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Parent FAQs

What are some tips for parents to help their student with roommate conflict?

One helpful source is the following article written by author and speaker, Susan Fee:

DEAR ABBY: I am a licensed counselor and adjunct faculty member in communications. I hope you will help me get a message out to parents who are sending their children off to college this fall. Every semester, I see kids who have a miserable college experience due to roommate conflicts. Some students become so distracted that their grades suffer, and some actually move back home.

A successful college experience requires both academic and social skills. Parents can prepare their children by teaching them the vital social skill of settling differences before they become overwhelming. This will not only help them make their college years successful, but also the rest of their lives.

I offer five tips for parents:

  1. Offer Suggestions, Not Solutions. Help your children become critical thinkers by imagining scenarios, considering possible outcomes and brainstorming solutions. Conflict resolution is a skill that needs to be practiced. Telling your children what to do, or worse, handling the problem for them, does more harm than good because it creates dependency.

  2. Prepare for Conflict. Teach your child that conflict does not have to be negative; it can also be an opportunity to think creatively. Conflict is inevitable because people are different. Even best friends can have differences in needs, living habits, stress levels and communication skills.
  3. Share Expectations. The more that's discussed beforehand, the better the relationship. Roommate contracts are popular today, and many universities require them as a way to get kids talking about their expectations. Encourage your child to discuss things like sleep and study habits.
  4. Encourage Face-to-Face Conversations. More and more kids today would rather communicate through e-mail, IM and text-messaging rather than face-to-face. Without the benefit of facial expressions, tone of voice and body language, messages can be misunderstood. Also, warn kids that gossiping to others instead of talking directly to their roommate only escalates problems. Ask for help before the situation becomes critical. Residence life staff will help to mediate, as long as the student has already tried problem-solving face-to-face. (Unfortunately, too many students wait to mention that there's a problem until they want to move out, or, at the first sign of trouble, they report it to their RA expecting that person to solve it.) Campus counseling centers are also available for help if a roommate is exhibiting signs of mental illness; such as, depression, substance abuse or cutting. In addition, a counseling session can help your child learn to deal with stress and find better ways to manage the situation. Encourage your student to pursue resources for change to occur.
  5. Ask for help before the situation becomes critical. Residence life staff will help to mediate, as long as the student has already tried problem-solving face-to-face. (Unfortunately, too many students wait to mention that there's a problem until they want to move out, or, at the first sign of trouble, they report it to their RA expecting that person to solve it.) Campus counseling centers are also available for help if a roommate is exhibiting signs of mental illness; such as, depression, substance abuse or cutting. In addition, a counseling session can help your child learn to deal with stress and find better ways to manage the situation. Encourage your student to pursue resources for change to occur.

My student says it may be hot or cold for a few days during "seasonal changeovers in heating and cooling systems." What causes this?

Many of the College's buildings and traditional residence halls that are air-conditioned provide heating and cooling through "two-pipe" systems that can only be used for heating or cooling (not both). These building systems must be switched between heating and cooling modes every spring and fall. In most cases, these changes involve a brief period (2-7 days) when the systems are "idle," not heating or cooling. The facilities department monitors long-range weather forecasts and schedules the building changeovers when daytime temperatures are consistently in the 60s and nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 40s. A joint decision is then made by facilities and the department of student life when conditions appear to meet the established criteria and at a time of minimized impact on residents. Resident students' area coordinators also are informed when to expect the building to be fully changed over to heating mode.

If your student experiences heating or cooling issues that seem to be more than a temporary problem or isolated issue, please have your student report the condition via a work request to their RA or area coordinator. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 540-828-5316.

What public transportation is available?

There is a local shuttle bus that comes by the campus.
View the shuttle schedule.

Students wishing to request/looking for rides home can email jmanson@bridgewater.edu to post the request on The Daily Eagle. The nearest international airports are more than two hours away in Washington, D.C., and there is no public transportation between BC and these airports. Dulles (IAD) has flights to the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (travel code SHD), about 10 miles from BC. United Airlines flies into this airport. There are usually two flights per day. There is also a taxi shuttle services from Dulles by appointment: Green Taxi 540-718-2954 or greenshuttleva@gmail.com.

end faq