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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Everybody loves Chris…Chris Rasinen

<ugh the realm of comedy has for much of our Carleton careers kept us out of the rough-and-tumble world of hiring politics, we feel compelled at this time to write in favor of Chris Rasinen of Campus Activities. In the short time we’ve known Chris, we’ve seen him do some extraordinary things not only for our beloved campus comedy groups, but also for the student body at large. Chris has been instrumental in bringing a series of professional comedy groups to perform and teach here on campus. Last Spring, he brought renowned Second City Sketch Troupe Schadenfreude for a weekend that included a sold-out show in the Concert Hall for students and a sketch-writing workshop for both Cujokra and the Harriers, our improv group, and Lenny Dee, our sketch group. This workshop provided the basis for ETB’s The Revolution comedy show this past Fall, the first and only completely student-written full-length play devised using techniques introduced by Schadenfreude. This past winter, Chris was able to bring one of the finest touring improv groups, the Upright Citizens’ Brigade Touring Company, to campus for another highly-attended improv show and subsequent comedy workshop. Only two weeks ago, Chris helped Cujokra and the Harriers bring Peter Gwinn ’93, founder of Cujokra and current writer for The Colbert Report, to campus to give a talk and teach improv and sketch workshops. These events have helped foster a vibrant campus comedy scene, allowing both students and performers to watch and learn the art of improvisation and comedy writing. These events never would have been possible if not for the leadership and organizational skills Chris possesses.

It has come to our attention that there is a vacancy for the position of Director of Campus Activities for the upcoming academic year. Given these and other great work Chris has done for CA in his brief tenure, we believe him to be an ideal candidate for the job. The Director of Campus Activities, it seems to us, must be someone intimately familiar with the campus. He or she must be able to integrate the networking skills of the outside world with a thorough knowledge of campus personnel, groups, events, buildings, faculty, and staff. We find it disappointing that the administration seems to be putting so much of the focus on the search for a candidate for this position outside of the Carleton world. While we understand the need for candidates to have experience, we believe the position of Director of Campus Activities to be unique in its necessity for thorough and intimate knowledge of, yes, Carleton campus activities. In order to facilitate all of the great events and productions CA undertakes, as well as making these accessible and attractive to all Carleton students, a certain minimum amount of Carleton experience should be needed. An outside candidate, if hired, will need to take a good while to learn the elusive “ways of the campus” as well as make new contacts with campus group representatives and become familiar with Carleton’s physical and social infrastructure. Chris Rasinen, while young and perhaps less experienced than some other candidates, brings exactly the right credentials to the job. He knows Carleton and knows the types of things students here are interested in. He has considerable networking skills outside of Carleton as well, and has been able to integrate the two beautifully.

Far be it for us, two lowly comedians, to dictate Carleton policy or criticize the shining record of hiring perfection on the part of the administration. We simply cannot sit silent, however, if we see a great asset to Carleton such as Chris Rasinen not even considered for a job he seems ideal to take on. Chris has done some really fantastic things for this campus; we should all support his promotion to the Director of Campus Activities.

-Max Leibowitz is a fourth-year student and Tom Weishan is a third-year student. They are both directors of the comedy group Cujokra and the Harriers.

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