Students are starting to fill out the new digital agreement at the University of Connecticut, and not all of them are happy about it.
Roompact, the digital agreement allows students to set ground rules and make living arrangements. It replaced Huskymate this fall.
“We kind of talked about rules before we roomed together so we were on the same page. We already knew what we were getting into before we started living together,” Dianna Bibb, a junior political science major living in Busby Suites, said.
For Bibb and other students who decided to live with people whom they already knew, Roompact is a repetition of what they already talked about.
Julia Jedrychowski, a freshman allied health major, is also rooming with a high school friend and they had already talked about the rules of living together.
She completed the agreement with her roommate but found the questions were similar to what they had previously discussed. Yet, Jedrychowski said the agreement asked questions that were specific and helped her and her roommate be sure about what things they were willing to share or issues they hadn’t thought about.
Matt Unger, creator and president of Roompact, said in an email interview that his experience as a college student prompted him to create Roompact.
Unger’s roommate was from South Korea and they had issues regarding sleeping patterns. At the time, Marquette University did not provide roommate agreements.
Unger said he wished he had an agreement to set the expectations beforehand.
Omar Taweh, a sophomore PNB major living in Garrigus Suites, shares his suite with five other male students. Like Bibb, they discussed things such as cleaning the bathroom and schedules, but none of them have completed the agreement.
Taweh said his time is valuable and that he has other important things to do and the questionnaire is not his priority.
“I’m too busy and it takes a lot of time. I looked at it and it doesn’t seem like the most straight forward process,” Taweh said.
Some students said they believe the Roompact agreement is long and tedious, and most students forget what they wrote in the first place.
Bibb said the questions are too detailed and hard to answer. She also said that there is no way to know how you are going to react when an issue comes up.
Unger said he understands the issues students are raising when it comes to the type of questions. He said the agreement is like insurance; hopefully you don’t need it, but it is there if you do.
“In the situation I mentioned with my own roommate, it took a lot of time and energy whenever we had an issue,” Unger said. “Over the course of the year, it would have saved us a lot of time and energy if we had just sat down at the beginning of the year and completed a roommate agreement.”
Students said the agreement might be useful for those who have random roommates.
Taweh said he thinks it’s easier to communicate with someone you are not friends with. He said it’s easier to set the expectations because sometimes as a friend you want to avoid being rude
Alex Martinez, a junior management information systems major, is living in Hilltop Halls and has a random roommate for the first time. Neither him or his roommates have completed the agreement.
“I haven’t talked to my roommate about specifics, he tends to agree with me when I ask, so there was never a need to talk or complete the agreement,” Martinez said.
Not remembering to do it at all might be the problem for many. Martinez understand why they changed it but because no one is constantly telling him to do it, he doesn’t see it as important.
The old Huskymate agreement was collected by RA’s in the first few weeks of the semester.
In previous years, the mandatory collection of the agreements is what pushed student to fill out the agreements.
Unger said he understands that students might forget to check their email, but reiterates that students can go to https://roompact.com/users/login, click on “Single Sign-On” and access their Roompact account from there.
“I got those emails (Roompact ones) while I was walking around campus I wasn’t with my roommates at that time, and is something you have to talk about and if you are not all in the same place, then is kind of pointless.” Bibb said.
Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.