Room Change FAQ

Our philosophy 

Why is it important that I stay in my room?

  • Community Building: Residence Life values creating and maintaining healthy communities. An important aspect of these communities is stability. Living in your room for the whole year helps this stability and encourages people to rely on each other, develop relationships, and establish ongoing community norms.
  • Problem-solving: Working through challenging situations is an important experience and learning to compromise and communicate is a vital life-skill. We encourage students to put substantial effort into making their living situation work for them and to reference the 'Honor Principle' section of their housing contract when considering housing challenges. 
  • Diversity of living situations: While offering many types of living situations is one of the best things about Reed, it also means that sometimes people do not get their first choice of rooms every year. Respecting this and making the best of what may not be your ideal assignment allows us to have these different options.
  • Administrative impact: Changing rooms is not as simple as moving a few bags. Every room change requires work from Res Life staff, HAs, facilities, custodial services, Community Safety, and often other departments as well. If Res Life accepted and processed every room change request that is basically all we would ever have time to do. We'd rather spend our time making your current situation the best possible!

Typical Denial Situations

What reasons for moving are unlikely to be approved?

  • "It would be more convenient for me to live in ODB because it's closer to Prexy and I spend a lot of time there."
  • "My friend just moved out of a room in Bragdon and says I can move there."
  • "All my friends live in Sequoia so I want to live there too."
  • "My roommate plays loud music all the time and instead of talking to them I'd rather just move out."
  • "I was wondering if there are any apartments available because I'd prefer those."

Typical Approval Situations

What reasons for moving are likely to be approved?

  • "I have a specific health concern that cannot be accommodated in my current living situation."
  • "I have a roommate conflict that I have been attempting to work through all semester but it's not going to be reconciled. Here are all the ways I've tried:..."

Things to consider

  • Moving is not the norm: Approved room-change requests must be due to extenuating circumstances. Since our philosophy encourages students to stay in their communities, your situation needs to merit an exception.
  • Consider Res Life philosophy: Knowing that we appreciate community and problem-solving, requests that include a visible effort to make a situation work are more likely to be approved that those that do not. Include in your request what you have done to create a good environment for yourself and why is it still not working out.
  • Changes are based on current situation: We approve changes because a current environment is unsuitable for a student, not because the student would prefer a different building or room. Although we may take requests into account when reassigning you, our motivation is never that you prefer the view from Sitka or that you know a friend who just moved out of a single in Naito and you'd like to live there.
  • On-campus apartments are the most popular residence option: It is very unlikely that you will get approved to move from a residence hall to an apartment. If you are considering this option, please keep in mind the cost difference and that it may affect your financial aid package.
  • Moves are generally to a similar room type: If you are currently in a double, you are likely to be placed in a double, single to single, etc. unless the room type is one of the reasons you are requesting to move.

Additional Information

Why can’t you process every room change request, especially when I know of specific rooms that are available?

  • Room changes take a lot of behind the scenes coordinating, as detailed earlier.
  • Several students may be requesting the same room. If you know of a vacancy, it is likely that others do too.
  • Rooms that are on the vacancy list might not actually be available. We often set aside rooms for people returning from leave, students who need specific accommodations, or we may have already offered it to someone else.

How many changes get approved each year?

While the number of room change requests we receive each year depends largely on the flux of students and the availability of rooms on campus, we estimate that we receive as many as 60 requests per semester. Typically fewer than 25% of these requests are granted and we do not have the room capacity to grant every request.

When can I request a room change?

We do not accept requests within the first 2 weeks of classes. As per our philosophy, we want students to have made an effort to be a part of their communities and get used to their environment before changing. If you have an extreme situation in which even these 2 weeks are not possible, please talk to your Area Coordinator ASAP.

What if I just want to swap rooms with my floormate?

  • Any time you change rooms it is considered an official room change and all policies discussed here will apply.
  • Students are always responsible for any damages done to their assigned rooms. If you make an unapproved swap, you are responsible for anything that happens to your original room.
  • Students who make unapproved room swaps will be asked to move back to their original rooms.

Moving Forward with a Request

What steps should I take to request a room change?

  • First, read the contents of this page to determine whether or not your request is likely to be approved.
  • Next, schedule an appointment with your Area Coordinator. Your AC will ask if you have taken steps to address your current concerns.
    • It is helpful to have had conversations with your HA about your situation beforehand. Talking to your HA shows you respect your community and have made an effort at problem-solving and sharing your concerns.
    • If you have a roommate concern, try your best to talk with them and work it out before requesting a room change.
    • Think about other campus resources that could help make your situation work for you. Your HA can help refer you if you need ideas. Sources like the Health and Counseling Center, the DoJo, Disability and Accessibility Resources, the Office for Inclusive Community, and Student Engagement are often good places to start.
  • The likely outcome of an AC meeting is to develop a plan to support you in your current housing situation. Suggestions may include:
    • Informal mediation between you and your roommate(s) or fellow residents
    • Formal mediation and/or Honor Council support
    • Referrals to on-campus resources
    • Follow-up meetings and/or check-ins from your AC and/or HA
    • Keep in mind that ACs may not be aware of what vacancies are available, and will not be able to discuss particular housing options with you.
  • If it is determined that there are extenuating circumstances, the request may be directed to an Assistant Director for further consideration, keeping in mind that there may or may not be alternate accommodations available.

  • If you at this point determine you want to be considered for a room change, please fill out this Google Form so we can begin to determine if we have availability and what options are possible.

What happens once my request is approved?

  • The AC or an Assistant Director will manage the processing of your room change and can explore housing options with you.
  • You will be given a 3-day window to move. Pick up a new key by the end of the third day. Your card swipe will be activated once you pick up your new key. You will no longer have access to your old building once you have moved.
  • Your original HA will complete your room inventory once you have finished moving. Please leave your old room in the condition you found it.
  • Make a point to connect with your new HA and introduce yourself to your new community

What if I decide I would like to break my housing or board contract entirely?

If you would like to break your contract, learn more about petitions.