Save Yourself Roommate Horror Stories With Bed-for-Bed

Can’t put up with your roomies? Bed-for-Bed might be the solution.

The turnstile in which students swipe into their NYU dorms. NYU's Bed-for-Bed Exchange Forum helps students move into a difference room or dorm, even during the middle of the semester. (Staff Photo by Ishaan Parmar)

Roommate horror stories can make you laugh in hindsight, but reliving them every day isn’t as funny. Luckily, NYU offers a solution: the Bed-for-Bed Exchange Forum. This program gives students the chance to swap beds with others who are unhappy with their living situation. Those who have used it say it has its ups and downs.

Once you opt into it on your housing portal, your name, room and email will go up on the listings. If two students are in agreement about a room exchange, the confirmation process typically takes only a couple of days, a significant improvement from the three-week wait required two years ago. However, the forum is not without its downsides.

“It was easy to use, but it was tough to find a room,” said CAS first-year Connor Kelly. “Everyone tries to look for something else so if your room isn’t what they are looking for they’ll just stop talking to you.”

Kelly was attempting to switch dorms within his building, Lipton Residence Hall, so he endured a long wait before finding his new room. Nevertheless, he is now happily living in the same building with two new roommates.

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“Just be patient,” Kelly said. “Most days you’re not gonna get an email or anything but you just have to look for it every week and try to stay in contact with people [whose room] you’re interested in.”

Kelly’s decision to switch stemmed from his cultural differences with his original roomie, but Steinhardt first-year Megan Abbanat used the forum to maintain her physical health. In her first month at NYU, her roommate left a cake in their fridge for three weeks.

Finally, after a heated argument about hygiene with the whole suite, Abbanat had enough. Fortunately, in contrast to Kelly’s lengthy wait time, Abbanat’s request to move out was approved 24 hours after she found a new roommate on the same floor of Brittany Residence Hall. Abbanat found that her new roomies were a much better match and felt thoroughly satisfied with the Bed-For-Bed system.

“[The forum] even lists the room rate difference,” Abbanat said. “It definitely lists more information than I thought it would. I guess they wanted me to be fully informed.”

Steinhardt junior Christopher Hung, however, felt that the forum could do a better job informing users about the rooms they’re getting. It also does not allow users to share photos of their rooms on the site, making it hard for students to get an accurate idea of their potential new digs.

“You don’t get to know the full details of the room you are switching into,” Hung said. “One thing I didn’t know was how small the [new] room is, which is a big concern. I figured it out but it is something that I wish I would have known.”

In addition to the lack of information, Hung experienced communication problems as the student he was trying to switch rooms with was not email-savvy.

“If the forum had an easy messaging system, we wouldn’t have to disclose our emails either,” Hung said. “It would just be easier.”

Students say the Bed-For-Bed forum could benefit from some improvements, but it still serves its purpose for those desperate to find new roommates. If you fall into that group, happy hunting!

A version of this article appears in the Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 print edition. Email Alex Tran at [email protected]

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