Advisor Responsibilities

Advisor Responsibilities
Advisor's Guide to the (Symplicity) SGMS Interface*

Each advisor and organization leadership should openly discuss what kind of role the advisor should play with the organization. Some organizations have a pool of advisors to assist them with different aspects of the organization (financial, scholarship, programming, etc.) Some advisors have a high level of involvement with every aspect of the organization, others have a very limited role. It is up to the organization and the advisor to set the parameters of involvement. With those thoughts in mind, the following list is a guideline to the “dos” of student organization advising:

  1. Appointed annually by the Associate Vice President of Student Experience, the advisor agrees to maintain contact with the organization and to be familiar with its programs and personnel. Each student organization is required to have a full-time faculty or staff member as an advisor (Limited service faculty or staff may serve as an advisor upon the approval of the Executive Director of Student Experience & Residence Life).
  2. The University expects an advisory as opposed to directive capacity:
    1. Provide the officers with the elements of good organization and administrative practice, including records of the past three years of the organization’s minutes and financial accounts;
    2. Assist in the development of procedures and plans for action;
    3. Keep the group focused on its goal;
    4. Foster self-discipline and responsibility in the group;
    5. Stimulate programming (e.g., speakers, workshops, etc.).
    6. Empower students to take action and to take satisfaction in seeing the student organization succeed;
    7. Orient new officers and members to the history and purpose of the group and help them build upon it. Help members look toward the future by developing long-term goals and communicating those plans to future members; 
    8. Allow the group to success and allow the group to fail. Remember to let the students make decisions while you provide guidance and advice;
    9. Represent the group and its interest in staff and faculty meetings; 
    10. Discuss concerns with officers in private and praise them in public; 
    11. Serve as a resource person. The advisor does not set the policy of the group but should take an active part in formulation through interaction with the members of the group. Since members and officers in any organization are ordinarily active only as long as they are students, the advisor can serve as a continuity factor for the group; and
    12. Provide support. Give the group autonomy but offer feedback, even when it is not solicited. Let the group works out its problems but be prepared to step in when called upon to assist. 
  3. Advisors should be available to the officers and members in order to share ideas about the organization affairs. Meet with the officers as a group monthly to discuss the progress and direction of the group. Attend meetings and functions of the group.
  4. Advisors should advise and consult with the organization and its officers in its financial affairs to see that proper budgets are formulated and that proper distribution of and accounting for funds of the organization are maintained. Appropriate forms for all financial institution accounts should be updated whenever a new president/treasurer is elected or appointed. Advisors are prohibited from having signature authority on student organization bank accounts.
  5. Advisors should sign or co-sign appropriate University forms such as the student organization registration forms.
  6. Advisors should monitor the organization’s activities closely enough to ensure that the organization complies with University and state hazing regulations. Be familiar with University policies as they relate to student activities and serve as a resource and communication link for the group in relation to the University’s regulations.
  7. If, for any reason, it is impossible to continue as advisor to the organization, advisors should serve until a successor is appointed.