Aug. 21, 2007, 6:01PM
Facebook can’t beat face time for new college roommates
By MONICA VON DOBENECK
Newhouse News Service
It’s one of the tidbits
“Before Facebook, it was probably a little more nerve-wracking,” he said.
Some college freshmen said they feel they’ll arrive on campus with ready-made groups of friends, thanks to Facebook, MySpace and other online social networking sites.
But there’s another side to it. College housing directors said they get calls from students or their parents asking for a change of roommates based on what they see online.
Tom Richardson, housing director at
“Some say their son or daughter doesn’t drink but it
looks like their roommate does,”
The college does not allow roommate changes until a couple of weeks after classes start because officials are not sure how many students will be coming to campus.
Besides, living with someone different “could be an
opportunity for growth,”
Robert Mikus, director of
residence life at
“Students or parents may have read something or seen a picture that gives them pause,” he said. “Our job is to teach how to deal with conflict. We try to hold firm, true to our calling as educators.
“You’d be amazed at how resilient your sons and daughters are.”
Diane Paul discovered an embellishment when her
daughter, Jillian, checked out a Web page of her roommate at
Paul met the roommate when she took Jillian to campus and said she was a “lovely, lovely girl,” if a little shy.
“I had no major angst,” Paul said. “I think this is not atypical.”
Paul said she thinks students should not post anything online that they would not want someone’s parent or future boss to see.
“What seems benign at 17 might be embarrassing later in life,” the new college student’s mom said.
Gardner, a graduate of
Lindsay Carroll, a high school graduate from Red
Lion heading to the
“My dad is not the type to do that,” she said. “I know parents who have Facebook (accounts), I assume to keep tabs on their kids.
“My dad laughs about helicopter parents. Some people are so controlling, and the reality is that people do drink and party at college.”
Carroll said she prefers to make judgments about people in person. She has contacted her future roommates and feels comfortable with them, but “I don’t feel I know them any better” because of Facebook, she said.
Michael Abendroth, a
He said he was able to get a sense of his roommate’s personality. “He seems like a pretty down-to-earth guy,” he said. “A little geeky but fun.”