In Summary

Arguments. Whereas some say it is fun since it is a way of sharing costs, others think is inconveniencing because there is no privacy, writes Sarah Aanyu.

At campus, there is always that one room that is open to everyone and people feel comfortable staying in it even in the absence of the owners.
In most cases this kind of room belongs to roommates with common friends.
Sharon Peace Amoding, a third year student at Makerere University Business School, says in first year, she met an old girl who they became close with and she always went to her room. They were later joined by the other old girls.
“We actually used to go to her room because we had soap operas that we used to follow and never wanted to miss. But it was unfortunate that both the TV and decoder were owned by her roommate who never liked our presence in the room,” says Amoding.

She says there were moments when the roommate kept changing the TV stations and they pretended to like everything she changed to.
“With time she realised we always watched it in her absence so she started carrying the cables to wherever she went. But we improvised, something that made her start carrying her decoder and that was the end of the enjoyment,” she says.
With the discomfort she had, Amoding says, the girl decided to move out of the room and go to a single room which suited her because she never liked being among people who were not her tribemates.

Common friends
On the other hand, Sylvia Ainomugisa, a first year student at Kyambogo University, says it is fun, especially when all of you are friends because there are a lot of costs shared, which makes life easier for everyone.
She says her room is of that kind and the best part is that she shares a room with her best friend.
“Usually, there is time for everything, such as we can watch TV, discuss some topics and gossip a little bit. But people that eat food that is cooked from our room are those who have contributed in one way or the other, which is known to all of them,” says Ainomugisa.

She says most friends who frequent her room do keep food stuffs there because they leave for their rooms very late, yet they do almost everything there.

But Ainomugisa says there is a downside to it too. Sometimes your belongings go missing and you also run out of stuff that could have taken you for a whole semester.
Mutual understanding
Anselm Opio, an engineering student at Makerere University, says he has no problem with people visiting their room, but they should have limits and respect.

“I do not tolerate people who come to our room to pass time and make noise because I only get to rest when in my room. I at times read from the room, so a person should be in check of their conduct when in the room,” says Opio, adding that once he feels like not having anyone inside the room, he requests his roommate not to come along with his friends, or vice versa.
Opio says mutual understanding starts when roommates respect each other, because with that the two can always sit and discuss without hindrances.
Although, he adds, if it were up to him he would live in a single room because of the nature of his course that requires a lot of reading which sometimes makes him deprive his roommate of the right to enjoy.

Opting for single room
Azam Kalema, a custodian at Lavante Hostel in Kikoni, says it is up to the roommates to decide on what their room should be because these are two consenting adults.
“We as custodians only get involved when one party complains and this we do by either talking to the one inconveniencing the friend, or finding another room for the one complaining,” says Kalema, adding that at worst the one complaining can be advised to pay for a single room.

Abdul Kawalya, a rental owner in Kiswa near Mubs, says there is no way he can censor the number of people in a room because once one has paid, then the room belongs to them and they can decide on what their room will become.
He says the only rule he has is people should be back and non-residents should leave the premises by midnight.
But he adds that things to do with campusers are complex and he feels them having friends around is actually good because their safety is guaranteed.