Living with a crappy dorm roommate could drag down your GPA as well as your mood.
There is no shortage of research to prove roommate relations factor heavily into a student's overall sanity.
"Roommate peer effects are important influences in freshman year GPA and in decisions to join social organizations, Bruce Sacerdote, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, wrote in "Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates."
Another study out of the University of North Carolina found problems with roommates as one of the biggest stressors.
eCampus News reports:
Conflict with roommates has consistently ranked among the top five reasons students drop out of college. Schools that have used self-selecting online services have reported a 65-percent reduction in roommate conflicts, while 48 percent of residence hall staffers said conflicts were “less severe” after adopting the service.
Instead of trying to implement their own process to find incoming freshmen their best matchs, colleges are outsourcing the task to websites that approach the process similar to online dating.
Over the past few years, students at universities around the country have been filling out surveys on a website called Roomsurf to find their more compatible freshman dorm roommates. Rutgers University, Mount Ida College and other schools use a website called RoommateClick.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, one of the schools using RoomSync, said its research shows students who pick their freshman year roommate had a "significantly more successful in college and had a better overall college experience."
The Dunster House Murder
In 1995, Sinedu Tadesse, a Harvard junior from Ethiopia, stabbed her roommate, Vietnamese student Trang Phuong Ho, 45 times and then hanged herself in the Dunster House bathroom. The incident supposedly resulted from Sinedu's dependence on Ho. While Ho was popular and academically successful, Tadesse struggled in both areas. When Ho told Tadesse that she was going to room with someone else for her senior year, Tadesse purchased a hunting knife, sent a warning letter to the Harvard Crimson and then killed her friend and herself.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/tyler-clementi" target="_hplink">Dharun Ravi rigged his laptop</a> to spy on his rooommate Tyler Clementi. Clementi frequently asked to have the room for himself when he brought a friend over, and Ravi usually obliged by heading to hang with friends elsewhere. Ravi decided he wanted to find out what Clementi did when he had the dorm room to himself, so he set up his laptop so he could view through its webcam when he wasn't in the room, and caught Clementi kissing another man. Ravi tweeted about it and told friends how they could watch too. After Clementi discovered he had been spied on, he left a suicide note (which has not been disclosed to the public) and jumped off the George Washington bridge to his death. Ravi was convicted on invasion of privacy charges and sentenced to 30 days in jail with three years probation.
iMurder At Bowie State
Alexis D. Simpson, 19, a student at Bowie State University, was charged for fatally stabbing her roommate. The roommates lived in an apartment-style campus dormitory. They began fighting verbally over <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/16/bowie-state-stabbing-alex_n_966924.html" target="_hplink">playing music from an iPod</a> and it escalated into a physical confrontation. After Simpson was <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bowie-state-student-held-without-bond-in-death-of-roommate/2011/09/19/gIQAXuwUgK_story.html" target="_hplink">pushed into her bedroom</a> by someone else in the suite, she emerged with what appeared to be a knife and stabbed her roommate in the neck, according to court papers.
While American Amanda Knox was studying in Italy, her roommate, Meredith Kercher, an English exchange student, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Meredith_Kercher" target="_hplink">was murdered in their apartment</a>. The roommates in the apartment had come from different backgrounds and often smoked hashish, but the investigation into Kercher's death eventually focused on one roommate: Knox (along with her Italian boyfriend, Raffaelle Sollecito). However, after staying in jail for three years, Knox was acquitted of on her murder charge. Though acquitted, it was a dramatic living situation that caught international attention.
Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old Morgan State University student, admitted to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/alexander-kinyua-kujoe-agyei-kodie-ate-brain-heart-roommate-maryland_n_1560149.html?ref=college&ir=College" target="_hplink">murdering his roommate</a> Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, who was reported missing last Friday. Kinyua also admitted to devouring his roommate's brain and heart, according to police. Kinyua's father called police when Kinyua's brother reportedly found human remains -- a head and two hands -- in a metal tin in the basement. The brother and father left the room for a short time, but when they came back, the body parts had been moved and Kinyua was washing out the tin.
Sexiled At Stonehill
The AP <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/lindsay-blankmeyer-roommate-sex-lawsuit-_n_1316791.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> in March 2012, that a former student at Stonehill College was suing the school, claiming administrators didn't do enough to help her when she complained that her roommate was having too much sex in their dorm room. Lindsay Blankmeyer said in a federal lawsuit that she already suffered from depression and attention deficit disorder before she enrolled at Stonehill, but was driven into a suicidal depression when the school refused to help her escape her allegedly promiscuous roommate.
Natural Born Copy-cats
The Jacksonville Times-Union <a href="http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/071506/met_22335790.shtml" target="_hplink">reported</a> separate juries found a Jacksonville couple guilty ... of murdering their 22-year-old roommate, robbing him and then setting his body and apartment on fire -- crimes prosecutors say were mimicked after they watched the 1994 movie <em>Natural Born Killers</em>. <blockquote>Angus Wallen and Kara Winn, both 27, were tried separately and each convicted of first-degree murder, robbery and arson in the Dec. 18, 2004 crime. Separate juries for each defendant determined that Wallen and Winn shot Brandon Murphy, took his car, debit card, Nintendo games and other property and doused the body and the apartment with lighter fluid.</blockquote>
Janelle Henderson accused fellow University of Arizona student Galareka Harrison of stealing her student ID charge card, her social security card, some checks and $500 from her bank account. Prosecutors said Harrison spent days thinking about how to respond to Henderson's accusations. Her decision was to buy an eight-inch kitchen knife and use it to stab Henderson 23 times in the back and neck.
Joseph Hotz was allegedly under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms when he stabbed his Chadron State College roommate, Kennth Pfeiffer, to death. Police say he then committed a break-in several blocks from their house.