The Student Organization Adviser's Manual created by Student Involvement provides a general overview of what it means to be an adviser. This is the basic go-to guide of your role, policies, important events, and Student Involvement contacts that may come in handy. For more detailed resources on the adviser role and advising tips, please see below.
As a student organization adviser to the university, all volunteer advisers are insured in the same manner as an employee. For information on frequently asked questions about the insurance coverage, visit the Adviser Insurance Coverage FAQ document.
For those interested in a more detailed and comprehensive overview of advising student organizations, please review the American College Personnel Administrators (ACPA) Adviser Manual.
Student Organization Handbook
The Student Organization Handbook is a great resource for understanding Trinity's and Student Involvement's expectations of organizations on campus.
Adviser Roles and Expectations
- Interpret Trinity University regulations and policies and to provide leadership for the adherence to those rules by the organization.
- At the beginning of the year, discuss what your particular role, responsibilities, and level of involvement will be. Discuss your expectations of the organization and their responsibility to you.
- Attend general meetings and officer meetings as often as deemed necessary.
- Be familiar with university facilities, services, and procedures that affect the club.
- Keep abreast of organization activities and events both on and off campus.
- Support students in logistics planning related to travel and risk management.
- Act as a consultant in the areas of setting goals, problem-solving, policy making, and upholding guidelines and purposes.
- Notify Student Involvement if the student organization fails to assume any of the responsibilities as outlined in the Student Organization Handbook.
- Be familiar with the organization's constitution and bylaws. Remind organizations that revised constitutions must be submitted to Student Involvement biannually beginning in 2014.
- Provide continuity. Offer the organization a sense of history and direction.
- Help facilitate the transition of the organization from year to year. Ensure that the club conducts officer elections, participates in fall and spring involvement fairs, and registers the organization each year.
- Have an awareness of the organization's budget, fundraising efforts, and spending.
- Initiate ideas for discussion that could possibly help the organization, and speak up when the organization is likely to make a poor decision.
- Be prepared to deal with major problems or emergencies within the organization should any arise.
- Provide constructive feedback where appropriate and facilitate creativity and innovation for the organization.
Tips for Advising
- Express sincere enthusiasm and interest in the organization and its activities.
- Be open to feedback from the group, and be willing to admit mistakes.
- Provide honest feedback to the group and the leaders regarding their performance.
- Participate in the organization and get to know the members.
- Be careful of becoming too involved with the organization. Remember that you are not a member. Your role is to assist, facilitate and advise.
- Learn when to speak when not to speak. Remember to let the students make the decisions while you provide guidance and advice.
- Get to know all of the members on an individual level.
- Learn what members want to get out of the organization.
- Maintain a complete officer and membership list with email addresses and phone numbers.
- Discuss concerns with officers in private and praise them in public.
- Enjoy the impact you can have on the students' development.
- Be visible and choose to attend group meetings and events. At the same time, know your limits.
- Know your group's limits. Help students find a balance between activities and their academic responsibilities.
- Be consistent with your actions.
- Encourage feedback and the evaluation process.
- Plan and encourage attendance at leadership trainings and conference.
- Be a "know it all."
- Be the leader or "run" meetings.
- Say "I told you so."
- Impose your own bias.
- Manipulate the group, impose, or force your opinions.
- Tell the group what to do, or do the work of the president or other members of the executive board.
- Take everything so seriously.
- Take ownership for the group, be the "parent," or the smothering administrator.
- Be afraid to let the group try new ideas.
- Allow the organization to become a one-person organization.
- Be laissez-faire or autocratic.
- Assume the group handles everything okay and doesn't need you.
- Assume the organization's attitudes, needs and personalities will remain the same year to year.
Forms and Deadlines
This glossary of forms is the best resource for understanding the forms your organization may need to use to plan or host an event. Below are form deadlines that will be helpful to keep in mind.
Due at least 10 class days prior to the event...
Due at least 5 class days prior to the event...
Due at least 48 hours prior to the event...
- Emergency Contact Information for Travel
Due at least 24 hours prior to the event...