There are many hats an advisor may
wear while working with students.
Hats may include, but are not limited to:
Students may approach you for help with
the organization, their academic and professional development, and personal
development. The relationships you build with students will be rewarding for
both the student and you as a mentor, these relationships can last many years.
As an organization’s dynamics change, you
may need to assist the organization in coming together as a team. The
more an organization is able to work as a team, the better equipped they are to
succeed and work through the conflicts and difficulties they may face. Planning
a workshop for the organization may be beneficial, whether you choose to act as
the facilitator or take a step back, engaging and empowering organization
officers as workshop facilitators. If you have trouble or need help planning a
workshop, the Peer Advisors at SLE may
be of help!
Students working together in an
organization may come into conflict with one another about the many dimensions
of an organization. Helping the students work together and reminding that they
are both working in the interest of the organization can be the first step in
The students many not always be aware that their actions or attitudes are
affecting others and, potentially, the entire organization. Speaking with
students individually, in small groups, or as the full organization can help to
clear the air for productive discussion and progress within the organization.
Taking the time to reflect on what and how
an organization is doing is an essential piece of student development and
learning from co-curricular activities. To maintain a reflective dialogue,
remember to allow students to speak first and then follow up with an honest
assessment from you as their advisor. Remember that any feedback you do provide
to students should be constructive and presented in conjunction to examples. It
is then important to talk the student through improving upon their weaknesses
and the ways in which you can assist them. Reflection isn’t only needed
in times of failure; student successes deserve equal attention and reflection!
Despite the positive relationships you may
build with the students, sometime you will need to remember that you are not
driving the car, but riding in the back seat. What does this mean? The only
action you take as an advisor is to do nothing. Not taking action empowers the
student to own the decisions they make. Sometimes students will succeed, while
other times they may fail. As an educator, you have enabled the student to
learn. You can now put on your reflective agent hat and provide students an
environment where they can reflect.
Organization advisors often act as the
organization’s cheerleader, keeping them motivated and pushing forward.
Motivation can come in many forms; including reminders of goals, recognition of
efforts, making connections, words of encouragement, etc…
Student organizations are held to the
policies outlined in the USF Fogcutter
Student Handbook and any other policies or changes implemented throughout
the year. An advisor that is well-versed on the organization’s policies and
university wide policies will be able to assist the organization in doing