristics. Practicing civility requires thoughtful behavior and continuous refinement of our perceptions of what matters to us and to others.

Civility vs. Incivility
  • Asking your roommate if you two can talk about the conflict
  • Posting nasty comments on social media about your roommate
  • Listening to your roommate share his or her side of the story
  • Getting defensive and interrupting you roommate
  • Confronting your roommate calmly and in a private area
  • Yelling at your roommate in the middle of the Loft
  • Choosing not to talk bad about your roommate to all your friends and talking to your RA instead
  • Convincing your friends that your roommate is a horrible person
  • Acknowledging what you signed on the roommate agreement and asking to revisit it if you feel it will help
  • Not taking the roommate agreement seriously or ignoring the roommate agreement you signed
  • Acknowledging that your roommate has his or her own side of the story, his or her own feelings, and his or her own desires for a resolution
  • Speaking down to your roommate or speaking in a condescending tone
  • Understanding that communication is a two-way street. It will take effort from both sides to resolve a conflict.
  • Holding the attitude that your roommate is the only one to blame and that you have done absolutely nothing wrong

 Tips for handling a roommate conflict

  • Use a private setting, don’t bring up issues in front of others.
  • Be direct and clear about what is bothering you. If you don’t address the issue, nothing will get resolved
  • Eye contact – keep eye contact when you are talking and listening. It lets them know you are paying attention.
  • Don’t multi-task when talking with your roommate (ie: homework, playing games, texting, etc).
  • Use “I” statements. “Sometimes 'I' feel it can get a bit too loud in here, do you think you can help keep it down a little?"
  • Be patient, some people need a little time to digest information and make changes.
  • Don’t involve others if the issue is between you and one other person. Outsiders increase conflict. 
  • Don’t post about roommate issues on social media and the internet hoping your roommate will see it. This creates a hostile and uncivil environment.

11 Things Students Should Never Do… On Social Media

True Colors Quiz

Conflict Resolution Quiz

Contact Housing and Residence Life


Send Email to