What type of authority do I have as an advisor?
- You have the authority to advise the student organization: providing guidance, insight and perspective as they plan events, programs and provide services.
- You have the authority to make sure the organization operates according to the institutional policies, procedures and rules governing student organizations and outlined in the Student Handbook.
- You have the authority to make sure the organization operates according to the policies, procedures and rules of governance according to the organizations’ constitution.
- You have the authority to inform the Dean’s Office, MUSC Student Programs and the organization’s state, regional and national affiliate if the organization is not operating according to the policies, procedures and rules outlined by any of the aforementioned.
- You have the authority to represent the organization and its interests in faculty/staff meetings.
- You have the authority to request regularly scheduled meetings with the Executive Officers of the organization as long as they do not conflict their class schedules and academic obligations.
- You have the authority to request to be notified in advance of all meetings, activities and programs planned by the organization.
- You have the authority to request an official copy of all meeting minutes in a timely manner.
- You have the authority to refuse to approve and provide signature for social events where alcohol will be served if the organization has not met the MUSC Responsible Hosting Guidelines for events where alcohol will be served.
- You have the authority and right to resign (with notice) as advisor when you deem you are no longer able to fulfill the duties and responsibilities.
Because organizational procedure is so diverse and expectations vary widely from one to the other it is important to know as much about the role you take on as an advisor as possible. Additionally, advisors may be appointed or invited to serve.
Following is a list of questions potential advisors may want to ask the organization’s student leaders or the Dean’s Office before accepting and invitation to serve as advisor is provided:
- How much involvement is expected or needed from the advisor?
- How often does the group meet and is the advisor expected to attend all meetings?
- How many major activities does the group plan per semester?
- How experienced are the student leaders?
- How do your skills match the needs of the organization?
- What are some of the problem areas that your organization specifically needs advisory assistance in dealing with? Ask for past examples.
- What are some of the ways the Advisor can be helpful to the group?
- Will the Advisor be a silent observer at meetings or an active participant?
- Should you interrupt during meetings if you think the group is getting off track? How? When?
- Is the Advisor expected to give feedback? How? When?
- Are there areas of the organization that are “hands off” to the advisor? If yes, what are they and why?