The following information was provided by the Office of Residence Life and Housing.
A fundamental part of the Wake Forest experience is that students live with and learn from other students who might be very different from themselves. That’s why our assignments processes don’t involve considerations of entertainment preferences, social values, political views, religious beliefs, economic background, etc. Cardinal John Henry Newman explained this concept over a century ago in The Idea of a University.
“How is this to be explained? I suppose as follows: When a multitude of young men [and women], keen and open-hearted, sympathetic, and observant as young men [and women] are, come together and freely mix with each other, they are sure to learn one from another, even if there be no one to teach them; the conversation of all is a series of lectures to each, and they gain for themselves new ideas and views, fresh matter of thought, and distinct principles for judging and acting, day by day. (P. 132)”
As the nation’s premier collegiate university, Wake Forest University and the Office of Residence Life and Housing are committed to creating a residential environment in which there are many opportunities for students to freely mix with one another. We ensure that there are faculty, staff, and students there to teach them both in the classroom and in their residence halls, such as the new Faculty Fellows program in our first-year residence halls, our trained Resident Advisers, and our professional staff. There are numerous opportunities for students to be involved and engaged in a residential education that is grounded in learning objectives.
The roommate experience is one which prepares students for a life of relationships where there is compromise between different ways of doing things, lifestyles and viewpoints. These lessons will be invaluable to your student as they go through life both with personal friendships, in marriage or committed relationships, and in the workplace.
Whether your student is a new student or a returning student, think about how you might encourage him or her to engage a roommate relationship in a positive way rather than walking away or ignoring issues, because those options will not always exist. When your student calls you and is talking about his.her roommate relationship, remember that your student may just be venting, and not asking you to intervene. Also, take some time now to think about meaningful relationships you have had in your life that were unexpected, difficult at first, or occurred with someone who is very different from yourself. Tell these stories to encourage your student during difficult times.
A great resource for your student is their Resident Adviser and Graduate Hall Director who live in the buildings and are available to help your student with any roommate concerns, whether your student just met their roommate or they have been great friends.
You are probably thinking, “but what if?” We do acknowledge that there may be some valid reasons students would like to change rooms. There is a “no questions asked” room change period called “Room Thaw” in which students may request to change rooms. Requests can be submitted online between September 2nd and September 7th and are granted as possible on a space available basis. It is important to know that we have very few first-year vacancies, so it may be more difficult to change rooms. Please know that there will also be an opportunity to change rooms at the end of the Fall semester and beginning of the Spring semester.
We sincerely hope that this is a great year for your student at Wake Forest University.
Larry R. Correll-Hughes, PhD
Assistant Director for Assignments
Office of Residence Life and Housing