Expectations of Advisors

With the exception of the specific responsibilities for Sponsored Student Organization (SSO) Advisors, an advisor’s role is negotiable with the leaders of an organization based on the group’s unique needs. An effective advisor should talk with the leaders of the organization and come to a mutual understanding about how much or how little the advisor should be involved. Below is a list of possible functions an advisor might have with a student organization.

This list is intended to help the student leaders and the advisor reach an agreement about the advisor’s role in the organization. You may wish to have an informal, verbal agreement, or it may be helpful to write out the expectations. As negotiated with the student leaders of the organization, basic advisor responsibilities include:

  • Provide support for club activities: the advisor is encouraged to attend meetings, events, and other functions of the organization whenever possible.

  • Be familiar with the organization’s constitution and the outlined goals, structure, and procedures.

  • Be familiar with University policies and procedures relating to organizations and educate group members when necessary. These policies and procedures are available from the Center for Campus Involvement and can be found in the Student Organization Guidebook here.

  • Review expenditures of the organization, as well as encourage the maintenance of accurate financial records by organization members.

  • Encourage organization members to assume responsibilities and leadership positions within the organization.

  • Help student leaders preserve organizational records, which will provide continuity for the organization and future members.

Other responsibilities could include:

  • Facilitate the growth and development of students.

  • Call extra meetings of the executive officers when s/he believes it is necessary.

  • Meet individually with the organization president on a regular basis.

  • Help the president prepare an agenda before the meeting.

  • Inform the group of infractions of their constitution, bylaws, or standing rules.

  • Take a role in formulating the organization’s goals.

  • Serve as parliamentarian for the group.

  • Initiate ideas for discussion when s/he believes they will help the group.

  • Help the organization leaders to prepare an annual budget.

  • Require the treasurer to discuss all expenditures with her/him before financial commitments are made.

  • Review the organization’s finances with the treasurer quarterly or more frequently.

  • Proof all official correspondence before it is sent.

  • Take an active role in the transition of responsibilities between old and new officers whenever that transition is scheduled to take place.

  • Ensure that updates to the organization’s officers and registration information are communicated to CCI when the change is made.

  • Be custodian of all group paraphernalia, records, etc., during the summer and between transitions of officers.

  • Recommend programs, speakers, seminars, etc.

  • Keep the organization aware of its stated objectives when planning events.

  • Veto a decision when it violates a stated objective, the organization’s constitution, bylaws, or standing rules, or University policy.

  • Ensure an evaluation of each activity by those students responsible for planning it.

  • Objectively mediate interpersonal conflicts that arise between members.

  • Assist or be responsible for the planning of retreats or leadership skills workshops.

  • Ensure the organization’s members receive relevant announcements from the University.

  • Represent the group in any conflicts with members of the University staff or faculty.

  • Let the organization thrive or decline on its own merits.

  • Let the group work out its problems, including making mistakes and doing things the hard way.