How to Confront a Bad Roommate


Ah, bad roommates. At some point in our lives, we will probably all have a bad roommate. It will either be our friend that we never imagined was so messy, the relative that has an unbelievable disregard for privacy or the stranger that moved in when we were completely desperate. Either way, every roommate cannot be perfect, so when things get to be too unlivable, it becomes necessary to confront the other person. Of course there is a right and a wrong way to do this, and the wrong way can make things much, much worse (if that’s even possible), so here are some tips to make this more of a friendly discussion than a confrontation:

1.) Pick the right place and time. Don’t bombard your roommate at 2:00 in the morning just as they walk in the door from an all-night study session during finals week. Instead, schedule a time in the future to talk about the issues. And don’t worry about keeping it all secretive; chances are your roommate knows you both need to talk too. A good idea is to schedule it for a time when the both of you can relax, like Friday night after you both get home from work. That’ll give you the chance to talk things through and then even go out for a beer afterward.

2.) Say what you need to say. There is no point in having this discussion if you just casually browse over your points. If you’re upset about something, you need to address it. Otherwise, they might not even know it’s a problem, will keep doing it, and this meeting will have been completely useless. If you need to make a list, do that; just so long as you find a way to say what you need to say.

3.) Listen. Every story has too sides. Maybe they never load the dishwasher because they have no idea how a dishwasher works. No matter how silly it may sound, you have no idea what their backstory may be. Allow them a chance to explain their behavior, and then don’t get defensive if they have a few problems with your behavior as well. You’re not perfect either, you know.

4.) Be ready to compromise. Living with another person means you aren’t always going to get your way. However, you both can meet in the middle, so be ready to give a little bit in one area in order to get a little in another.

5.) Plan something for after. Some talks are better ended when each person goes their separate way for a night (which is completely understandable) and some conversations are best ended when each roommate goes out for a beer and gets over the whole thing. Planning for something to do will give you a way out either way, you just have to choose whether or not to invite them after your talk.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at!


How to Protect Yourself While on the Road

When it comes to college, there a few things that are assumed: you won’t be getting much sleep in the next few years, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for home-cooked meals, and you’re probably going to be spending a decent amount of time on the road. The fact is, college students are constantly driving home for holidays, long weekends, school breaks and various other reasons, like being homesick or visiting their significant other. So considering how much time a student will spend traveling, it’s important to make sure they’re being safe in the process.

1.) Be realistic. Believe me, I completely understand the, “If I leave right now I’ll be pulling in around 9:00 tomorrow morning…” mentality. I’ve been there, as I reasoned with myself to make the 12 hour drive to Seattle after a day of classes in Montana. The truth it, this is incredibly dangerous! No amount of redbull is going to keep you safe on the road when you haven’t slept in 26 hours. Your reflexes, perception and judgement are all negatively affected, putting you in a situation for disaster.

2.) Plan your route. It can be tempting to just drive off into the sunset toward your destination, especially with all the GPS devices we have built into most cars or phones. Planning your trip should give you an idea of what kind of weather to expect, which routes to take to avoid heavy construction and what you’re going to need for gas money. Plus, before you go decide what route you’re going to take and tell someone about it: your roommate, your parents, etc. That way, if something goes wrong everyone know exactly which route to start searching first.

3.) Don’t be afraid to rest. There is nothing wrong with pulling over to take a quick nap. Sure, a truck-stop or empty Walmart parking lot isn’t ideal, but driving with a bobbing head is just asking for trouble. Even a quick 30 minutes will leave you feeling refreshed enough to make it to a hotel if you have to.

An even better idea: bring someone along with you and switch off! Sharing driving duties is a great way to stay safe as well as kill hours of time.

4.) Pack some food and water. Of course you’re going to need some snacks to keep yourself alert, but it’s also nice to know if you get stranded with a flat tire you won’t be completely starving.

5.) Give your car a checkup. Speaking of breaking down on the side of the road, make sure you bring your car in to get inspected before a long trip. You’ll want to make sure you’re not due for an oil change when you hit the road, and other things (headlights, wipers, signals, brakes, etc.) are all working properly. In addition, having a traveler’s road safety kit and packing the right equipment to change a spare tire as well as some jumper cables is essential.

6.) Have some kind of protective gear. You never know when you might need it, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So carrying a bottle of pepper spray or a personal alarm couldn’t hurt. Plus, it would definitely make you feel better should you have to pull over at a truck stop for a quick break.

4.) Leave the boos at home, stay off your cell phone and wear your seatbelt. Just do it. ‘Nuff said. adds entire line of College Dorm Trunks to it’s online store

These college dorm trunks are really well made. Their hand-crafted college dorm trunk is constructed from the highest quality components. They have a waterproof, dentproof, scratchproof exterior 1000d Cordura sheathing that’s laminated over 3/8″ Baltic Birch hardwood plywood. They are stocked in 18 colors and weigh about 20% less than steel trunks. They not only are just as strong as steel trunks, but are actually more durable. Our trunks are conveniently sized and ruggedly built. They’re strong enough to stand on and are easily stowed and can be securely locked to insure the safety of personal items.

They also offer really useful accessories like removable wheels and a wooden tray that fits inside the dorm trunk. They even have an engraved nameplate you can purchase.

Purple College Dorm Trunk

Virginia Tech mock dorm burn highlights fire safety

New Wireless Alarm for Dorms and Off Campus Apartments has just added a new product to it’s site. It’s a wireless alarm system that is perfect for off campus apartments. It sets up in under an hour and can be expanded to add as many wireless sensors for windows and doors as you might need. Be sure to check out the link here: Wireless Apartment Alarm

Along with the pepper sprays, mace, dorm safes and the hundred other products they sell, this alarm is worth checking out. Whatever you need on campus, this site seems to have it!

Professor Said to Be Charged After 3 Are Killed in Alabama: NY Times

Published: February 12, 2010

Three faculty members at the University of Alabama in Huntsville were shot to death, and three other people were seriously wounded at a biology faculty meeting on Friday afternoon, university officials said.

A woman is taken into custody by Huntsville police on Friday in connection with the shootings.
The New York Times

The Associated Press reported that a biology professor, identified as Amy Bishop, was charged with murder.

According to a faculty member, the professor had applied for tenure, been turned down, and appealed the decision. She learned on Friday that she had been denied once again.

The newspaper identified Dr. Bishop as a Harvard-educated neuroscientist. According to a 2006 profile in the newspaper, Dr. Bishop invented a portable cell growth incubator with her husband, Jim Anderson. Police officials said that Mr. Anderson was being detained, but they did not call him a suspect.

Photographs of a suspect being led from the scene by the police appeared to match images of Dr. Bishop on academic and technology Web sites.

Dr. Bishop had told acquaintances recently that she was worried about getting tenure, said a business associate who met her at a business technology open house at the end of January and asked not to be named because of the close-knit nature of the science community in Huntsville.

“She began to talk about her problems getting tenure in a very forceful and animated way, saying it was unfair,” the associate said, referring to a conversation in which she blamed specific colleagues for her problems.

“She seemed to be one of these persons who was just very open with her feelings,” he said. “A very smart, intense person who had a variety of opinions on issues.”

The shooting occurred in the Shelby Center at the university around 4 p.m., officials said. Few students were in the building, and none were involved in the shooting, said Ray Garner, a university spokesman.

Officials said the dead were all biology professors, G. K. Podila, the department’s chairman; Maria Ragland Davis; and Adriel D. Johnson Sr. Two other biology professors, Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera and Joseph G. Leahy, as well as a professor’s assistant, Stephanie Monticciolo, are at Huntsville Hospital in conditions ranging from stable to critical.

Officials said the suspect was detained outside of the building “without incident.” The police said a weapon had not been recovered.

Andrew Ols, a senior at the university, said he had been in a biology lab in the Shelby Center less than five minutes before the shooting began. “Now that we realize that it was a faculty person that committed the crime, no students were injured and no students were targeted or anything like that, there’s more shock than there is fear,” he said.

The shooting came just a week after a middle school student near Huntsville shot and killed a classmate.

“This is a very safe campus,” Mr. Garner said. “It’s not unlike what we experienced a week ago. This town is not accustomed to shootings and having multiple dead.”

Nick Zivkovic, a senior, was filling his gas tank around 4 p.m. after finishing a lab in the Shelby Center. “Next thing I know, 40 to 50 police cars are flying by,” he said. Back at the building, emergency vehicles created an “ocean of lights” as police with SWAT gear and automatic weapons stormed into the building. A registered first responder, Mr. Zivkovic passed out blankets and tried to comfort the evacuated students who were trembling and mumbling in the parking lot.

“You just try to hand them some hot chocolate,” he said.

The university was put on lockdown “almost instantaneously,” said Trent Willis, chief of staff to Mayor Tommy Battle. But some students complained on Twitter and to reporters that they did not receive the university’s alert until hours after the shooting.

“The U-Alert was triggered late because the people involved in activating that system were involved in responding to the shooting,” said Charles Gailes, chief of the university police, at a news conference.

“We’re going to stop, we’re going to sit down, we’re going to review what happened,” Mr. Gailes said. “All of these actions are going to be learning points, and we’re going to be better for this.”

Erin Johnson, a sophomore, told The Huntsville Times that a biology faculty meeting was under way when she heard screams coming from the room.

According to the 2006 profile, Dr. Bishop and her husband tired of using old-fashioned petri dishes for cell incubation and designed a sealed, self-contained mobile cell incubation system. The system was described as reducing many of the problems with cultivating tissues in the fragile environment of the petri dish. The system was later marketed by Prodigy Biosystems, which raised $1.2 million in capital financing after winning third place in an Alabama technology competition.

Robbie Brown contributed reporting from Atlanta.

3 killed in Alabama university shooting

February 12, 2010 5:29 p.m. EST
* At least one hurt in shooting at University of Alabama in Huntsville
* Police say female shooter is in custody
* Authorities still searching campus’ Shelby Hall
(CNN) — Three people were killed and at least one was wounded Friday in a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a spokesman for the university said.

A female shooting suspect was in custody, said the spokesman, Ray Garner.

A spokeswoman for Huntsville Hospital said it had received three patients in critical condition from the shooting.

Trent Willis, chief of staff to Mayor Tommy Battle, said the incident occurred about 4:15 p.m. in Shelby Hall, which police were still searching.

“We do have some witnesses,” he said.

The 6-year-old, $60 million facility houses the Chemistry Department and is named for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama and his wife, Dr. Annette Shelby.