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MUSC Student Organizations Support

Role of the Advisor

Given the myriad of purposes, activities, and objectives of various student organizations, the role of the advisor will and can vary significantly among them.  As groups vary in their expectations and requirements, it is important that the advisor develop an understanding with the organization you are to represent as to the nature of your involvement. The advisor and group should agree on a set of expectations of one another from the onset. This understanding should be reviewed annually.

To maintain a good working relationship new and veteran advisors should feel comfortable discussing their relationship and role with student leaders.

Use this list as a guideline for just some of the roles you will play as an advisor to your student organization.

  • Be able to interpret University policies governing recognized student organizations (see the Policies and Procedures section of the MUSC Student Handbook.)
  • Attend meetings when possible, but at least once a semester
  • Advise and consult organization officers on budgets and other financial affairs. Meet with officers at least once a semester
  • Provide continuity to the group by communicating the policies, regulations, roles and responsibilities with group members, and assist with the transition of officers each year
  • Encourage and assist the group in setting organization goals
  • Be available to the officers of the organization for consultation
  • Sign documentation as advisor, for organizational events where all alcohol will be served
  • Encourage the officers to maintain accurate records
  • Provide guidance to group members regarding organization-related problems
  • Stay up-to-date on what is happening within the organization
  • Assist officers in understanding their duties and organizing programs
  • Assist the officers with goal settings
  • Promote diversity and interprofessional collaboration within organization
  • Determine if the organization’s constitution defines the advisors’ role and when it does support the organization accordingly
  • If the constitution does not clearly define the role of the advisor it is strongly recommended that the advisor and the executive officers meet annually to clarify duties, set expectations, and define levels of responsibility to best serve the organization’s mission and goals

Benefits of Advising Student Organizations

There are numerous benefits associated with serving as an advisor to a student organization that include:

  • The satisfaction of seeing and helping students learn and develop new skills
  • Developing personal relationships with students
  • Enhancing the personal development and leadership skills of diverse students
  • Watching a disparate group come together to share common interests and work toward common goals and an understanding of differences
  • Furthering personal goals and/or interests by working with an organization that reflects your own interests
  • Sharing your knowledge, perspective and expertise with students



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