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Culture and Civility

Housing and Residence Life believes in building a strong community that embraces a culture of 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. For one to be civil, it takes a conscious effort to be aware of differences and show respect in all interactions with others in the community. Whether it is your roommates, a professor, classroom peers, or a university staff member, it is expected that you always communicate in a civil manner. Practicing civility requires thoughtful behavior and continuous refinement of our perceptions of what matters to us and to others. Such expectations are described in the USI Creed.

USI Creed
I will practice personal and academic integrity; I will reject and confront all manifestations of discrimination while striving to learn from differences in people, ideas and opinions;

I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings, their property and their need for conditions which support their work and development;

Allegiance to these ideals requires that I refrain from and discourage behaviors, which threaten the freedom and respect every individual deserves.

The USI Creed is heavily supported in the HRL community. We know that conflicts will arise, but we urge our community members to take an active role in battling incivility. In order to make sure our community members are equipped to aid in minimizing incivility, the following resources have been provided for you.

Living with Roommates
Students come from varying backgrounds and our expectation is that residents will be open to learning to live with someone who is different from themselves. One of the first tasks residents will do after moving in is sitting down together and completing the roommate agreement. This is when they can be honest and share their expectations for cleaning, guests, communication and more. Residents are encouraged to be respectful and friendly with their roommates, but they don’t necessarily have to become best friends. We hope that in room situations where two or three residents already know each other that they would choose to be open and welcoming to the others that are random roommates. If after moving in, residents have concerns with a roommate, then they should seek out their RA as a resource to help work through the issue.

Normalizing Roommate Conflicts
Living with a roommate can be a complicated endeavor, whether it’s your first time or your final year. At some point, you and your roommate are probably going to find yourselves in conflict, and that’s okay. Navigating conflicts is not only going to be part of your journey as a roommate, but an inevitable part of life. The good news is USI has implemented steps to help you work through conflict in an appropriate manner. It is important to recognize conflict as an opportunity for growth. 

Roommate Bill of Rights
Sharing a room involves several different things. First of all, it is important to respect the rights of others, especially your roommate. At the same time, it is necessary to protect your own rights, too. Fulfilling your roommate responsibilities requires respect, compromise and communication. These rights and responsibilities go hand in hand; you can’t have one without the other. This declaration outlines basic rights and responsibilities that will help healthy roommate relationships develop.

All Roommates Have the Right

  1. To privacy
  2. To respect
  3. To open communication
  4. To mutually clean living quarters
  5. To personal safety and security of possessions
  6. To comfortable sleep and study conditions
  7. To be asked before their possessions are used
  8. To stay true to their own values
  9. To agree to disagree
  10. To ask Housing and Residence Life staff for assistance when needed
  11. To be treated civilly
  12. To comfortable living space
  13. To get their messages in a timely manner
  14. To a room free of policy violations

 All Roommates Have the Responsibility

  1. To respect one another’s privacy
  2. To respect themselves and others
  3. To communicate openly with their roommate and discuss potential conflicts before they get out of hand
  4. To keep their living space neat and clean
  5. To lock doors and maintain personal/possession safety
  6. To maintain a comfortable environment for sleep and study purposes
  7. To treat one another’s possessions with care and to ask before borrowing personal items
  8. To respect differences
  9. To compromise
  10. To enlist the help of Housing and Residence Life staff when a difficult roommate issue arises
  11. To be kind and civil with no intent to harm
  12. To check with one another before having overnight guests
  13. To pass on messages to their roommate in a timely manner
  14. To abide by all housing rules and regulations

 Copyright 2010. PaperClip Communications.