by Julia Acquavita ’22
Whether it is organizing and working campus-wide events with the administration, finding ways to appeal and motivate different members, or meeting with her Executive Board in order to formulate ideas for student functions, Ariel Tavares ’20 knows firsthand the responsibilities that face a president of Friars Club.
Having grown up in Providence, RI, Tavares is no stranger to Providence College and the city that surrounds it. She even recalls, “I remember selling Girl Scout cookies to the women’s basketball team when I was younger.” From these experiences, Tavares developed a liking for PC, resulting in her eventual decision to attend school here.
Tavares is currently a double major in English and political science, with a minor in black studies. However, despite having a double major, being a Captain for the women’s rugby team, and having an internship, Tavares was not discouraged from running for president of this prestigious club. Positions for the Friars Club Executive Board are democratically-elected positions, but members still need to accept a nomination.
When describing her election experience, Tavares felt both honored and blessed, stating, “To know members felt as though I can be a person they can trust not only with their time and effort, but to carry along the sacred traditions that make this club so unique, was so special.”
She admits feeling pressure being the first female black president but credits her amazing executive board for keeping both her and the club grounded in what matters.
Tavares first discovered Friars Club during the involvement fair of her freshman year. When describing her first involvement fair experience, she admits feeling homesick here as a freshman.
“As a student of color, it can feel as if one does not have a defined place.” She put her name down at clubs hoping to find people and groups that would make her time here something more than she expected from a school she was reluctant to attend.
“I remember there was a boy with a man bun in a white jacket, standing on top of the table encouraging people to sign up, so I just went over and put my name down.” Little did Tavares know this would be a pivotal moment in her career at PC. It was not long before she learned that this club did more than just give tours.
The best part about Friars Club to Tavares is that “I am able to serve the school, with people I love, for a mission I believe in. Students should tell their version of the PC story. It is so special to have this as a platform.” Tavares, through her extensive work in Friars Club, is able to make actual relationships with not just her peers, but also with members of the community. Serving as the president of Friars Club has been pivotal to her experience here at PC, allowing Tavares to grow as a leader and individual.
Regarding Tavares’s future plans, she says, “I am excited to be somewhere different, continue relationships that have been so special to me here, and also make new ones. I am looking forward to the next step in my life.” Since Tavares has been in Providence for a majority of her life, she hopes to move to either Washington, D.C., Chicago, or New York to further her career and create more change.