Student Organization Advisors
Research suggests that the success or failure of most student organizations is directly related to the involvement of a professional staff member acting as an advisor. Those organizations with an active and committed advisor consistently are more effective in recruiting students, retaining students, planning and completing projects and activities, and receiving positive recognition from the college and community.
Advisors provide the continuity from year to year for a student organization. The advisor is the repository of organization physical records, understands the organization’s finances and is keeper of the organization’s history and traditions. The advisor provides direction regarding University policies, behavioral expectations, community involvement and effective organization operations. An effective advisor teaches student’s leadership skills and helps newer members develop the skills necessary to move into the organization’s leadership positions in subsequent years.
The students themselves run the club or organization. The advisor walks a balanced path between providing direction and stepping back and observing. It is important to recognize that the advisor’s role is critical in the success of a student organization.
If you are interested in serving as an advisor to one of our student organizations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Advisor Responsibilities (as stated in the Student Handbook):
Each organization is required to have faculty or staff advisors, registered and approved by the Director of Student Activities by the conclusion of the first meeting. Organization advisors must be employed by the university at least half-time and may not serve more than one social fraternity/sorority concurrently. The advisors role is as follows:
- To act as a consultant in the areas of setting goals, problem solving, policy making, and upholding guidelines and purposes.
- To attend organization and officer meetings as determined appropriate.
- To attend all events where an Activity Request Form was submitted and approved through Student Activities.
- To attend, as the University representative, all off-campus and overnight activities providing guidance and support and assuming leadership in the event of an emergency. In cases where an event is not for the entire membership (such as small service projects, group Bible studies, group cook-outs, etc.), the advisor may use discretion about whether or not advisor attendance is required. The University strongly encourages each advisor to occasionally check on various events to ensure transparency between chapter leaders and advisors.*
- To review and approve all activity requests and return them to the Director of Student Activities in a timely manner.
- To provide continuity for the organization from year to year.
- To provide guidance for understanding and adhering to University policies, including those regarding new members (pledging) and membership.
- To supervise financial arrangements making certain that a purchase order is obtained and available before signing the requisition. Invoices should be submitted to the Business Office promptly.
- To attend an initial risk management training coordinated by the Director of Student Activities and help ensure the advised organization complies with sound risk management protocols. Advisors are encouraged to attend annually for updates.
- The organization advisor attends the Student Organization Advisor meetings when scheduled with the Director of Student Activities.
- *Float Building and Spring Sing practices: Advisors are not expected to be present during float construction or rehearsals for Spring Sing at off-campus locations, though they are asked to go to the location occasionally to check progress and provide encouragement to the organization members. Advisors must approve the final Spring Sing production to ensure appropriate conduct. Advisors must also ensure that the building where the float is constructed is used respectfully.
Organization Responsibilities to Advisors
Student Organizations must give the following considerations to their advisors:
- The leaders of the organization are expected to consult the advisors well in advance of all activities and obtain their approval before plans are finalized. Advisors may refuse to approve any activity that they believe is not consistent with the university mission, policy, or procedure, or is not in the best interest of the organization and/or its members.
- The organization is expected to keep the advisor informed of all organization business. It is an expectation that advisors are welcome to attend any meeting (committee, new member, or executive council included) at any time.
- The organization is expected to pay babysitting fees for advisors who need this service in order for them to attend an activity for the organization; food, travel, and lodging must also be paid for advisors and spouses when attending required events off-campus or out-of-town.
- Students are expected to recognize the major responsibilities of an advisor and show them their appreciation throughout the year.