Campus Life Administrative Assistant Charity Rasmussen in the Campus Life Offices, located on the 4th Floor of the Warch Campus Center. Photo by Larissa Davis
This column is devoted to highlighting staff members that play a huge role in the everyday experiences of the Lawrence community. The goal is to focus on the “Hidden Figures” of Lawrence University and their interests both within, and outside of Lawrence.
Unlike many universities, Lawrence students must live on campus for all four years of their undergraduate experience. What helps to make a tight-knit community? Campus Life, part of the Division of Student Affairs, works behind the scenes to make sure every student feels they fit in. The office works with approximately 1,400 residents on campus and close to 100 student organizations to ensure a positive residential life for all students.
This week’s hidden figure does charitable work for Campus Life. Campus Life Administrative Assistant Charity Rasmussen is always willing to lend a helping hand. Rasmussen attended Fox Valley Technical College. After receiving her Associates Degree in accounting in 2000, Rasmussen started working at Lawrence in February of that year. Rasmussen started in the Development Office, and transferred to Campus Life in 2004.
As Campus Life Administrative Assistant, Rasmussen’s duties include assisting student organizations with balancing their budgets, accessing student organization funding and maintaining student organization rosters. In addition, Rasmussen often helps with trip planning, booking vans, reserving hotels and making airline reservations. Above all, her main responsibility is to provide clerical and administrative support for the Associate Dean of Students for Campus Life and the Campus Life Office.
When asked about her favorite part of her job, Rasmussen replied, “The interactions that I get to have with students. I really enjoy the opportunity to not only work with them, but also connect with them on a personal level.” Rasmussen is always curious to know who the students are, the events they are participating in and catching up with them over lunch. Rasmussen’s schedule may vary, but it never hurts to make an appointment to meet with her.
The easiest way to reach out to Rasmussen is by email. “Unless it is urgent then you need to come and find me in my office. My volume of email has increased significantly so I’m no longer able to respond in the 24-hour time frame that students had been accustomed to,” added Rasmussen.
Rasmussen thinks of the ‘Lawrence Difference’ as an opportunity where real transformation can take place. She said, “Lawrence is a place where there is the opportunity to reach outside that comfort zone and expose yourself to new and different things and ideas and grow from them.”
In her free time, Rasmussen likes to be active outdoors, whether it be traveling, camping, kayaking, gardening, cross country skiing or hiking. Her husband and children are most important to her outside her job at Lawrence, and her favorite family activities include camping and road trips.
“I have twin sons who are both serving in the U.S. Army. I would say taking the road trips out to the military bases to watch them graduate from basic training has been a great and rewarding experience,” elaborated Rasmussen.
Students can contact Rasmussen for organizing extracurricular activities and campus events, as well as feedback and concerns they might have about their residency or residence hall activities. Rasmussen is always willing to take suggestions from students on how to make Lawrence a better place. She wants students to feel that they are receiving a worthwhile college experience and make Lawrence feel like a home-away-from-home.
Though most students take for granted Lawrence’s rule of living on campus all four years, dormitory living creates stronger friendships and alliances. Rasmussen is the glue that helps create strong student connections. More importantly, she is there to make students feel heard and unafraid to voice their opinions.
Rasmussen assumes a big role in Campus Life, helping to create strong student connections. Though not often seen by many, Rasmussen is a Hidden Figure at Lawrence for her important contributions making sure students’ voices are heard and can help make the campus a better place to live.