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Responsibilities of a Student Organization Advisor

Learn about the roles and responsibilities of a community advisor for a student organization.

The specific roles and responsibilities of an advisor vary depending on the organization and the advisor, but most student organization advisors have the following responsibilities:

  • Leadership development

    Through personal interaction and program development, you can play a significant role in developing members' leadership skills and personal growth and in identifying new leaders for the organization.

    Specific skills you could enhance include:

    • Interpersonal communication
    • Planning
    • Organization
    • Assisting with retreats and workshops
  • Consultation

    You can serve as a consultant by:

    • Meeting regularly with officers and chairpersons to keep current on projects and events they're planning.
    • Serving as a resource person and, through continued open interaction, pointing out new perspectives and guiding the group toward activities and individual performance.
  • Continuity

    Officers and members change frequently, and at times the only link with the past is the advisor. To enhance continuity, you can:

    • Orient new officers and members to the history and purpose of the group and help them build upon it.
    • Help members look toward the future by developing long-term goals and communicating them to new members.
    • Be wary if the organization focuses on "this is the way things have always been." Encourage creative brainstorming to help an organization generate new ideas.
  • Personal assistance

    Your interaction with members gives you a unique opportunity to assist individuals with problems:

    • Help students maintain a balance between academic and co-curricular aspects of student life.
    • Make appropriate referrals by using your knowledge of campus and community resources.
  • Interpretations of policy

    As a representative of the University to the organization, you are constantly in a position to interpret University policies and regulations relevant to student organizations. You should be familiar with all organization policies, such as constitution, bylaws, etc.

  • Supervision

    You have a responsibility to both the University and the organization to keep the best interests of both in mind. In a well run organization, the supervisory role may be minimal or nonexistent, and the advisor may need to intervene only to prevent the violation of public or institutional policy.

  • Financial supervision

    Each organization should have a treasurer/ finance director. Work with this individual to assure accurate record keeping and budgeting.

  • Meeting organization

    Attend all regular and special meetings of the organization to keep informed and be available for consultation or to introduce ideas and suggestions.

    • Many advisors have a time slot on meeting agendas when they can let the group know about upcoming campus events, congratulate members, offer remarks or evaluation, etc.

Community Advisors