Each sponsoring unit is required to supply a faculty or staff advisor to the SSO. This advisor is the primary liaison between the unit and the SSO. The advisor plays many roles, including educator, advocate, listener, risk manager, and counselor, among others. The specific roles of the advisor should be outlined in the SSO Agreement, and the SSO’s leaders should be involved in setting the expectations of the advisor.
In addition to providing an advisor, the unit needs to also provide a sponsor. The sponsor can be the same person as the advisor, but this is usually not the case. While an advisor’s role is to advise and never control or manage, a sponsor’s role is similar to that of a managing partner who steps in only when absolutely necessary for the health and safety of the organization or individuals. There may be times when the sponsoring unit may choose to prevent the SSO from taking an action. These occasions are hopefully rare, but when they do occur, it is the sponsor’s responsibility to act.
CCI has many resources to help advisors, such as an advisor’s handbook, tips for effective advising, and the Advisor’s Roundtable. Advisors should contact CCI with any questions about available resources or the appropriate role of the advisor.