Before You Commit

Before you Commit

Advising a student organization is a commitment. We strongly advise potential advisors to meet and openly discuss expectations and responsibilities before becoming the official advisor of record. It is important that you and the organization are a good fit. Some questions to consider asking the organization prior to making a commitment are:

Time Commitment

  • How much involvement is needed or expected?
  • Do you expect for me to be at every meeting and/or event?
  • Are there leadership/executive meetings separate from general meetings?

Meetings/Events

  • How often does the group meet?
  • How many events, outside of general meetings, does the group sponsor?
  • What assistance from me will you need in executing meetings and events?

Group Dynamics/General Information

  • How has the organization been in regards to meeting deadlines?
  • What are the strengths of the organization?
  • What are some of the challenges currently facing the organization?
  • What is the process for me getting “approved” by the organization to be its advisor?
  • Can I see a copy of the organization’s constitution?

Student Leadership

  • How experienced are the student leaders?
  • What is the transition like for student leaders?
  • When do you hold elections?
  • What will our process be if I have serious concerns or we disagree?
  • What goals does the organization have set for this year?
  • How we will communicate (i.e. meet separately, email, phone)

Advising Style

  • How do my skills and personalities match what you are looking for?
  • What are ways that I can be helpful to the organization?
  • What expectations do you have for an advisor?
  • What role do you want me to play during a meeting? Should I contribute to conversation or remain silent?
  • Is there more than one advisor (i.e. team advising) or am I the only advisor?
  • Am I expected to give feedback? If so, How? When?
  • What can I do to support the organization?

Finances

  • How are the organization’s finances?
  • Does the organization have a habit of financial responsibility?
  • How often would I need to sign financial paperwork?
  • How often will you update me on organizational spending and account balances?

Conduct/Liability

  • Does the organization have a history of conduct issues?
  • Are there risky events, programs or practices that the organization is currently practicing?