Questionable Roommate Pact: Pitt Student Forced into Lifetime Indentured Servitude

By Benjamin Adams

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Let’s face it: none of us take the time to read the terms and conditions. They are far too long, and far too boring. What could even be there, right? After all, terms and conditions are written by the kindest, most selfless people on the Earth—business executives and lawyers. We read the first sentence or two, sign and accept, and things turn out fine.

Many on-campus freshmen and sophomores, such as myself, approached their Roommate Pact in a similar, responsible way—we waited for our roommate to cave and just write the whole thing for us, and maybe gave a hearty thumbs-up before we proudly signed without reading it. After all, signing pretty much makes us Pact co-writers, and co means half, so we technically did, like, half the work. For most, this standard method causes no issue.

However, one freshman, Martin Campbell (age 18), ran into trouble after blindly signing an agreement written by his Sociology Major roommate Aldous Zingmann (age 19), who decided to take things one step further. Aldous had apparently snuck a 106 page-long contract into the Roommate Pact that apparently signed Martin into indentured servitude for the rest of his life. With his signature on the page, Martin is now legally bound to do the following and more: Shine Aldous’s shoes, wash Aldous’s feet, do Aldous’s homework, sing graceful lullabies, and tell really funny knock-knock jokes upon request. Should Martin refuse, he and his family might face over “one gazillion dollars” in fines over breach of contract. (Or something like that, we didn’t really read the terms and conditions either.)

After meeting with his lawyer (age 45), Martin has commented that he “tends to be unlucky” and “wouldn’t be surprised if this happens again”. He also confirmed that since he didn’t sign under duress, he has no legal grounds to dispute the contract. Martin explained that “the roommate agreement was just so long and so boring, I’m not even sure if my lawyer read it either.” In other news, Aldous’s crocs are shinier than ever.