St. Stephens Community House has partnered with the University of Toronto to offer housing conflict coaching to the U of T community.
St. Stephen’s is a unique social service agency that works with individuals in Toronto to identify, prevent and alleviate social and economic inequality. Members of their team come to U of T twice a month to offer a workshop about conflict resolution and to provide individual drop-in advising to all students who wish to attend.
Graduate Conflict Resolution
If you are a graduate student at U of T, you can also connect with the Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre (Grad CRC) in taking steps to prevent and resolve conflict.
Grad students can speak confidentially with G2G (grad-to-grad) peer advisors who are trained in dispute resolution. For example, you might want to talk to a G2G about how to prepare for a difficult conversation, options for escalating a concern, or university supports for grad students. The G2G will not intervene or advocate – they will listen and help you to navigate your way forward.
Contact the Grad CRC directly to discuss early and effective conflict resolution strategies and opportunities for skills development.
All undergraduate and graduate students
This service is free and confidential.
Housing conflict coaching is delivered through scheduled workshops and/or drop-in advising appointments.
Professional mediators from St. Stephen’s House also offer private drop-in coaching sessions through Roommates & Landlords: Making It Work. You’ll gain:
- one-on-one support to help you manage and prevent issues
- skills to mediate and handle interpersonal conflict
- help building and maintaining positive relationships
- new approaches on how to communicate your needs
Considerations & Exceptions
Conflict is usually easily preventable through open and honest communication.
It can be useful to sit down with your roommate(s) before you move in to talk openly and honestly about your lifestyles and concerns. Communicating early on can prevent problems from arising.
- Discuss your family backgrounds, cultures and religious beliefs.
- Determine private and public spaces within the unit.
- Set permissible noise levels for study and social times.
- Address any security issues or concerns.
Some good questions to ask new roommates are:
- Are you willing to share food and/or personal belongings?
- Where will you store your belongings in the unit?
- Will visitors and/or overnight guests be allowed?
- When do you usually wake up and go to sleep?
- Who will be responsible for cleaning what?
Deal with minor issues as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming major conflicts.
If you are faced with conflict, here are some tips to help find a resolution that works for everybody:
- Remember to communicate openly and honestly.
- Avoid sarcasm and aggression – they can quickly make the situation worse.
- Allow others to talk without interruption.
- Take time to listen. Consider what others are saying, and try to understand the points they’re making.
- Be flexible and understanding, and respect the values and opinions of others.
- To resolve your conflict, try to find a compromise that satisfies everyone.