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Kimmel Student Involvement Center

Student Organization Advising

Kimmel Student Involvment Center

Role of an Adviser

Each adviser perceives his/her relation to a student organization differently. Some advisers play very active roles by attending meetings, working with student officers, and assisting in program planning and development. Others maintain a more distant relationship to the organization. It is hoped that each adviser will maintain some regular contact with his/her organization. An adviser accepts responsibility for keeping informed about activities of the organization and for advising officers of the organization on the appropriateness and general merits of policies and activities. However, advisers are not responsible for the actions or policies of student organizations; students are solely responsible. Advisers should be both accessible and interested, and should provide whatever counsel a group or its members might seek.

When determining your role with a group, you may want to ask:

  1. How much involvement is expected or needed?
  2. How often does the group meet?
  3. How many major activities does the group plan per semester?
  4. How experienced are the student leaders?
  5. How do your skills match the needs of the organization?
  6. What are some of the problem areas that your organization specifically needs advisory assistance in dealing with? Ask for past examples.
  7. What are some of the ways the Adviser can be more helpful to the group?
  8. Will the Adviser be a silent observer at meetings or an active participant?
  9. Should you interrupt during meetings if you think the group is getting off track? How? When?
  10. If things get unruly, should you interrupt or remain silent?
  11. Is the Adviser expected to give feedback? How? When?
  12. Are there areas of the organization that are “hands off” to the adviser?

Specific Adviser Duties

  • Be informed about the organization and what the organization will require;
  • Provide advice when called upon or when the situation warrants;
  • Ensure that the organization registers each year with the Kimmel Leadership Center;
  • Regularly attend general and executive board meetings; if you can only attend one, we recommend attending executive meetings;
  • Serve as a resource for planning and organizing as well as provide knowledge of the campus and community
  • Become familiar with the purpose and structure of the organization by reviewing the constitution and bylaws.
  • 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;
  • Familiarize yourself with Student Government guidelines;
  • Explain and enforce University policies when necessary, including policies on hazing and alcohol;
  • Inform the group of infractions of their bylaws, codes, and standing rules;
  • Act as a resource on parliamentary procedure;
  • Attend group activities and functions and assist when necessary;
  • Be familiar with University facilities, services, resources, and procedures which might affect or be of benefit to the organization;
  • Function as a liaison between the organization and the campus administration and assist the group in developing an ongoing, beneficial relationship with the University;
  • Supervise the transition of officers and assist in new officer training and leadership development
  • Assist officers in general operations when necessary;
  • Ensure that officers know and understand the obligations of their position and that they are working to fulfill these obligations;
  • Mediate interpersonal conflicts that arise, when necessary;
  • Monitor the group’s activities and correspondence to ensure that it is appropriate and in keeping with accepted standards
  • Maintain a close relationship with the Executive Board and attempt to meet as many members as possible

This list is not exhaustive or applicable to every organization, but it may serve as a guideline when determining the role you will play.

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