Student Organization Advisor Manual

Many thanks to Doug Adams and Middlebury College for allowing us to reprint sections of their advisor manual and call them our own. We owe you man.

Welcome to the world of advising student organizations. Advisement provides a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know students better and to gain the satisfaction of knowing that you helped guide students in the development of a successful organization or program. Advising an organization does require additional time demands; however, the rewards gained by advising are great, and more than compensate for these demands.

Advisors for student clubs are important catalysts for the learning that happens out of the classroom and have the potential to influence and develop that learning. Student clubs and organizations are effective avenues for students to implement theories they have learned in class, to dialogue about what they are learning in the classroom, to develop friendships, to network with professionals, and to improve their interpersonal, communication and leadership skills. Student involvement and interaction with faculty are considered determining factors in students' satisfaction, intellectual and personal development, and persistence (Floerchinger, 1992), and student organizations are one way to encourage student-faculty relationships.

Advising Tips

  1. At the beginning develop clear expectations about the role of the advisor and your relationship to the organization.
  2. Read the group’s constitution.
  3. Get to know all of the members and attend their events.
  4. Develop a working relationship with the president and other officers.
  5. Discuss concerns with officers in private and praise them in public.
  6. Remember to let the students make the decisions while you provide guidance and advice.
  7. Be familiar with College policies.
  8. Meet with the officers and help them set goals.
  9. At all times, keep your sense of humor.

Purpose of Student Organizations

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 are important components to 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 found that involvement in student organizations:
  • Improves students’ interpersonal skills
  • Has a positive influence on 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

Contact Information

Noelle Niznik

315-859-4516 315-859-4196 nniznik@hamilton.edu
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