You can create a friendly relationship with your neighbors by following a few guidelines:
For more information you can read the Party Policies in The Logger Student Handbook, or the Party Planning Guide from the Substance Abuse Prevention Advisory Committee. You can also view the Tacoma Municipal Code online. In particular, see Volume II, Title 8, chapter 12, section 60 for information about public disturbances and noise levels.
The following is a very brief summary of the university's neighbor complaint policy. Please refer to the Policy for University Response to Neighbor Complaints in The Logger Student Handbook for more detailed information.
While the university treats off-campus students as private citizens responsible for their own behavior, they also reserve the right to discipline students for seriously or chronically offensive behavior off-campus that violates university policy, or harms the reputation of the university. All complaints received should be referred to the Community Relations Coordinator. Generally, neighbors will be expected to have talked to students about their concerns before the complaint process will be initiated. The university will not contact landlords on behalf of neighbors and will not be the source of landlord names or contact information.
If you've ever shared a room with a sibling or roommate, you know that communication and expectations are important to developing and maintaining a good relationship. This is even more critical when you add the factors that come with living off campus, including the legal responsibility of signing a lease together, dividing household chores, and paying bills.
Negotiating "house rules" early on can help to head off problems that might develop later. As official or corny as it may sound, scheduling a house meeting and developing a written agreement can help to head off problems that could develop later on. Clear communication and compromise are essential to negotiating a successful agreement, so don't be afraid to voice your feelings in a respectful way. The following topics should be a part of your discussion:
As the year goes by, you may need to revisit the agreement, particularly if you and your housemates find that some things aren't working well. For this kind of discussion schedule a convenient, agreed-upon time. Don't start the conversation as someone is on his/her way out the door. Don't tiptoe around issues - be respectful and direct. Use the written agreement as a basis for the conversation, and revise it if necessary.
Consider setting aside time each week or month for housemate bonding, particularly if classes and activities keep people on campus for much of the time. These times can be good for relieving stress and reconnecting with one another. They also make it possible for regular discussions about how things are going in the house, rather than waiting for any tension or frustration to build!