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Bobcat Living Experience

What is the Bobcat Living Experience?

We believe residents should have an intentional residential experience that provides them with opportunities to build relationships with one another, connect with resources on campus, and establish a sense of belonging at Ohio University. It is important to us that every one of our residents feels they are respected for who they are and have the tools to be successful in their Bobcat journey. 

The Bobcat Living Experience empowers residents to develop skills for success and contribute positively to their communities by focusing on the following learning goals:

  • Well-Being: Students who live on campus will utilize skills and resources to promote well-being.
  • Healthy Relationships: Students who live on campus will develop tools to sustain positive relationships within their communities.
  • Sense of Belonging: Students who live on campus will identify characteristics of healthy communities.

Our Commitment to You

Through the Bobcat Living Experience, students living on campus can expect:

  • Staff who care about their experience and their success as a Bobcat. Demonstrated through Bobcat to Bobcats (staff connections with each of their residents) and community meetings, our staff set aside time throughout the semester to get to know their students and offer support and resources for success.
  • Opportunities to get involved and get to know others in their community. Whether it be through Hall Council programs or RA-hosted community builders, students will be provided countless experiences to live, learn, play, and grow in their residence hall.
  • Support when times get tough. We know that living with over 100 of your fellow Bobcats can be a new challenge! We use Living Agreements and staff-facilitated mediation to help students adjust to the triumphs and trials of sharing a space and learning to live in community.
  • A strong committed to inclusion. Our greatest strengths come from being a part of a larger Bobcat community. We empower our students to be involved in creating an environment where students can contribute differing perspectives, ideas, and experiences to drive change and encourages a sense of belonging through programs, meaningful conversations, and purposeful opportunities.

Who is in Your Community?

The Bobcat Living Experience is possible due to the strong network within our community. The students and staff mentioned below will be critical when it comes to our communities success.

Your In Hall Staff

Resident Advisor (RA): The Resident Advisor is a student who has completed a rigorous training process designed to prepare them for working with students in the residence halls. The RA lives on and manages a floor section of residents. Part of the RA's job is to provide ongoing support for residents. During the academic year, you will interact the most with the other residents on your floor section. Your RA is a great source of information and should be the first individual that you contact with a question or concern.

Senior Resident Advisor (SRA): The Senior Resident Advisor, like an RA, is a student who resides in a residence hall but does not manage a floor section. The SRA is responsible for assisting the Graduate/Assistant/Resident Director in coordinating administrative functions in the building such as room changes and key inventories. Additionally, the SRA assists in advising the hall council and coordinating hall programming efforts.

Graduate Resident Director (GRD): A Graduate Resident Director is a full-time graduate student and a part-time employee responsible for overseeing a hall. The GRD supervises the residence hall staff, works with all residents to establish a positive living environment and a sense of community, and manages crisis situations. A GRD acts in an advisory capacity on personal and academic issues and helps to interpret and uphold university policies. GRDs will post office hours within their hall.

Resident Director (RD): A Resident Director is a full-time on-site professional responsible for a hall or complex. The RD supervises the residence hall staff, works with all residents to establish a positive living environment and a sense of community, and manages crisis situations. An RD acts in an advisory capacity on personal and academic issues and helps to interpret and uphold university policies. RDs will post office hours within their hall or complex.

Assistant Resident Director (ARD): An Assistant Resident Director works directly with a Resident Director to oversee a large hall or complex and is a full-time graduate student. The ARD supervises the residence hall staff, works with all residents to establish a positive living environment and a sense of community, and manages crisis situations. An ARD acts in an advisory capacity on personal and academic issues and helps to interpret and uphold university policies. ARDs will post office hours within their hall or complex.

Your Floor Section

Your floor section is your new home for the year and is comprised of a variety of people from different backgrounds. However, you all share one thing in common: you will be living in a shared community. Throughout the year your Resident Advisor (RA) will host events to help you get to know others in your community and build a network of friendship and support.

Your Roommate(s) and/or Suitemate(s)

Having to share your bedroom and living space with someone is often an adjustment. Our best advice is to spend plenty of time getting to know your roommate(s)/suitemates(s), face-to-face, during the first few weeks.

Talk to each other about the ground rules for your shared living space and complete the Living Agreement. Your RA will be a resource as you complete your agreement.

Here are four ways to ensure that you and your roommate(s)/suitemate(s) have a positive and successful relationship with one another:

  • Communication entails talking and listening to your roommate(s), especially about issues that will affect your relationship (e.g., borrowing items; study times). It is wise to talk person-to-person with your roommate(s) about any concerns or conflicts as early as possible. It can be incredibly difficult to express concerns you have with your roommate. Maybe you don’t want to hurt their feelings or want them to be mad at you. Either way, not addressing the concern will make it snowball into a bigger issue. You can approach talking about an issue in a kind way by using “I” statements. Ex. “I feel overwhelmed and stressed when the room is messy like this” rather than “You are so messy!”
  • Consideration is another handy attribute for living with other people. The best way to be considerate is to think before you act. Ask yourself how your actions might affect others. Most conflicts occur due to a lack of consideration but remember these conflicts can be resolved through communication!
  • Compromise is the foundation of any healthy relationship. If your roommate likes to go to bed and get up early and you prefer to stay up late and sleep in, a little give and take can remedy the situation. Simple compromises can make a tremendous difference.
  • Cooperation involves roommates working together toward a common goal. It may be something as simple as making sure that the garbage can is not overflowing or that recycling is being done. When roommates agree on common goals, all roommates, mod-mates, or suitemates can work toward ensuring that the goals are met.

If you and your roommate(s) encounter conflicts, your Resident Assistant (RA) and Resident Director (RD) can serve as helpful resources in helping resolve roommate conflicts. Some common issues roommate(s)/suitemate(s) encounter are:

  • Cleanliness: Everyone has a personal standard for cleanliness. While it is hard to adjust to another person's living style, it is necessary to communicate and agree with each other on shared cleanliness expectations for the space. Always remember to be courteous and talk it out when issues arise.
  • Guests: Everyone has the right to have guests in their room. Roommates MUST provide adequate notification to roommates regarding overnight guests or visitors. Guests and visitors in a room should NOT be more than two times the standard occupancy for that room. Also, overnight guests and visitors can only stay for up to 3 nights in a 7-day period with permission from the roommate (see page 15-16 for more information on Guests and Visitors). Set boundaries about guests/visitors’ expectations early on and adjust as needed.
  • Noise: Noises like music, TV, and conversations can make studying or sleep challenging depending on a person’s personal preference. Communicate about the issues as they arise to ensure the space is conducive to each roommates/suitemates needs (see page 16 for more information on Noise).
  • Borrowed Items: Some roommates love to share, while others prefer to keep their items separate. Make sure you communicate on if are willing to share, share with permission, or not share any items with your roommate(s)/suitemate(s)
  • Room Lights: Everyone in the room has equal use of lights in their room, but everyone also has different preferences to how they are used. Please be respectful and courteous of how you use the lights in the room and how it can affect others. Ex. when someone is sleeping, not feeling well, or studying late at night light, usage may need to be adjusted. Please know that using lights in the room can affect everyone in the shared room or space. Please communicate your lighting expectations with your roommate(s).