UND Housing Office plays matchmaker to pair up compatible roommates


Kate Menzies

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UND Housing Office plays matchmaker to pair up compatible roommates

When signing up for resident hall housing, students may be reluctant to venture into the unknown and sign up for a random roommate. But for some, a random roommate may be the start of a friendship that lasts a lifetime.

For recent UND grads Carolyn Badger and Katelyn Devine, their friendship started thanks, in part, to the Housing Office. The Housing Office tries to match prospective roommate candidates based on a personality assessment in the hopes of providing a better living situation for students.

Selke Hall brought these two Minnesota transfer students together back in the Fall of 2011. Badger and Devine have continued to live together for the last three years. Badger can still recall the first time they met.

"She got to the dorm before me on move-in day, and I walked in with my mom and dad and saw her sitting on the floor putting together a TV stand," she said.

"When she saw me she jumped up and gave me a big hug. We were friends from then on."

"After knowing each other for only two days, people were already asking how long we had been friends, because we were acting like we had known each other for years," said Devine.

Without filling out a random roommate request, Badger and Devine may have never met.

Both Badger and Devine were grateful they took part in the residence hall experience. Not only did they meet each other, but they also met friends living on their floor.

"Carolyn and I both met so many other people on our floor that we still talk to today," said Devine. "I would highly recommend the random roommate and dorm experience for students new to UND."

Although not all pairings are a match made in heaven, the Housing Office does their best to match students with similar interests and behaviors. Through Campus Connection, students are able to create a profile based on personal preferences and traits such as if you like your room organized or if you wake up early, etc.

From there, students in search of a random roommate can use an advanced roommate search that filters through matches based on the importance placed on the attributes that are of most value. Once matches are shown, students are able to contact these matches to see if they might be compatible. This is the first year that students are able to go out and search for their own random roommate.

Badger mentioned how social media can be a lifesaver when it comes to preparing for a random roommate. Badger and Devine had gotten to know each other via Facebook and that helped alleviate some surprises when they first met in person. It helped prepare them for the kind of person they would be living with.

Overall, this roommate match-up has been a success for Badger and Devine.

"There are people I've talked to that can't stand to be in their dorm or apartment when their roommate is home, and I was so lucky to be matched up randomly with someone with an outgoing and fun personality," said Badger. "I never would have thought we would be such great friends, but we got through college and graduated together and I don't see our friendship stopping there."

For those afraid of signing up for a random roommate, Badger and Devine strongly recommend it as a way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and meet new people.

"You really build your own character by learning to adapt to other people's habits and lifestyles," said Badger.

They also mentioned how even though it can be scary sharing a living space with someone you don't know, students can take solace in knowing that they can always meet new people in the residence halls who they can really connect with.

"At the very least living with new people teaches you how to deal with conflict and adjust," said Badger.

A roommate can enhance or detract from a person's college experience. But for Badger and Devine, this match-up made their time at UND that much more memorable.

"Katelyn enhanced my college experience by being a really understanding, accommodating and likable roommate and becoming one of my best friends. We have so many good memories at UND that I will never forget. She was a big reason that college was so fun for me," said Badger.

"I honestly couldn't have asked for a better roommate experience," said Devine.

From friendships to personal growth, the residence hall experience fosters lasting connections.

"It's often said that you meet some of your best friends in college and I can honestly say that is true," said Badger.

Kate Menzies University & Public Affairs student writer

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