Every recognized student organization at Texas A&M has a faculty or staff advisor. Although necessary, these advisors serve as invaluable resources, aiding student leaders in a number of ways to help make each organization the best it can be.
ROLES AND DUTIES OF ADVISORS
Advisors are some of the best-kept secrets on campus. Check out some of the amazing things that advisors bring to each organization:
- An advisor has a wealth of knowledge regarding policies, procedures and student rules related to student organizations.
- Advisors work collaboratively with students by sharing responsibility for the organization and its events.
- Advisors help student leaders use their best judgment in selecting and planning programs.
- Advisors provide an outlet for students to talk about classes, their role in the organization and everyday issues that students face.
- Advisors are here to support and guide the organization, empowering students to make fair, intelligent, and reasonable decisions based on institutional guiding boundaries.
To be sure, being an advisor isn’t all fun and games. There is a serious side to being an advisor. Some duties of an advisor include:
- Having access to the guiding documents and policies for the student organization, including an updated copy of the organization’s constitution and operations manual.
- Reporting and following up on any discipline issues for the organization and/or its members.
- Being aware of, and having an understanding of, rules pertaining to organizations at TAMU, as well as rules governing TAMU students.
- Being aware of liability issues (i.e. hazing, alcohol, etc.) and advising the organization to make reasonable and prudent decisions regarding these issues when planning activities.
- Attending meetings of the organization whenever possible.
- Being available to the officers of the organization on a regular basis for advice and consultation.
The key to having a successful advisor relationship is working collaboratively to encourage organizational success and rewarding experiences for all. It is important to be open to suggestions and criticisms that an advisor may provide, as his/her knowledge and experience will help in exploring solutions and implementing the best decisions for your organization. And don’t forget to discuss your expectations for each other, and set up regular meetings about the organization’s activities and events.
TIPS FOR RECRUITING AN ADVISOR
Before making a selection, keep in mind the following: (a) find someone who will have the time to devote to your organization, and (b) find someone who will take the role willingly and seriously.
When approaching a potential advisor, make certain that he/she has a clear understanding of your organization’s purpose as well as what would be required of him/her, his or her duties, and the time commitment involved.
Allow the person a reasonable length of time to consider his/her decision. Don’t forget that most advisors volunteer their time to support student organizations, so this can be a big commitment.
If possible, choose someone who shares some of the same interests as your organization and someone who you can contact easily. It is best to meet with your advisor regularly to keep them updated on the activities and decisions of the organization. Advisors can be a great resource for your group, so take advantage of their experience and insight.
Enough about finding an advisor. What if you’re a faculty or staff member looking to become an advisor? This section here is for you; it has important information regarding what you need to know and do in order to become an advisor for a student organization. We even have a blog for advisors to collaborate and receive up-to-date information about advising.