Residential students are assigned to bed spaces for the entirety of an academic year unless they are granted a mid-term 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 or guaranteed.
We know that there are a variety of reasons why a student might request a room change, such as:
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 a Residential Education & Housing staff member 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 Director to schedule a meeting.
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 Residential Education & Housing staff. If you believe you require a move due to a safety issue, please contact the Union College campus safety at (518) 388-6911 and they will assist in getting you connecting with residential on call staff. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.
Needs Based Moves
Students with a medical need requiring a room change should work with the Accommodative Services office to register with them. If approved for a housing accommodation, the accommodations 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 Director to discuss your specific situation. In similarity to all mid-term 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 Director of your building directly.
As stated in our student handbook, the Office of Residential Education & Housing 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.
Room Change Hold Periods & Move Logistics
Beginning & End of Terms
At the start of each academic term, the college enters a census period. Throughout this census period our office is required to account for each student on campus, and their specific assignment in our residential spaces. This is process is essential to verify enrollment for the college. While the College is in it's census period, room changes are extremely limited, and rarely approved. Historically, the census process takes at least the first two to three weeks at the start of each term.
As our office approaches the last few weeks of an academic term, room change requests are unlikely to be approved. If a room change is able to be approved, students must wait until after the census period of the next academic term.
If approved for a room change, all students are required to begin their room change on a Friday, and finish their move that upcoming Sunday evening. Mid-week room changes are not permitted. All students are required to pick up and return any keys associated with their move to our central office (located in Reamer 409). Students are not permitted to pick up new keys unless given explicit written approval from their Community Director to do so. Failure to adhere to the above stated guidelines could result in student conduct action.
Navigating Conflict in Your Room
The Office of Residential Education & Housing trains Community Advisors 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 if you're experiencing a potential conflict in your living space!
Common Causes of Conflict
- Poor communication
- 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