Whether you're new to campus or have lived in a residence hall before, there are always things that come up or adjustments that need to be made to make your experience as successful as possible. We hope you’ll find these tips helpful while settling into your home away from home. 

Roommates smile and unwind as they sit on the floor of their dorm room and color in coloring books.

Adjusting to Campus Housing 

Living in a dorm room can be one of the most rewarding AND challenging experiences in a student’s college career. Many college roommates become best friends and just as many do not. The college roommate experience will be positive if both roommates allow for open and honest communication. Roommates may be very different but that shouldn’t prevent them from getting along. To avoid conflict, discuss your roommate agreement and create some ground rules for living together. 

Get to Know Your Roommate 

  • Talk about ideas and feelings beyond "things." 
  • Be honest about your feelings, likes, and dislikes. 
  • Be willing to compromise but know which issues you will not compromise on and which ones you are willing to negotiate. 
  • Give your roommate the respect, consideration, and understanding you expect in return. 
  • Allow for conversations to take time and plan accordingly—right before you or your roommate need to leave for class may not be an ideal time. 
  • Only discuss roommate issues with your roommate or hall staff and not suitemates, floormates, or other friends (you may regret it later). 
  • Values, feelings, ideas, and even interests change, and that's OK! Don’t be upset or hurt when your roommate changes… you may end up doing the same! 
  • Create room and roommate expectations. Discuss what is and is not okay in the room. 

Roommates sit at their desks and smile as they laugh while hanging out in their dorm room.

Roommate Conflicts 

When a student is experiencing a conflict or problem with a roommate, we generally expect the student to first try to discuss the issue directly with their roommate. Residence Life views you as an adult and expects you to attempt to work problems out on your own. Do not be surprised if you go to your RA and are first asked if you have tried to work it out with your roommate on your own. We understand that living in a residence hall room can be one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences in a student’s college career. This is especially true for students who are in their first year of college or sharing a room with someone for the first time in their lives. In many cases, it is the parent who will hear about any roommate concerns first, often even before the student shares this concern with their roommate or staff member. 

Remember, your roommate is also adjusting to living with you. Be sure to get to know each other and develop open and honest communication with each other.

A student wearing a SEMO Football shirt, carries belongings to a room in Vandiver Hall.

Room Changes 

All room change requests should be made via the Residence Life Housing Portal during the designated room change request period. Requests will be evaluated based on space availability. If space is available, the student will receive information on their new assignment. Once the student receives the key to the new room, they have 72 hours to complete the move and return the key to their previous residence hall. Students who do not complete the move within the designated time may forfeit the new assignment. 

Directions to Complete a Room Change Request

  • Log into your “mySEMO portal” and search for the “StarRez Housing Portal”.
  • Once you have logged into the StarRez Housing Portal, click on the “Room Change Request Form” link on the portal’s banner.
  • You will be taken to a page that says, “Welcome to the Room Change Process”. From this page, you will need to click on the “Review Available Rooms” button to see rooms available to you. 
    • It is important to note that you must be accepted to the specific Special Interest Housing community to see the rooms within the community space. For example, I would need to be accepted into the Honors Learning Community to see rooms on the second floor of LaFerla Hall.
  • Once you are on the “Available Rooms” page, use the side menu to navigate to the desired building.
  • Follow the instructions on the “Room Change Request Form” page. You will need to select a building preference and a room number (or room type). You will also need to type the reason why you would like to switch rooms.  If you are hoping to room with a particular person, please list their name within the “Reason for Request/Comments” section.
  • When you are done selecting a building and room preference, click the “Save & Continue” button.  Your room change request will be sent to the appropriate Hall Director and you will receive an email confirming that your request was received.
  • The final step is to patiently wait for your hall director to review your request. It can take up to 2 weeks for your request to be processed.  You will receive an email if your request is approved or denied.

Floormates crowd on a couch in their floor lounge to take a group photo in Towers North. 

Safety and Security 

Southeast Missouri State University and the Office of Residence Life share each student, parent, and family member’s concern about safety. To assist with this critical issue, the University has taken great care in implementing safety and security measures throughout campus and residence halls. Students can only gain access to their residence hall using their University-issued key or keycard. All residence halls are locked 24 hours a day.

To ensure your safety, follow these basic safety tips:

  • Keep your room locked. 
  • Report suspicious or unfamiliar people to the Office of Residence Life or the University Police Department.
  • Do not leave personal property in lounges or other common areas unattended.
  • Do not prop open doors to your residence hall.
  • Register all guests.

 Missing Student Policy

Upon check-in, each residence hall student is required to provide emergency contact information. All residents under 18 years old must provide contact information for their parent or legal guardian. This information will be used if a student becomes missing or has a medical emergency. Students may update this information by contacting their Hall Director. 

Missing students may be reported to the University Police Department or any Residence Life staff member. Upon notification of a potential missing student, the Office of Residence Life, the Dean of Students Office, and the University Police will begin a joint investigation of the situation. Upon determination that a student is missing for more than 24 hours, the student's emergency contact will be notified. In the case that the missing person is under 18 years old, the parent or legal guardian will be notified.

For more information go to Campus Safety.

Towers Complex 102
Mailing Address

One University Plaza, MS 0055
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701