Consultation. The advisor should expect that he or she would be consulted regularly by the officers concerning their plans for group activities or programs. He or she should know what projects or events are being planned and should offer his/her ideas and suggestions freely but should be careful not to dominate program planning.
Providing Continuity. Providing continuity is a very important responsibility. The turnover of officers and members in a student organization is continual and often the only link with even the immediate past is the advisor. The advisor can orient new officers and members to this history and help them build on it.
Interpretation of Policy. As a representative of the university administration to the organization, the advisor is constantly in the position of interpreting the institution’s policies and regulation pertaining to student organizations. He or she should, therefore, see that his/her group and its officers know what the policies are, why they exist, and the channels to be followed to obtain exceptions to or revisions of these policies.
Financial Supervision. While each organization should elect its own treasurer, the advisor will probably need to spend some time in supervising the financial records and the treasurer’s work. He or she may find it necessary to teach the treasure the elements of simple bookkeeping and the intricacies of the organizations record system.
The advisor should be aware of the nature, extent, and the pattern of the group’s expenditures and income and introduce corrective measures when necessary. Particular attention should be paid to the accounts receivable, the current balance, and the prompt payment of bills.
Organization Meetings. The advisor should attend regular and/or special meetings (as time permits) of the organization in order to keep him/herself informed. Also, the advisor should be available for consultation or to introduce ideas and suggestions.
Organizational Records. The advisor should see that at least the treasurer and secretary maintain adequate records and minutes of the group’s activities and that the files and records of the organization are located in a central, easily accessible area.
Guidelines for Advisors
An advisor is a member of the St. Olaf faculty or staff. Every student organization must have an advisor to be recognized by the Student Organizations Committee of SGA.
Advisors are important to organizations in many ways. They should:
- Attend meetings of the organization
- Know the financial status of the organization
- Be familiar with the events and activities of the group and be certain they adhere to College guidelines
- Serve as a resource person/trainer for the group
- Teach leadership and team building techniques
- Provide continuity of tradition and history for the group
- Represent St. Olaf College to your best ability when dealing with, or on behalf of, the organization
- Make recommendations, when appropriate
- Attend advisor training and informational sessions (if applicable)