16 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 12, 1997
LSA sophomore Robert McPeak (left), his current roommate Jason Padley (right) and former roommate Brian Galvin (hidden), enjoy playing video games in their West
Quad residence hall room.
A djusting to campus life means
more than buying books and find-
ing classes. University students
learn to live with their best friend or worst
enemy when they accept the roommate
The Odd Couple
Many University students room blind
during their first year, not knowing who
they will live with. Some students said the
experience was their most difficult on
campus, but taught them how to handle
The story of LSA sophomore Stacey
Weber's roommate could have been taken
from "The Odd Couple."
Her roommate wouldn't take down
phone messages, Weber said.
"No one believes me when I tell them
about her, that someone like that existed,"
Weber said. "The whole experience was a
Selective message taking became a
method of control over her social life,
"If she didn't like a guy I was seeing she
wouldn't tell me he called," Weber said.
"She did everything you could possibly do
to be a bad roommate."
Weber said her friends were hesitant to
visit her dorm room because the room was
literally in shambles. Her roommate never
unpacked her belongings.
"You really can't picture the mess,"
Weber said. "I had friends down the hall,
and I would often sleep over their room
so I wouldn't have to deal with my room-
Weber said that after two weeks of liv-
ing with this roommate, she knew she had
"Things went downhill fast," Weber
said. "You can't believe someone like this
Weber's former roommate brought a cat
as an unwelcome addition to their room.
She added that the roommate Was not a
bad person, but they just didn't get along.
"I really think she is a good person, but
she wasn't a good roommate," Weber
Weber said she should have taken
action earlier in the year, but feared it
would create tension between them.
"I should have laid down the law from
the beginning," Weber said. "No beating
around the bush."
Lookiig back, Weber advised present
roommates to communicate and talk about
"Communication is key," Weber said.
"Talk to your roommate and put down
ground rules of what you need, however
Weber said there were many issues that
should have been discussed.
"We were angry with each other and
never discussed it," Weber said. "Part of
being at school is about learning to get
along with people."
LSA sophomore Daniel Serna remem-
bers his previous roommate as having very
"weird ideas on society."
But Serna and his roommate didn't
resolve their differences, and went sepa-
rate ways after a fight last November.
Serna and his friend were playing an
Internet game when the roommate walked
into the room and demanded to check his
"I told him to just wait until I left and
he could have it," Serna said. "He went to
try and unplug my computer, and I put my
hand out to stop him."
The two then exchanged words and
began to shove one another.
"(My roommate) fell down, and then
he got up in a karate stance," Serna said.
"He ended up calling the Ann Arbor
police. They came over and he filed a
Serna left for a crew team race that
weekend. When Serna got back, the room-
mate had left and moved into another
"I don't know the exact detaik of it. hut
I think he had consented (to leave)," Sema
Serna said his roommate was disliked
by most of his hallmates.
"(My roommate) didn't think women
should go out in public or wear bathing
suits," he said. "He was constantly ram-
bling before he'd go to bed. I'm a Catholic
and I'd didn't appreciate the way he
expressed himself against my beliefs and
my religion," Serna said.
This year, Serna said he was displaced
from his first room choice, but given lee-
way to live with two other friends in West
Quad residence hall. Serna said he enjoys
the new living situation and bonds with his
roommates by watching Monday night
But not all situations end as dramatical-
ly as Serna's.
"We had personal clashes," LSA sopho-
more Crystal Johnson said of her former
roommate. "I didn't really respect her -
our morals were very different."
Johnson said her roommate was an
"She stayed up on the computer until 2
a.m. every night," Johnson said.
Johnson and her roommate eventually
spoke with their resident adviser, but noth-
ing "really got resolved", she said.
Eventually, Johnson moved into a differ-
ent room with someone she knew.
Johnson now lives with two friends and
said she's much happier with the arrange-
RAs are advised to tell students to work
out their problems, said West Quad RA
"We ask they try to deal with their prob-
lem before coming to us," said Stylogout,
an LSA junior. "It's really hard to get a
room change, especially with the over-
booking this year."
Stylogout said most of the disagree-
ments are over little things.
"A lot of students transgress cultural
and racial differences," said Stylogout.
"But their problems come from inherent
differences and personalities."
While roommates can constantly battle
each other, some students live together in
a more quiet atmosphere.
They hardly see their "phantom
roommate" - someone who keeps all
their stuff in the room, but rarely stays
LSA sophomore Rob McPeak said his
phantom roommate had strange idiosyn-
crasies. LSA sophomore Brian Galvin
lived down the hall from McPeak and his
"He would come home late at night and
blast Metallica," Galvin said. "During the
day, he would turn on Metal lica as loud as
he could, and then leave for class while
leaving the music on."
McPeak said he liked his roommate's
odd quirks, and he was a good person at
"I knew from the beginning he was a lit-
tle different," Mcpeak said. "The second
day of classes, he pulled an all nighter....
He is goofy."
He is the nicest guy you ever want to
Galvin said McPeak's roommate had a
lot of character, despite somne odd traits.
"He was the greatest guy," Galvin said.
"The fact that hewas different gave him
ing in Ann Arbor.
"He would fill five glasses of milk at
dinner and take a sip from each one,"
Brody said he also faced an unusual
roommate situation. His former roommate
kept a cloth bag hanging from the loft,
which he never allowed anyone to rum-
"No one was allowed to look in the
bag," Brody said. "We used to gather
around it. I never found out what was in
Ironing out diffrences
Not all roommate relations resemble the
makings of a Saturday Night Live sketch.
Some actually like each other.
LSA sophomore Andrea Lipps said she
considers her former roommate. LSA
sophomore Lacey Hillman, to be one of
her best friends.
"I loved my roommate," Lipps said.
"We just clicked from the very begin-
Lipps said first-year students have to
take in consideration that their room-
mates may come from a different back-
"You have to be tolerant of those differ-
ences," Lipps said. "We are even talking
of living together again."
For Engineering first-year students Matt
Liston and Nikhil Shoorji, coming to cam-
pus brought them together.
"I didn't think (Nikhil) would be much
of a partier, but he stays out later than me,"
Both Liston, a Michigan native, and
Shoorji, who recently moved from
Bombay, India, decided to room blind.
They said they were somewhat sur-
prised about having each other .for
"I just had to get to know (Matt),"
Shoorji said. "He's quite friendly and I
didn't expect that."
LSA first-year student Nicholas Yu'also
lives with Shoorji and Liston in South
Quad residence hall, and moved to the
U.S. from Hong Kong in 1983.
Yu said he had a chance to speak with
both of his roommates before meeting
"Nikhil said he was from Bombay and
did not come to America that often,'' Yu
said. "I talked to Mart alot, and I thought
he was cool guy before I really met him."
Despite their differences in culture, the
roommates said they enjoy similar pas-
times. For example, all three agreed that
"Mallrats" is their favorite movie.
"We have a lot of common interests,"
Liston said. "The same taste in movies and