Tales of switching, staying

By Dana Netzel

Although new roommates can cause frustration and stress, many students develop friendships through the experience.

Most students switch roommates after their freshman year and stay with their second roommate for a couple of years, said Willard Draper, assistant housing director.

Another popular trend is for students to request each other as roommates and then switch to different rooms, Draper said. This situation occurs two out of three times a roommate request is granted, he said.

However, NIU juniors Amy Wicherts and Kris Stitzel are cousins and have been roommates for three years. “Our parents thought maybe it would not work,” Wicherts said, adding that as freshmen, they did not know anyone else.

NIU seniors Susan Allen and Melanie Fujii have been friends since seventh grade and roommates for three years. “We think almost exactly alike,” Allen said.

A good roommate is someone who is fun, considerate and “treats you like they would want to be treated,” she said.

Roommates also learn to help each other during hard times, Wicherts said.

If students do not request a certain roommate, they are paired according to the options they request, said NIU Housing Director Donald Buckner.

Sophomores Dave Andrews and Frank Ventrella were paired together their freshman year and became friends, so they are roommates this year, Ventrella said.

Sophomore Doug Feldmann and junior Nick Jones competed against each other in high school sports, but met again last year when they lived on the same floor in Douglas Hall. This year, they are roommates.