Advising a student organization can be a very rewarding experience for faculty and staff. Working with students outside of the structured classroom experience or staff roles allows faculty and staff an opportunity to share information and resources and to teach hands-on skills such as leadership styles, organizational ethics, and program planning that will be invaluable to students when they leave Saint Catherine University.
Hopefully you will find the information needed on this website to successfully advise your organization.
If you have additional questions, feel free to send an email to Cara Garrett.
Role and Responsibilities
Advisors to student organizations are called upon to play a variety of roles. They are asked to meet the University’s, the organization officer and member, and also their own personal/professional expectations. Sometimes the expectations from these different sources can create vying demands for the advisor. Listed below are some of the more common requests from each of the above-mentioned areas (university, students, personal/professional). This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, however it can help an advisor identity what is most likely to be assumed of them.
University’s Expectations of an Advisor
- Attend the regularly scheduled and special meetings of their organization.
- Attend off-campus events, events involving alcohol, and major on-campus events.
- Meet with executive officers to assist in the development of the organization’s programs, goals, directions, and problems.
- Be available to meet regularly with officers/members when they need help.
- Stay current and familiar with the institution’s policies and rules that govern chartered organizations.
- Sign all check requests and purchase orders.
- Monitor the club/organization account and financial transactions.
- Ensure that names of newly elected officers are sent to the Student Center and Activities Office.
- Manage liability and risk management issues for the club/organization.
- Attend Advisor meetings and training/development sessions sponsored by SCA.
- Cancel any activities when she/he believes they have been inadequately planned.
Student Member’s Expectations of an Advisor
- Attend meetings and programs.
- Meet with executive officers regularly.
- Act as a resource person for them.
- Assist with group dynamics training for the group.
- Remain honest.
- Provide feedback, both positive and constructive.
- Have sincere and enthusiastic support for the group.
- Be available to them for meetings, conversations, questions, etc.
- Be knowledgeable about college policies and procedures and to assist the group in working with them.
- Act as a “sounding board” for their ideas, concerns, etc.
Advisor’s Own Personal and Professional Expectations
- Balance time restraints between schedules- family, job, etc.
- Help develop students to lead and influence outside of the classroom.
- Gain knowledge and experience working with student organizations to be a great advisor!
Remember it is important for advisors and student officers to arrive at a clear and mutually agreed upon role of the advisor in club affairs.