Ariel Tarosky, director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, was recently awarded the Bobcat Medal by Student Senate.

Elizabeth Lilly, vice president of Senate, said the Bobcat Medal recognizes the outstanding impact or meritorious contribution from an Ohio University faculty member, administrator or staff member.

“It means so much,” Tarosky said. “My love language is being recognized and positive affirmations. So, being recognized period is nice, but it’s nothing in comparison to being recognized by students … when students recognize the work that you’re doing, that’s all I could ever ask for.”

Tarosky said after a difficult start in her position addressing conduct issues with Greek life on campus, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, the award was especially meaningful. She said because sorority and fraternity work is grounded in relationships, working remotely has been a challenge. However, she said more students have been coming to the offices, which are now open twice a week, to say hello.

“It’s just been difficult,” Tarosky said. “And so, I’ve had a lot of self doubt if students liked me or cared about the work that we were doing. And so, to see people do recognize that I’m here to try to just help make their experience as best as I can, it meant so much to me.”

Tarosky said she plans to continue her award-winning work by focusing on getting to know students and building those relationships.

“We have our leadership, who I interact with all the time, but then we have our general members who I don’t get to engage with that much,” Tarosky said. “And that’s who I really want to work with over the next year to learn about their experience in our sorority and fraternity community … and just see what do they enjoy? How can we improve it?”

Lilly said after collecting nominations, The Bobcat Medal Committee felt Tarosky was the best candidate for the award and embodied all the traits they were looking for.

“We look for candidates who have gone above and beyond to make the bobcat community a better place,” Lilly said in an email. “Those who are passionate, driven, and connected are the ones who really make that sort of impact and Ariel embodies those traits.”

She spoke highly of Tarosky’s character and care for OU students. Lilly said she feels Tarosky really listens to students and makes it clear she wants what is best for them.

“Ariel is always collaborating with other offices on campus in the best interests of her students,” Molly Davis, LGBTQIA affairs commissioner, said at the most recent Senate meeting. “Our community has been struggling lately and she truly wants the best for everyone involved. She is not afraid to make students own what is right and wrong and that is something I admire about her.”

Davis said she admires that Tarosky is trying to get students to own up to their mistakes and advocating to remove hazing from the campus.

“I’m really proud of being able to lead the sorority/fraternity community right now,” Tarosky said. “I know that they've been through a lot of challenges, but I'm really starting to see their voices come forward and all the work that they're doing. I'm just excited to continue to help them make an impact on the campus.”