Woman Sues College over Roommate Having Sex

Lindsay Blankmeyer of New York leveled a lawsuit against her former school, Stonehill College, because she believes that administrators of the Boston-based institution could have done more to help her after complaints about her roommate’s sex life were not dealt with to her satisfaction.

Blankmeyer claims that she dealt with depression and ADD before she attended Stonehill, a Roman Catholic college, but that her symptoms increased until she felt like committing suicide because she was not moved away from the situation. According to Blankmeyer, her roommate engaged in sexual activities with her boyfriend despite Blankmeyer’s presence in the space at the same time, as well as the relatively small size of their dorm room. Blankmeyer also complained that her roommate took part in sexualized video chats while Blankmeyer was present.

When the school did not act sufficiently with her wishes, either by forcing the roommate out or by moving Blankmeyer into a single room, she claims that she was forced to move into a hotel. Her lawsuit describes the deeper depression that she succumbed to during and after the incident and how it led her to contemplate suicide. Eventually, according to the lawsuit, Blankmeyer required extreme psychiatric and medical attention.

By fall of 2011, Blankmeyer had finished her degree at her New York residence. Like so many other students who complete their degrees via a school that allows for distance learning, such as those students pursuing online MBA degree programs, Blankmeyer may have been able to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities despite a stressful situation.

The lawsuit does not specify the amount of damages.

A spokesperson for Stonehill has reported that college officials responded quickly and with professional decorum to deal with Blankmeyer’s complaints. The first step the school took was to practice conflict resolution strategies with the director of residences, and when that failed, Stonehill offered Blankmeyer the opportunity to move into a private room. However, according to the Stonehill rep, Blankmeyer never specified that her complaints were related to her roommate’s sexual proclivities.

Blankmeyer’s lawsuit claims that she was offered two options: to live in a small room that had been used before as a student lounge, or to move into a “party dorm” with someone whom Blankmeyer was unfamiliar.

For any students suffering from depression or anxiety, it is important to get help immediately. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a school counselor or taking medication, you should practice deep breathing techniques if you find yourself in a situation that causes you to panic. Take a step back and begin breathing slowly and evenly: in through the nose and then out through the mouth, counting down from ten. If you feel that you may suffer from seasonal depression, make sure to take daily vitamins, including Vitamin D. You may also find it helpful to install a lamp that simulates sunlight.

For Lindsay Blankmeyer, the dangers of depression were heightened by a stressful situation. Should she actually win her lawsuit, perhaps more schools will begin to regulate student behavior, including the ways that students who live in dorms will be paired with prospective roommates.

 

Comments

  1. stu says

    I would have expected this women to get her own suite and room and board for free….anything less would be …well…sexist!!

  2. Holly says

    I found this whole story hard to believe. First of all the woman seemed emotionally unstable to begin with. It does not say what type of degree she received but what is she going to do when she has to work with a difficult co-worker or see a Client that makes her feel insecure or depressed? Is she going to sue her employer? She obviously has serious mental issues and for that I am very sorry. Secondly, when did we turn into such wimps? The school offered “conflict resolution”! Her roommate was clearly violating the school rules (I am sure having sex (video or otherwise) in front of your roommate is not allowed under the school policy and should have been kicked out of the dorm and maybe out of the school. Of course if it was me, my approach would have been more direct and probably more effective. Take all of her stuff, through it out the window and change the locks!

  3. says

    I have to agree with Holly. I am thinking this girl was not emotionally or mentally equipped to be away from home and in school. The real world is even tougher and going around suing people really isn’t a solution when things don’t go the way you want them to. I wish the best for Ms. Blankmeyer.

  4. Pam@IW says

    I think I read somewhere that the room she was being moved to was really some type of a lounge situation. I am not quite sure why the roommate that was having sex in the room (if that is true) wasn’t the one that had to move. There is something more to this for sure. Legal action doesn’t seem to be the way this should have been resolved but I really don’t know all of the details.
    .
    Don’t they have some way to match roommates prior to the semester? I know when I went to college we were just placed with someone. It was hard to switch because first you had to find someone else that wasn’t happy and secondly you did not want to hurt your roommates feelings. I did want a different roommate but I waited until the end of they year and signed up with someone different for my second year. After that, I moved into apartments with other girls with similar interests.

  5. Jennie@IW says

    This is one of those stories where it’s hard to know who is in the right, depending on what version of events that you believe. I suppose that the plaintiff *might* have a case (I mean, I wouldn’t give her a bunch of money or anything) if her version is accurate. I don’t think the school is responsible for her prior mental health issues, but they are responsible for dealing with her roommate problems in a fair and equitable way. If she wasn’t clear on what her issues were at the time, then I can see the school being less concerned with accommodating her wishes. If the roommate did in fact have sex with her in the roommate, well, that’s just tacky. But even then, I think it was the plaintiff’s responsibility to tell her to knock it off before resorting to conflict resolution, leaving the school and lawsuits.

  6. Annon says

    As someone who both attended the college and was a prior roommate of the ‘offending’ roommate, I am extremely saddened over this case. This case is largely fabricated and the actual events embellished. Whether the roommate actually did engage in sexual intercourse with her boyfriend in person and via the internet while Blankmeyer was in the room is rather irrelevant to any college student. To be honest, colleges are not the polite and responsible environments that parents would like to make them out to be. With an abundance of alcohol and attractive coeds it is inevitable that situations like this will arise. Where you see students acting responsible is in their response to such behavior. Blankmeyer could have talked to her roommate about these issues, if they existed. She didn’t talk to her roommate about them and she didn’t report them to the school. Additionally, you pick your roommates after the first year at Stonehill. Blankmeyer opted to live with her roommate senior year. Her complaint to school officials never included mention of her roommates sexual life being an issue; what it did state was that the roommate stayed up late, with the lights on, talking with her boyfriend via Skype and that the roommate borrowed her belongs. The school did offer Blankmeyer two alternative housing solutions; however, she felt that she was entitled to better living situations than offered. For a school with a VERY limited number of single room options, the private room that was offered to her as a converted study lounge was truly the only single room that they could provide. I lived with two other roommates in one of these converted study lounges and can tell you that while it was very tight with three people and the respective furniture, it was just as large as any other dorm room on campus. She also was offered another room, but did not like the dorm that it was in. The school is very accommodating when roommate issues arise mid-semester. I switched roommates during a semester and the process took no more than a week from start of complaint to resolution. The fact that Blankmeyer had been hospitalized in her first year of college is also inadmissible. Clearly she is very emotionally fragile, given that her first hospital stay occurred during her first year at the school, a time when most students are feeling a big change from all things familiar. At the time of her complaint, she had begun the last semester of college and the last few months of being irresponsible in a predictable environment. To blame her own anxieties about graduation on her roommate and now to have tarnished her reputation as a sex crazed, inconsiderate woman is really immature. Part of the college experience is learning how to handle challenges in your life and become a functioning member of society. I think that the school should have held off on granting her a diploma because she clearly did not pass this aspect of her education. I also hope that Blankmeyer realizes that she has tarnished her own reputation and employers will be very hesitant to hire someone who sues as the first hiccup that she experiences.

    I apologize for the long comment, just wanted to shed some inside light on the situation. For a better understanding of the questionable roommate please read this: http://www.stonehill.edu/x23122.xml

  7. Jennie@IW says

    Annon, thanks for the info. A lot of what you say makes sense given what we know of the story already.

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