Student organization advisors are integral to the success of student leaders, members and the overall organization. Below is information about eligibility, role and resources for advisors.
- Interested in becoming an advisor?
- The role of the advisor
- Support resources and programs for advisors
- Contact our team
There are two types of advisors: primary advisors and co-advisors.
- The primary advisor is listed in the online organization directory and is responsible for completing annual registration renewal requirements as well as serving as the main university liaison to the student organization. Any faculty or administrative/professional (A&P) staff may serve as the primary advisor for a student organization.
- A co-advisor is an additional supporting individual to the organization who does not take on any requirements dictated by Student Activities and can be any of the following designations: faculty, A&P staff, CCS staff, faculty emeritus, graduate students, alumni, or community members.
Primary advisors may serve in this role for up to three (3) different student organizations at any one time.
Advisors are highly valued in the student organization community. An organization cannot complete registration requirements without an advisor, and the supporting relationship that an advisor has with the organization can be incredibly transformative to a student's experience.
We are always looking for faculty and staff who are willing to contribute their time and talents to serving as a student organization advisor. We would be happy to connect you with student organizations in need of an advisor.
Advisors serve as a connection between student organizations and the university. With the exception of key registration requirements, the advisor's role is negotiable with the student organization. A review of, and mutual agreement on, the advisor's role should take place annually between the student organization leaders/members and the advisor.
Advisor roles fall into three categories - those that are required for the organization's registration, those that may be required based on the actions of the organization and those that are negotiable.
Per the Student Organization Guidelines, advisors are to:
- Complete advisor training every two years.
- Submit online approval of the organization's registration every year.
- This indicates that the advisor agrees to serve in that role for the coming year, and agrees to the reporting responsibilities within the Campus Safety (Clery) Act.
- Submit online approval of the organization's goals every year.
Based on the organization's activities, advisors to:
- Review and submit online approval for operating and programming funds requests.
- Review and approve reservations of university space and equipment.
In negotiation with the organization, advisors to:
- Attend organization meetings and events
- Meet individually with organization members
- Facilitate officer transition activities
- Submit requests for university email services and other technology
- Help prepare the organization's budget
- Review and edit organization communications
- Interpret university policies and processes
- Provide historical context for the organization
- Share university information with members
- Mediate inter-personal conflict
For additional guidance negotiating advisor roles, use the Advisor/Student Organization Agreement. This outlines several common areas for conversation to help set expectations for how advisors and student organization leaders can work together effectively. This agreement is not required for organizations and advisors.
Risk Management Recommendations
- Advisors are encouraged to upload a signed Indemnification Letter as one way to manage the risk associated with advising a student organization. This is not required.
- Advisors are encouraged not to be listed as a signatory on a student organization bank account.
- Advisors should be familiar with the Student Organization Guidelines that provide full details on registration and CSA funding.
- Advisors should be familiar with university policies and procedures that are most related to the organization's activities.
- Advisors should be generally aware of the organization's activities, and offer guidance for student leaders and members to make healthy and productive decisions.
Student Organization Management System
Advisors can access the Student Organziation Management System using their name.# to login. This system allows advisors to view organization information, submit required approvals (registration, goals, funding requests) and access online recertification training.
For a tutorial about how to access and use the advisor features of the management system, please refer to this video.
Advisor Indemnification Letter
Student organization advisors assume some level of risk when agreeing to be the advisor. An indemnification letter template is available for any student organization advisor to officially recognize their role as advisor. The letter should be signed by the advisor's supervisor, printed on university letterhead and uploaded to the Student Organization Management System under "advisor approvals." A copy of the letter should also be kept for your personal records.
Download the Indemnification Letter Template (.docx) here.
All advisors and co-advisors are invited to participate in monthly roundtable discussions. This is an opportunity to connect with the Student Org Team and fellow advisors on topics of shared interest. These roundtables will have a fairly informal agenda including the latest updates, brief presentation of content, and informal discussion with fellow advisors. Spring semester rountables will specifically focus on engagement in virtual spaces. Roundtables will be recorded and shared after each session.
Click the title of each session for more details and to register, or access recording/session materials.
- Thursday, January 21 at Noon: Recruitment and Retention session recording
- Thursday, February 18 at Noon: Member Engagement PPT slides
- Thursday, March 18 at Noon: Leadership Transitions session recording and PPT slides
- Thursday, April 15 at Noon: Organization Sustainability session recording and PPT slides
For additional information or with questions, please contact Jen Pelletier at email@example.com.
Student Organization Resources
Our team has compiled a list of resources that are available to registered student organizations, which is a good place to start if you are looking for resources that you can recommend the students take advantage of.
Basic resources we encourage you to recommend are:
- The Student Organization Success Framework
- Student Organization Success Coaching
- Programming for student organizations
- Student Organization Guidelines
- Drop-in Office Hours with the Student Org Team