Every college grad has a prized collection of roommate horror stories: I've heard tales of homophobic roommates, hoarders, and obsessive knife collectors. (Really. He displayed them on their wall, next to a dry-erase board.)
But Shasten Snellgroves, a junior at NYU, might win an award for Most Bizarre Roommate Issue Ever: she says the university is forcing her to share her dorm room with her roommate's four-year-old son.
NYU's sign-in policy allows visitors to spend unlimited days in one's room and sleep over six nights a month. That's great news for people in long distance relationships, but not so great news for those who suddenly find themselves rooming with toddlers.
According to NYU Local, when Snellgrove complained about the situation, a NYU employee "compared the situation to one roommate being uncomfortable with another having a homosexual partner stay the night."
Other details from her email:
In my contact with these directors, I very directly addressed how I feel extremely uncomfortable with the situation for many reasons. I am a student and I do not feel as though I should be subjected to this kind of living arrangement. How can I be a successful student with a four-year old running around my study/living space? Assuming this student isn't allowed to bring her son to class, why should student housing be any different?
Other questions were also raised as to who is responsible if this child manages to open the medicine cabinet and overdose on my medication or ingests cleaning substances? What is the child slips in the hallway or bathtub and sustains a serious injury? Who is going to stop the child from opening the refrigerator and drinking my bottle of wine? I now have to change the way I live my life due to the fact that a child will be a frequent guest in the apartment?
Snellgroves says she understands "the new resident's predicament and I am sympathetic to her struggle to juggle so many aspects of life, but I don't feel that it is just for me to be facing consequences related to her life decisions." I've gotten mad at housemates for adopting cats without letting me know (I'm allergic! And kind of hate cats!), so I can't say I blame her. If you're rooming with a little kid, you're automatically partially responsible for their safety; that's not okay. And wouldn't the mother rather have a single room than share a tiny space with one other person besides her son? Can't NYU get her a single, or a roommate who doesn't mind taking on such a heavy responsibility? What would Felicity do?