Advisor Roles

Each advisor perceives his/her relation to a student organization differently. Some advisors play very active roles, attending meetings, working with student officers, and assisting in program planning and development. Others maintain a more distant relationship to the organization. It is expected, however, that each advisor will maintain some regular contact with his/ her organization. The goal for the advisor is to develop a proper balance between being uninvolved on the one hand, and taking charge of the organization on the other.

An advisor 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, advisors are not responsible for the actions or policies of student organizations--the students themselves are solely responsible. Advisors should be both accessible and interested, and should provide appropriate counsel to a group and its members.

Given the myriad of purposes, activities, and objectives of various student groups, the role of the advisor will vary to some degree between groups. The purpose of this section is to outline the basic roles of an advisor. Since groups vary in their expectations and needs, it is important that you, as an advisor, develop an understanding with the organization as to the nature of your involvement. The advisor and group should agree on a set of expectations of one another from the onset and should write this list down as a guiding agreement between the group and the advisor. The  Advisor Role Questionnaire can serve as a starting point for this discussion.


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