With room draw coming up on April 14th and 17th, who better to feature this week than the man behind it all?
Charlie Potts, Gustavus grad and Director of Residential Life, has been working here since 2011. His job involves overseeing all aspects of residential life, including hiring and training Collegiate Fellows, pairing roommates, helping students navigate their lives in the residence halls, and more. In addition to being the Director of Residential Life, Charlie took on the additional role of Assistant Dean of Students in 2013. The passion that he has for his work shines through every single day; Charlie brings an incredible amount of energy and positivity to our community.
What made you decide to enter a career in student affairs/Residential Life?
“I had an awesome experience at Gustavus - I was involved in Student Senate, Peer Assistants, men's basketball, intramurals, Gustavus Ambassadors, etc. I became over-involved and it really caused some issues for me in terms of burnout and academics. So, I learned a lot by being involved and learning how to manage it all and it really got me interested in this as a career. A mentor of mine was the Dean of Students at the time (Hank Toutain) and he and JoNes VanHecke (who was an Assistant Dean then) really encouraged me to think about it as a career.”
What is your favorite thing about your job?
“Being able to see what a residential college can do for students. The idea that everyone lives here and is together is an awesome learning opportunity on so many levels. And my interaction level with students is incredibly high here compared to some of my colleagues at other institutions. I am constantly in communication with students - either in meetings, in the hallway, or via email”
What is your least favorite thing about your job?
“It's hard to make over 2,100 residents happy all the time and that can be hard to reconcile. You can't make everyone happy all the time, especially in this job. We try to do things that do the most good for the highest number of people and do everything we can to be fair and equitable.”
Outside of your job, what are some of your passions and hobbies?
“My family is by far the most important thing in my life. My wife (Angie) and my twin six-year-olds (Ethan & Owen) deserve and take up most of my time outside of work. I was an English major and still love reading and writing and I spend as much time as I can at the gym. I work hard to be involved with professional organizations, which is technically work, but is definitely something I enjoy. Gustavus takes up a vast majority of my time and my life, but during the time I do get to spend outside of it I try to prioritize family and do what I can to help my boys grow into responsible, caring men.”
Do you have any fun facts about yourself?
“I have six tattoos. Also, I am in the middle of a running streak and I have run 112 days in a row (as of the time of this interview)!”