Student Organization Advisor Manual
- At the beginning of each year/semester, develop clear expectations with the organization's officers to define your role as advisor and shared expectations.
- Read the group’s Constitution. You should be familiar with their purpose, mission, executive board positions, and founding tenets.
- Get to know executive board members, but also get to know general club members.
- Attend the organization's events and be present at club functions.
- Develop a working relationship with the president and other officers.
- Discuss concerns with club members in private, and praise them in public.
- Remember to let the students make the decisions. Your role as advisor is to guidance and advice.
- Be familiar with College policies. It is important that you help the organization navigate campus politics and policies, especially in regard to club events and purchases.
- Meet with the officers regularly, help them set goals. and assist when there is conflict and tension between club members.
- At all times, keep your sense of humor!
The purpose of student organizations is to provide students with opportunities to participate in activities that develop their intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, and professional abilities. These organizations complement the academic life of the College. To meet all the different developmental needs of students, Hamilton offers a multitude of student groups. Every student is encouraged to become a member of those clubs that appeal to their interest.
Floerchinger (1992) found that involvement in student organizations:
- Improves students’ interpersonal skills
- Positively enhances skills in leadership, communication, teamwork, organizing, decision-making and planning
- Gives students a greater satisfaction with their college experience
- Provides useful experience in obtaining a job and providing job-related skills
- Develops lifelong values of volunteerism and service to others
Many thanks to colleague Doug Adams and Middlebury College for sharing content for this Advisor Handbook with Hamilton and allowing us to update it for our use.