The Division of Student Affairs is experiencing many changes as it continues to grow and implement recommendations from the division’s strategic plan and external review. Among these changes is the development of Sorority and Fraternity Life’s own department. The new department will be headed by Ariel Tarosky, who plans to dive into her new role as director through engaging with the students and community and immersing herself at OHIO when she begins later this summer.
Tarosky said she wants to spend time at the start of her job getting to know the students, building relationships and asking questions to the students, faculty and staff to begin building a strategic plan for the new department.
“That first year is going to be so much about building relationships and collaborating with other departments, not just the campus community but the Athens community,” said Tarosky. “I need to immerse myself and talk to students about what they want from their Greek experience.”
Previously, Tarosky worked as the director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina and as coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Through much of her past work experience, she has come to recognize her passion for working with students in a campus setting, so she was drawn to the opportunity to continue helping students grow while further developing the department here at OHIO.
Tarosky said she was interested in OHIO because of the high number of students involved in Greek life. As the director, she will oversee more than 2,400 students, 34 organizations and 14% of the Athens campus student body who find their home in Sorority and Fraternity Life.
“Our sorority and fraternity community is growing and thriving,” said Jenny Hall-Jones, senior associate vice president and dean of students. “I am eager to see the impact this population will make on our campus and in the community with the reallocated resources and recognition as a new standalone department.”
These changes are in response to recommendations made through an external review completed by RISE Partnerships, which evaluated how Sorority and Fraternity Life could better serve the University, surrounding community and all the students involved in its programming. The review suggested investing in a director-level staff member and supporting more strategic efforts for the department. This reallocation of resources will allow the department to have the capacity to contribute more to the division’s objectives as well as work more collaboratively with University and community partners.
Tarosky will be responsible for all aspects of sorority and fraternity life on campus, including building relationships and elevating the current operation to focus on strategic, system-wide success that is measured by institutional objectives.
“I like a challenge and the ability to create and strategize where the community is going to go,” Tarosky said. “I think it’s exciting and a lot of awesome opportunities are going to be there.”
An avid biker, runner and hiker, Tarosky said she plans to engage with all the outdoor recreation opportunities Athens has to offer as she didn’t get a chance to do so in urban Pennsylvania. She marveled at OHIO’s green spaces like College Green when she came to visit the campus.
Furthermore, Tarosky said the warm smiles she received from strangers while walking around Athens helped finalize her decision to move. She has also received positive and kind words from her future colleagues, many of whom offered to help her out, such as Hall-Jones, who helped Tarosky find a housing realtor.
“We are excited by the experience, vision and energy Ariel brings to the table and are thrilled to welcome her to Athens and the Bobcat family as the first director of Sorority and Fraternity Life,” said Hall-Jones.
Tarosky will begin work as the first director of Sorority and Fraternity Life on August 1.