The Role of a Student Organization Adviser - Student Affairs (Policy VII-006)

The Role of a Student Organization Adviser - Student Affairs (Policy VII-006)

Student Affairs policy VII-006 discusses the role of a student organization adviser.
Effective Date:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff, Students
Material Original Source:

Policy Number: SA VII-006
Policy Date: 8/8/06


Subject: The Role of a Student Organization Adviser

The adviser serves as a model for students. By providing leadership, the adviser is an educator, helping students to learn by doing. The adviser provides a sense of direction for the student organization and promotes student and faculty/staff interaction in, and out of, the classroom. An adviser also provides the support necessary for the student leader to build, and maintain, a successful organization.

An adviser's role, similar to most aspects of college and university life, varies from time to time. However, the following are expectations of Student Organization Advisers:

  1. Help the organization identify its goals and should help members and officers to clarify their areas of responsibility and related duties. The adviser should be prepared to guide the student organization into a meaningful sense of direction. This can be done by  suggesting programs or activities that would be worthwhile and appealing to the students. However, the adviser should not manipulate the student leader or the organization.
  2. Assure that accurate and consistent records are kept by organizational officer, that approved methods of handling organizational finances are followed, and that updates requested by UAB are filed properly.
  3. Provide information concerning the organization when it is requested by a student or UAB official.
  4. Observe and evaluate student performance of assigned dutues toward the accomplishment of group goals. The adviser should teach basic leadership skills and provide the student leadership with elements of good organizational and administrative practice. Advisers should encourage self-discipline and responsibility with the group. When needed, an adviser should provide advice or assistance to group leaders and members of the organization.
  5. Be available whenever possible to assist the student leader in the planning, implementation, and operation of any program or activity sponsored by the student organization. This does not mean, however, that the adviser should do the work for the students. The role of the adviser is to offer professional opinions or expertise that will make the task at hand easier. Questions such as "what if" or "have you thought of?" often lead to sound discussion.
  6. be a good listener and act as a "sounding board" as frequently as necessary. Many times the student leader or even a member of the student organization may need to share ideas or problems. By listening, the adviser can build good relationships and at the same time avoid problems within the organization.
  7. Resolve any problems that may occur within the organization that could not be resolved with the leadership or the membership of the organization.
  8. Be available as a mentor to organization members to assist them with individual problems and decisions as well as with those related to the organization.
  9. Act as a source of general information regarding resources as well as UAB policies and procedures.
  10. In the event that the organization becomes inactive, notify the Office of Student Leadership, HUC 440, in writing. It is also the adviser's responsibility to close out all existing checking or savings accounts and to donate remaining funds to the group designated in the organizations's constitution.
  11. Advisers are required to sign off on UAB facility requests in most situations.
  12. Advisers must be a UAB employee and should attend the Student Organization Orientation along with the organization president.