College dorm roomie's date sleeping over

I’d appreciate any thoughts/opinions/recommendations you might have on the following situation.

My son is a freshman, studying engineering at a Big 10 college. He lives in a private dorm - what I believe is called University approved housing. The set-up is that every 2 double rooms share a bathroom. So he has 1 roommate and 2 “suitemates.” The floors are co-ed, but suites are all unisex.

His roommate has a new girlfriend who also lives in the same dorm. For the past week, she has been omnipresent in their room, sleeping over every night. My so is not thrilled with the idea of waking up in the dorm room with a member of the opposite sex there every morning, not feeling comfortable changing in his room, etc.

His roommate and suitemates think he is being a prude. He called us last night for advice.

So, whaddya say/recommend?

It is his room and he has a right to a semblance of privacy.

He should ask his roommate to keep the sleepovers to, weekends maybe? Or one or two nights a week, tops.

Hang a sheet from the ceiling on his side of the room.

I am surprised that the roommates/suitemates would gang up on him, and it’s ridiculous to claim that wanting to be able to live in your own room without a chick hanging around is prudish (might be different if this were a house). This isn’t a matter of your son drawing a moral judgement. Your son signed up for a double and shouldn’t have to have a triple.

I like the compromise idea.

Another route that might get the desired result but might alienate the roommate (oh, well, too late for that, the roommate has already alienated your son) is to discuss it with an RA/RD. Do they have resident advisors in the dorm?

Any possibility of your son moving into a different room or different dorm? That’s kind of a last resort but would certainly solve the problem.

In general the best way to deal with roommate problems is open and frequent communication. Your son should articulate just why it’s a problem for him–has he told the roommate the same things he’s told you about why he’s uncomfortable? This is a lot like disagreements between husband and wife–it doesn’t really matter what the rest of the world thinks, you’ve got two people who disagree and need to figure out how to live together.

This is a tough situation that I’m far removed from (I was in college in the late 70’s. I had lots of girlfriends in those years but never would *think *of having her sleep in my room with my roommates there; my kids are only 10 & 12 so haven’t had to deal with this from the parent perspective). I wish you luck. Most college romances are intense but brief so maybe this will blow over.

Maybe an anonymous note to the girl’s parents…never mind.

I think the resident adviser should be called in as soon as possible–by your son, not by you(just in case you had any doubt). Most freshmen roommate situations are amicable–at least I hope most are. Some result in everlasting friendships, but many do not. I find your son’s expectations a lot more reasonable than his roomie or suitemate’s expectations, but at some level the real issue is that their expectations are different and incompatible. And if this girl lives on campus so this isn’t a freak occurrance. . . part of me thinks that the time to renegociate the situation is now.

Disclaimer: My freshman year roomie suggested we trade roomies with another set of girls on our floor about three weeks into the semester. It didn’t end up happening, I don’t know if roomie #2 reacted worse than I did or if the RA said it was a bad idea or if something else happened. Our biggest issue was that I am not a night owl and I had classes which started at 8 every day. She was more of a night owl and had classes which started later.

The living situation sounds almost exactly like my dorm layout Freshman year. I went to UW-Madison.
Private dorms should have an RA and I would suggest going to them, like others have done. It’s rare but roommate switches were allowed. I don’t think it should come to that though. Hopefully this will be easily rectifyable just by having everyone sit down and discuss it like almost sorta kinda adults.

Glad to hear the early thoughts are in line with what we thought and recommended. We told him to talk to the RA, as they (supposedly) have training and experience in such things, and are familiar with whatever the dorm’s exact policies are.

Told my kid that while he doesn’t want to (unnecessarily) get a rep as a prude or whatever, even more importantly he does not want his studies to suffer because of this, and he should not have to feel uncomfortable in a room he is paying for. While he should try to avoid unnecessarily offending his suitemates, he did not choose them - they were assigned. With the passage of a little time it is pretty clear they would not have chosen each other, but they still should be able to co-exist.

I noted that the roomie and GF never spend the night in her room. I guess they feel it adequate that her roomie would not tolerate it.

It will be interesting to see what the dorm’s position on this is, should it not get readily resolved. A couple of years back I heard horror stories from a friend. His daughter was a freshman, and her roomie had a BF who travelled to the college and stayed over every weekend. When my friend’s daughter objected, the official response was that the university could/would not do anything about it.

If push comes to shove, I have no problem calling the contractual card. Our name is on the lease, and as has been noted above, we are paying for a non-coed double. If they will not take steps to ensure that my kid gets what he contracted for, then we will see what it takes to move him elsewhere where he will be more comfortable.

Ditto. Your son’s roomie is being an ass–you just don’t invite someone over to sleep in a shared room without clearing it with your roommate. This is doubly rude given that the girl lives in the same building–there is absolutely no need for her to sleep over, ever.

This is why I always sprung for a single dorm room…

Yeah - he said the first time he noticed it, he came back to the room after a shower with a towel around him, and noticed a head of long blond hair on his roomie’s bed. You know how small dorm rooms are? This is one of those where the beds slide under padded bolsters/cabinets, to serve as couches and open up floor space during the day. But when both beds are pulled out from under the bolsters for sleeping, there is no more than a foot or 2 between the beds. Hell, I’m pretty damned far from a prude, and I can imagine finding my kid’s situation uncomfortable.

Yeah - I know what you mean. Definitely an option for next year. My kid likes the amenities of dorm living, but he is taking his studies really seriously and is not at all into partying. He really wants to have a place where he is comfortable studying, as well as able to get a good night’s sleep.

Certainly your son has every right to expect and even demand that he only have the one roommate and not deal with his roommate’s GF sleeping over.

That said this is college and close living is part-and-parcel of the experience and things like this are nearly guaranteeed to happen. I think in the interests of peace some compromise is in order. A talk with the roomie asking him to limit the sleepovers to (say) twice a week or only on weekends or whatever would be good. In fact I would say that this is part of his education…learning to compromise and adapt in the larger world when it does not always conform to his ideal wishes.

Of course if your son simply cannot abide a woman sleeping over at all then it is certainly his right to demand no sleepovers at all. That or, as mentioned, move him into his own room with no roommates.

Ah, the college life. I’m so glad I have my own place.

When I lived in my first apartment, my roommate has his GF over about once per month. She’d normally stay the entire weekend. As if this were not bad enough, he’d ask me to stay with friends in the dorm when she was over. It was a huge pain in the ass, but I figured that if I had someone over, I could call in the favor and ask him to leave.

Later that year, he was pretty much living with his parents but still paying rent. He’d show up unannounced every once in a blue moon to stay over. One night, I did have a guest of the female persuasion over. He showed up from out of town and immediately made plans to stay in the dorms.

All was well and good, right?

No. He complained endlessly to our friends about inconsiderate I was, about how I “always had chicks over”, and about how inconvenienced it made him. The irony was not lost on our friends, but he remained clueless.

Don’t be surprised if the RA makes suggestions about places he can study other than his room part of the time. The RA’s job is probably to maintain tranquility between roomies (within limits) and ease students into college life, but the RA may well suggest compromises which are somewhat “lose-lose”.

I would expect the RA to agree that a sleepover every night is unreasonable, but I wouldn’t neccessarily expect the RA to support a desire for no sleepovers and little or no awake time visitation from the date.

I say have your son become a chronic masturbator. If whenever the girl comes over he is whacking it furiously, she’ll stop coming over pretty damn soon.

So, let me get this right: there’s Your Son and Student B, who share a room, and Student C and Student D who share an adjoining room and bathroom, and Student C and Student D think Your Son is being too uptight? Sounds like one of them should switch rooms with either Your Son or Student B, so he can get his shag on and not disturb anyone at all. Of course, that only solves things until Student C and D get girlfriends.

More realistically, a specific limit-per-week and a sweet study spot elsewhere on campus sounds like a good compromise. And you might want to remind your son that this means good things for him when *he *gets a girlfriend (wear a condom!) and now he knows he has somewhere fairly non-skeevy to take her, without “prudes” around to cramp *his *style.

Bad idea. He should begin his self-pleasuring moments after she arrives, not before.

Actually, that sounds like a pretty good idea!

I had a series of terrible roommates in college. Looking back, half the time I was would pretty tight and should have just relaxed about things. I needed to learn a thing or two about living with other people and making comprimises.

The other half I should have openly addressed my problem. I needed to learn to recognize my limits and use the resources I had available (RAs, etc.) to help solve my problem.

Either way, all I did was stew about it and bitch to other people and that was definitely the wrong choice. Likewise you solving the problem isn’t going to keep things like this from bugging your kid again. This stuff happens all the time. Tell your kid to decide if he is going to suck it up or if he is going to initiate action. He shouldn’t hang out in between- he’ll just make himself miserable.

Also it might be useful for your kid to learn to study in libraries and the like. Dorm life is full of distractions and while you may think you have a right to a peaceful place to study, this is just never going to be a reality and all you are going to do is alienate people by being insistent about it.

The dorm should have official rules about overnight guest, perhaps specific to overnight guests of the opposite sex. If you want to get technical I would refer to that first, since those are the rules that your son and his roommate agreed to live under (even if they didn’t actually read or request them before hand … ). IIRC for us (10 years ago) it was no guests of the opposite sex, ever. Of course this was violated all the time, but the point was that if anyone objected then the rule could be enforced.

But I agree, negotiate first. Pulling out the contract is a very last resort since he has to live with these people afterwards. If the guys can’t reach any agreement then I would say just switch roommates. I was maid-of-honor last year for a girl who was my second freshman year roommate, I had never even spoken to her before she asked if she could move in with me, to get away from a roommate she just couldn’t tolerate anymore.

I don’t think the studying is nearly as big a thing as - um - his just not wanting a strange girl in his room all the time - especially when he is sleeping/waking/dressing/etc. And even if she were just over during waking hours, man - those rooms are what - 10x12? Increasing the baseline bodycount by 50% is hard to ignore. And as much as my kid could find somewhere else to study, it seems only fair that at least part of the time the couple find another place to do whatever they are doing.

He has always pretty much liked being able to get off to himself. He’s not antisocial - but he likes to have his social time and his alone time. And he takes his studies pretty seriously. I think he might benefit from loosening up a bit, but I also imagine his first semester in a competitive program brings enough pressures that he doesn’t really need to be “broadened” by this kind of crap.

I think a single would be his best bet. Hell, a shared apartment would be no issue at all, so long as he had a room of his own with a door he could close.

I’m actually surprised these things aren’t discussed as part of the “matching up” system. If they’d take the time to ask students about their preferences, they wouldn’t create these situations. If I were your son, I’d ask around. There’s got to be someone else who’s stuck in a similar situation and would welcome a new roommate who is more in line with his expectation.

I would be on the waiting list for the room that had a hookah hose under every pillow, myself :wink: but I can completely understand the other side of the coin and your kid has every right to expect his roommate to respect his wishes.