Current Student Housing
All returning students are eligible to live in Newberry, Mitchell, Carey, Bonbright, Brazell, and Brazell West halls. Returning students can live with any other returning student in these buildings, regardless of class standing.
Apartment style-living is available for select students in Wright Hall, the Wright Avenue Apartments, and the Opera House.
Alma College has sixteen small houses that are associated with specific groups. Members of student groups can apply to live in the house associated with their group.
Returning student housing selection occurs in March and April each year and has three primary steps:
- Sign your housing agreement (available 24 hours after fall course registration)
- Select your roommate(s)
- Select your room during the appropriate room selection process. Room selections occur in the following order:
- Small houses (selected by the organization and submitted to the residence life office)
- Four-person groups
- Two-person groups
All of these steps will be completed through your housing portal. If you are eligible to live off campus, you also can find the residency exemption application in your housing portal. Full details about each process, eligibility, and costs can be found in the Housing Information Booklet. You also can check out this year’s housing selection dates in our Important Dates.
Room and Roommate Changes
A key part of the Alma College experience is learning to live with another person, share a space, and resolve conflicts. While we hope that all roommates will have a great experience together, we know that there can be bumps on this road and are here to help when that happens. In most situations, we will encourage students to work with their roommate to resolve conflicts. This is a critical skill that will help students in their future homes, work environments, and more!
We know that this can be hard and makes many people nervous – this is normal, and we are here to help you through the entire process. All of the residence life staff, including the RAs, are trained to help resolve conflict and can help roommates work through their concerns in a healthy, productive way.
When students share that they need help with a conflict, we follow three steps to try to resolve the conflict:
- Ask the students to have a face-to-face conversation with each other about their concerns. Not sure how to start this conversation? We’re happy to help brainstorm so you have a plan, or check out our tips below.
- If your conversation did not resolve the conflict, we will set up a mediated conversation with an RA or other residence life staff assisting. Our staff will be present as a neutral third party who can help guide the conversation, keep things civil, and make sure any resolutions are clear for everyone.
- If conflicts still occur after these discussions and a good faith effort to resolve the conflict, we may recommend a room change. In this case, our professional staff will work with the roommates to decide who will move out. If you cannot agree, then we may ask both students to move.
In the event of a health or safety emergency, we may move to a different step in this process at any point. However, most conflicts can be resolved if we all work together.
One of the most critical steps you can take to avoid conflict with your roommate is to have conversations before a conflict escalates. Be open and honest with your roommate when you complete your roommate agreement, and talk about concerns when they come up. Conflicts often can be avoided by addressing the small things before they get bigger. Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips:
- Talk to your roommate in person. While texting or messaging can be easier on the surface, it is hard to communicate tone and other nonverbals through messages.
- Choose a time when you are both able to focus and aren’t too stressed. Is your roommate a night owl? Try not to meet first thing in the morning. Do you have a big test the next day? It might be a good idea to wait until after. There’s no perfect time, but it never hurts to set yourself up for success.
- Assume that your roommate has good intentions. No one wants to be a bad roommate, and it is extremely rare for someone to try to stress you out on purpose. Chances are your roommate does not realize how much they are affecting you and would want to know what’s going on.
- Avoid accusations and use “I” statements. Nobody likes to feel “yelled at,” and a great way to express concerns without playing the blame game is to use “I” statements. A good way to structure this is to say “When X happens, I feel Y.” For example, “When our room is messy, it makes me more stressed.” This strategy helps you communicate clearly while keeping that assumption that you roommate’s intentions are good.
- Be open to compromise, and don’t take things personally. If your roommate approaches you with concerns, be open to ideas and try to meet in the middle. Every living situation will require some amount of compromise, and that’s normal! It’s also important to remember that just because your roommate has concerns, it does not mean that they don’t like you. Chances are, they’re telling you because they do enjoy your company and want the relationship to stay strong.