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The Carletonian

Associate Director of Campus Activities leaving Carleton

<ciate Director of Campus Activities Chris Rasinen remembers the moment he set foot on Carleton’s campus to begin his position in spring 2006: “I was very excited to be here, but I was kind of nervous that I was an Ole so I didn’t know how people would respond,” he said. Immediately, though, Rasinen was relieved to find himself in an accepting and supportive community that now faces some sad news. Two and a half years later, Rasinen is saying farewell to the Carleton community on Thursday, Oct. 16.

Rasinen has accepted a position with the Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government program, which provides leadership opportunities for students to congregate and discuss important issues on a statewide and nationwide level. As a participant throughout high school and a volunteer throughout college, Rasinen has been with the program for 17 years and is excited to further his involvement with it. “I’m really politically active, and this program was why I became so interested in studying politics,” Rasinen said, adding, “This was my thing in high school, so I’m really excited for this new opportunity.”

Rasinen’s journey has been an ambitious progression towards pursuing his passions of politics and working with students.

Rasinen, a Minnesota native who resides in Eagan with his wife and two-year-old daughter, graduated from St. Olaf in 2000, where he studied political science and religion. He then attended St. Thomas University and graduated in 2004 with a Masters in Leadership in Student Affairs, more commonly known as Higher Education. After being a Hall Director at Hamline University for two years, Rasinen heard of the Campus Activities position at Carleton. Campus Activities produces publications (Noon News Bulletin), sponsors or co-sponsors major events (such as New Student Week and Mid-Winter Ball), provides support to student organizations and events, and coordinates many of Carleton’s transportation services.

As Associate Director of Campus Activities, Rasinen has worked with the Social Programming Board, KRLX radio station, the Cave, Spring Concert Committee, and the Carleton Student Association senate, to name a few. “When you work at a liberal arts college, you have to be a generalist,” Rasinen said of his multiple roles and tasks. “You do a lot of things and you wear a lot of different hats and you have to be flexible. “

Rasinen said he will miss interacting with Carleton students the most. “Students are the reason I’m here,” Rasinen said. “No matter how busy I am, if a student walks through the door, I stop whatever I’m doing and I listen to them.” He said part of his job was “forming relationships with students and helping them try to succeed and trying to provide leadership opportunities for them.”

Particularly, he said he will miss the CSA: “The opportunity to work with the Carleton Senate has been a real treat,” he said as he reminisced about his own service as Student Government President at St. Olaf.

Rasinen said he has enjoyed his position to the fullest extent in working with the entire Carleton community and getting to understand the culture on campus. “The people who work here are fun and passionate about what they do,” Rasinen said. “As a professional, Carleton is a great environment to grow in and it is a very unique place. Working here is so enriching because you have conversations with people about things that matter and people really care.”

ACT Director Laura Riehle-Merrill describes Rasinen as down to earth, warm, and funny, adding, “He is really great at making connections with students, and I’m excited for him. I just see it as furthering his work with students and helping them to be engaged in various ways.”

Freshman Julia Baker, a member of Leadership Exploration Engagement Program (L.E.E.P.) that Rasinen co-advises, echoes Riehle-Merrill: “He is a really good leader who works well with students and someone really animated and funny who doesn’t talk down to us but acts like a college student with us. I’m really sad he’s leaving, but I’m glad I got to know him.”

Dean of Students Joe Baggot is hosting a farewell reception for Rasinen on Oct. 17, at 4:30 to 6 P.M. in the Goodhue Superlounge. Everyone is welcome and Rasinen hopes to be able to see as many students as he can before he leaves.

Rasinen wants the community he has grown to love in the past two and a half years to know, “Thanks for everything and thanks for treating me so well and thanks for being who you are,” he said. ” I’m a better person and professional by being here. It’s been fun, and I’ll miss all of you.

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