Housemate/Roommate Discussion Guide

The spring 2021 semester brings its own unique challenges as we work as a community to remain open for a residential learning experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a student living off-campus, you may have questions about how best to address through thoughts on living with a roommate or housemate.

This guide is designed to assist you in engaging your housemates/roommates in conversations that are important as you live together this year. You are encouraged to discuss these topics early during your living experience and as needed as situations and state and University guidance and expectations change. If you have not discussed these items yet, now is the time to raise them with your housemates/roommates. If you are not sure how to do so, contact our staff at or via phone at 315.443.3893 and we can assist you in learning how to begin such conversations.

Social Distancing and Face Masks

  • When do we feel the need to wear a face mask in our living space?
  • How will we practice social distancing in our house/apartment?
  • Will we use reusable or disposable face masks? If reusable, are we cleaning them on a regular basis? If disposable, how will we ensure we do not run out?
  • Will you role model proper wearing of face masks and social distancing for your neighbors?
  • If a roommate does not agree to have guests over, will you agree to that?
  • If you agree to have guests over, but either the guests or your housemates/roommates do not adhere to social distancing, will you address it? Will you be open to others addressing it with you if you are the one not adhering to social distancing?

Guests and Gatherings

  • Do you hope to have individuals visit you this semester?
  • How do you feel about your housemates/roommates having guests over to visit?
  • Understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic situation can change at any moment, are comfortable raising new concerns as the semester progresses even if you did not have those concerns previously? That is, perhaps you were comfortable with your housemates/roommates guests visiting early in the semester, but if the number of students or people in Onondaga County infected with COVID-19 increase, are you comfortable bringing the idea of guests up for discussion with your housemates/roommates again?
  • If you have guests over to your residence, how will you create social distancing? Will you need to move furniture locations? Will you address social distancing expectations with guests and housemates/roommates?
  • If you want to have guests and a housemate/roommate does not (or vice versa), how will you discuss it and resolve the situation?


  • How will you and your housemates/roommates clean your living space? Does the presence of COVID-19 change your cleaning schedule or style?
  • If one of your housemates/roommates is not doing their part to keep that living area clean, how will it be addressed?
  • How often do you engage in handwashing?
  • Do we have a supply of hand soap, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies? How will we ensure we maintain a good supply of these items? Whose responsibility will it be to ensure we have these items?
  • If we receive packages, do we wipe them down before opening?

Shopping, Restaurants and Outside Activities

  • Are we comfortable going to stores to shop for items we need?
  • Will we use deliver services or shipping services for the items we need?
  • Are we comfortable going out to eat?
  • Do we agree to use face masks and engage in social distancing when we go out?
  • Do any of us have an outside job that could expose us to COVID-19? If so, what precautions are taken by the employer? What additional precautions will we take to promote our Safety?

COVID-19 Testing

  • Students are required by Syracuse University to be tested for COVID-19 every 7 days at the Stadium. Do we have a regular schedule to complete this?
  • How will we remind each other get tested?