Fresh@news is an e-newsletter created for the family of the Class of 2022! We're here to help you navigate your first year at Villanova University. Over the year we will share stories and information tailored to provide you with important dates and deadlines, connect you to campus life, and inform you of important Villanova news.



  • Interview with Kelly Dougherty, Assistant Director for Housing Services
  • In the Spotlight: Fraternity and Sorority Life Recruitment
  • Mark your Calendar!
Our interview with Kelly Dougherty, Assistant Director for Housing Services, will help us understand some of the ways to support your son or daughter when issues arise in their Residence Hall. Most of the experiences in the halls will be positive, but there are occasional challenges students face and there are resources on campus to be helpful in those situations.
Describe your role within Residence Life.

I am the Assistant Director for Housing Services.  Within that role, a majority of my responsibilities center on overseeing our processes for managing roommate conflicts and room changes. I work with our Residence Life student and professional staff on addressing roommate conflicts, training in mediation, and working to process room changes when we are able to accommodate requests.

What are some typical concerns that students have about living on campus BEFORE they arrive?

I think it is normal for first year students to have a number of different concerns or anxieties prior to starting college: being away from home for the first time, sharing a room for the first time, making connections and finding friends. With the current size of our freshmen class, I know that there are students that also have concerns with living in a triple and navigating that sharing of space with not one, but two other students.

Now that they are here for a few weeks, are those concerns a reality or have they dissipated?

I think that there are a select few students whose concerns may become a reality, but for the most part these concerns tend to dissipate.  Most of the students seem to adjust quickly to sharing a bathroom, navigating campus, being in tight living space, especially those in triple rooms.  I think where some students tend to struggle is when roommate relationships don’t exactly live up to their expectations. Students and their roommates may come to realize that they don’t share a lot in common. I think it’s important to remember that is OKAY!  It doesn’t make them bad roommates. There are plenty of other opportunities to get connected and make those close friendships our incoming students are hoping for: through different organizations, community events in the halls, and just meeting your neighbors. In my experience some of the best roommate relationships I have seen are those who live well together, can communicate their expectations, respect each other, and also have lives independent of one another outside of the room.

What are the top few pressing concerns of sharing a space?

Sharing a space can be a challenge and that always seems to be the most pressing concern in the beginning.  Learning how to navigate someone else’s (or two other people’s) study/sleep/life habits while still making sure your own needs are being met is not always an easy feat. What’s important to remember is that they shouldn’t be looking to resolve these situations by “winning”.  Living with someone and sharing a space can’t work if each student is trying to make sure they get what they want. Compromising and finding creative ways to utilize the space given is definitely key. I always tell my students that compromising is not about one person giving and one person taking.  Instead, it is about all parties giving a little and taking a little.  While the solution may not be exactly what you wanted, it may be something you are comfortable with and can adjust to. Another important factor to remember is not to gossip about others to others. Students should address their concerns directly with the person sooner rather than later, so as not to let their feelings build up over time.

What should students do if they have an issue within the room?

First and foremost it is important for the students to think about what their specific concerns are and how they can approach this conversation with their roommate.  I understand that sometimes students are hesitant to bring up a concern for fear of “rocking the boat.” Communicating an issue or something that has become a challenge is 10% what you say and 90% how you say it.  It’s important for students to think about how they would like to be approached if someone had a similar problem with them.  We also offer support from our RAs and professional staff.  If your student is having a tough time navigating that kind of conversation, don’t be afraid to ask for help! That’s what we are here for!

If a student approaches my child with a concern about the room, how I can support my child?

The second part of having an open dialogue is responding.  How one responds when they are approached with a difficult topic can also dictate how the conversation goes.  If someone is respectfully bringing up an issue that has been on their mind, responding in a defensive manner does not give way to a productive conversation.  I understand that it may not always be easy to have a concern brought to our attention, it’s important to remember that addressing one another in a respectful way and focusing the conversation on the actual behaviors (or what is not working) instead of attacking a person, allows the individuals to work toward finding a solution.

How can parents help their student be successful in building positive relationships within and outside of the halls?

I think the biggest way that a parent can be support is by encouraging your student to be an advocate for themselves.  Letting them know that having a conversation with their roommates, friends, or peers does not have to be negative – instead it’s an opportunity for learning and growth.  Another way to offer your support is by talking openly with your student about the importance of recognizing both sides to every story, and helping your student be an active part of the solution. Remember you are hearing one side of the story, and asking questions might help you understand more about the situation. Perhaps asking “What has led you to believe that they feel this way?” or “What do you think is their perspective on the situation in the room?” will help open the conversation to both you and your child understanding how to best handle the situation. I would also say that parents can encourage their students to seek out resources when they are having trouble communicating with their roommates.  They are always welcome to reach out to their RAs, Area Coordinators, or me in the Office of Residence Life.  We want our students to have successful relationships while here at Villanova and are happy to help!


First Year Students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority can participate in the recruitment process during the Spring 2019 semester. This is a formal process in which Villanova’s affiliated fraternity and sorority organizations select new members. Please note that NO approved recruitment, pledging, rushing, etc. takes place for first-year students before the spring semester.

A letter will be sent home in the next few weeks outlining specific dates with detailed information about the recruitment process for men and women. If your son or daughter is interested, encourage them to learn as much as possible and ask questions about the various groups, recruitment and/or intake processes, and expectations of membership before joining, so they can make informed decisions.
Please visit the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life website for more information.

The University is aware of potential illegitimate, “underground” organizations that are not affiliated with or approved by the University. The University strictly prohibits the operation of any underground organizations, and students found in violation may face significant sanctions under the Code of Student Conduct, up to and including suspension or expulsion. If you have any concerns or information related to non-affiliated organizations, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately.  


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