Facebook can have an effect on finding a roommate


Sean Faska, a freshman electronic media major and Joel Shaver, a sophomore aeronautics major, sit inside their dorm on March 7. The two used Facebook to get to know one another before moving in. Photo by Jacob Byk.

Alyssa Morlacci

Wanted: A college student who is clean, intelligent, and funny with my identical interests, an open schedule and a car.

Finding the perfect roommate is difficult. Before Fall 2011, Joel Shaver, now a sophomore aeronautics major, wondered the same thing every first-year student does: Who is going to be my roommate?

Shaver found his roommate on Facebook and now they “basically do everything together.”

“After the first week or two I knew it was perfect,” Shaver said. “I think I really got lucky because I don’t think I could have got a better roommate.”

Shaver and roommate Sean Faska, freshman electronic media major, found each other using the a Facebook application called RoomSync.

Daniel Shonk, Residence Services assignments and marketing coordinator, said incoming freshmen were the first to use the RoomSync, formerly RoomBug, and Residence Services is “excited to be working with them again this year.”

Residence Services sends invitations to incoming students so they can use the Facebook application. It asks students questions about their personality and visitor preferences in order to match them with students who have similar answers.

“Facebook is just out there,” Shonk said. “That is one of the main ways that we know roommates, once they’re assigned a room, get in contact with each other.”

Shonk said he believes using Facebook allows students a level of connection that isn’t available to them through the housing assignment process.

“I think that in finding your roommate on Facebook, you’re able to find someone who is going to be a match with you more than … before,” Shonk said. “It creates a quicker ability for students to start talking with their roommate.”

While finding a roommate on Facebook works for some students, others aren’t as successful.

Ashley Smith, sophomore early childhood education major, found her first roommate freshman year on the ‘class of 2014’ Facebook page and it ended up a “big disaster.”

“She moved in before me,” Smith said. “She was an only child and had already claimed three-fourths of the room to herself. So, that was issue No. 1.”

Smith said after asking her roommate repeatedly to close the windows and not let visitors sit on her bed, she was ready to move out.

“I told her I was moving into a new room,” Smith said. “That night, as I was packing up my stuff, I noticed that she started packing her stuff up.”

Smith’s roommate talked to the residence hall director and moved with Smith into the new room.

“I went into the new room and she had put all of her stuff in the closet that I had told her I was specifically taking,” Smith said. “We literally didn’t talk for probably three weeks after that.”

Smith said if she would have asked the right questions before sending in her roommate requests, she probably would have kept looking for someone else and maybe had more success.

“It was never questions of, ‘in this situation what would you do?’” Smith said. “It was more of just, ‘what’s your dog’s name, what’s your cat’s name?’”

This year Smith had an assigned roommate and said she “ended up being a terrible roommate as well.”

“This roommate was like, ‘I am going to wake up at seven o’clock in the morning and turn on all the lights and the hair dryer and use the microwave 12 times and have no boundaries or respect for anything,’” Smith said. “So, I had it enough where I was like, ‘I’m gonna live alone now.’”

Although Smith had unpleasant experiences, Shonk said he believes both methods have the potential for success.

“I don’t feel that one is more effective over the other, it’s more so what the individual student is looking for,” Shonk said. “Some students are fine with being assigned a roommate through the housing assignment process. Other students want to have the control over picking their own roommate. Both work.”

Contact Alyssa Morlacci at [email protected].