- Assist officers with
procedural matters. Be knowledgeable of the organization's purpose
and constitution and help the general membership adhere to them.
- Be knowledgeable about, and
comply with federal, state and local laws and ordinances, as well as
campus policies. Inform the group of pertinent policies.
- Empower students to take
action and to take satisfaction in seeing the student organization succeed.
- Allow the group to succeed,
and allow the group to fail. Learn when to speak when not to speak.
Remember to let the students make the decisions while you provide guidance
- Represent the group and its
interests in staff and faculty meetings. Reach out to other advisors or
departments (i.e. Student Organizations) for assistance.
- At the beginning, develop
clear expectations about the role of the advisor and your relationship to
- Read the group’s
- Get to know all of the
members on an individual level. Learn what they want to get out of the
organization. Maintain a complete officer and membership list with
addresses and phone numbers (or know where to easily find one).
- Develop a strong working
relationship with all the officers. Establish as needed meetings with
individual members of the organization who need additional guidance in
their officer or committee positions.
- Discuss concerns with
officers in private and praise them in public.
- Meet with the officers and
help them set goals. Encourage the Executive Board to disseminate reports
(such as financial reports) to the general membership on a regular basis.
- Orient new officers and
members to the history and purpose of the group and help them to build
upon it. Help members look toward the future by developing long-term goals
and communicating those plans to future members.
- Help to resolve intragroup
- Enjoy the impact you can have
on the students’ development. Help to develop the leadership potential
within the group.
- Be visible and choose to
attend group meetings and events. At the same time, know your limits.
Establish an attendance schedule at organization meetings, which is
mutually agreed upon by the advisor and the student organization.
- Know your group's limits.
Help students find a balance between activities and their academic
- Keep your sense of humor and
enthusiasm. Share creative suggestions and provide feedback for activities
planned by students.
- Serve as a resource person.
The advisor does not set the policy of the group, but should take an
active part in its 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.
- Be consistent with your
actions. Model good communication skills and listening skills. Develop
- Be available in emergency
- Head off situations that
might give rise to poor public relations for the student group or
- Introduce new program ideas
with educational flavor; point out new perspectives and directions to the
group; and supply the knowledge and the insight of experience.
- Carefully review monthly
financial reports from the organization treasurer or business manager.
Familiarize yourself with the group's financial structure, from where the
treasury is derived (dues, fundraising), for what the money is used, how
money is allocated, and how the money is budgeted; assist in budget
development and execution.
- Learn the strengths and
weaknesses of the group. Offer support when necessary; but also allow
people to make their own mistakes and learn from them.
- Encourage feedback and the
- Plan and encourage attendance
at leadership training.
- Do things right and to do the
right things. Guide and assist students in becoming responsible leaders.
- Provide support. Give the group autonomy but offer
feedback, even when it is not solicited. Let the group work out its
problems, but be prepared to step in when called upon to assist.
- Know it all.
- Be the leader or “run” the
- Say I told you so.
- Impose your own bias.
- Manipulate the group, impose,
or force your opinions.
- Close communications.
- Tell the group what to do, or
do the work of the president or other members of the executive board.
- Take everything so seriously.
- Take ownership for the group,
be the “parent,” or the smothering administrator.
- Miss group meetings or
- Be afraid to let the group
try new ideas.
- Become such an advocate that
you lose an objective viewpoint.
- Allow the organization to
become a one-person organization.
- Be laissez-faire or
- Assume the group handles
everything okay and doesn’t need you.
- Assume the organization's
attitudes, needs and personalities will remain the same year to year.