Sheila Sobchik

Late night study sessions, Backstage Pizza deliveries and movie nights.

Welcome to the dorms.

For freshmen, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will never be forgotten. It’s the home away from home, but what happens when Mom and Dad aren’t there to help anymore? That’s where the resident advisers come in. Find out what it’s really like for your RA to live with you on a daily basis.

6 a.m.

Veteran resident adviser Benji Borowiec, a computer engineering junior, hits the water with a splash for his first water polo practice of the day. After waking up before the sun, Borowiec knows he has a long day ahead of him.

As a college athlete, balancing classes, friends, practices and tournaments is not an easy task, but Borowiec throws another element into the mix. He is responsible for 33 college freshmen who live on his floor.

8 a.m.

Sprinting from the pool, Borowiec heads to his early morning class. Last year as an RA in Sierra Madre, he often had classes with his residents and other RAs that allowed him to form friendships in an academic setting and find some convenient study buddies.

“I had a lot in common with (my residents),” Borowiec said.

10 a.m.

With two hours of grueling practice and two hours of class behind him, Borowiec heads to a weekly meeting with his CSD. The meeting is meant to give Borowiec a chance to express any concerns or problems he has been having with residents and to plan programs and social events.

Last year Borowiec won the Outstanding Program of the Quarter and Best Alcohol Awareness Program awards for his “How Well Do You Know Your Roommate” game and root beer pong tournament that included facts about drinking under each cup.

“Getting residents to come to programs is hard but as the year progresses they come more often,” Borowiec said. “I really like trying to go all out.”


Borowiec takes a quick break for lunch with some residents before his next class. He’s happy to take advantage of his campus meal plan, part of his compensation for being an RA.

Room and board for the year is what the resident advisers get in return for working 20 to 25 hours per week. They get their own room in the hall as well.

3 p.m.

After attending his afternoon classes, Borowiec heads back to his room for an afternoon of studying.

“The majority of the day is homework and an occasional nap,” Borowiec said.

However, there are times when duty calls and Borowiec will have to put his studies to aside take care of a resident. Last year he had to call 911 three separate times for residents that had serious illnesses.

“It was really intense,” Borowiec said. “There probably won’t be as many 911 calls this year.”

6 p.m.

After finishing his homework for the day, Borowiec heads to dinner with some fellow RAs that he meant during training.

All resident advisers attend training for three weeks prior to the beginning of the school year where they learn how to properly deal with any potential problems, plan programs and interact with residents.

7 p.m.

Borowiec begins his first set of rounds for the night. He and the other RAs on duty walk the perimeter of the residence hall to make sure everything is in order.

“We look for anything obscene in windows or anything crazy going on,” Borowiec said.

On the nights he isn’t on duty, Borowiec attends a second water polo practice.

9 p.m.

Returning again to the residence halls, Borowiec sits in on the weekly staff meeting with all the RAs to discuss upcoming social events or programs and other issues that have arisen during the week.

10 p.m.

Leaving the weekly meeting (early if necessary,) Borowiec begins his second set of rounds, this time through the halls, shutting doors for quiet hours.

It takes about an hour to go through each hall, making sure that residents are keeping the noise down.


With the day gone, Borowiec ends his duty with one last set of rounds. Most of the residents are in their rooms asleep or studying so the rounds go quickly.

2 a.m.

On the weekends, Borowiec has an extra set of rounds to check for residents coming back late from a night out on the town.

He usually checks the bathrooms for any residents that may be sick and makes sure that everything is in order.

“We understand that drinking alcohol is a big part of our culture, but we don’t want it to affect the community,” Borowiec said.

Last year Borowiec didn’t have too many problems.

“I’m looking forward to this year,” Borowiec said. “It’s a lot of fun working with residents and developing friendships.”

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