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What is an Advisor?

An advisor is an educator in a “non-traditional classroom”. The advisor uses personal expertise and perspective to stimulate individual development of members and the overall development of the organization.

McKaig, R. & Policello, S. (1984). Group Advising-Defined, Described, and Examined. In Schuh, J.H. (Ed.), A Handbook for Student Group Advisors 47

A student organization advisor is a faculty and/or staff member who works closely with the organization/club to ensure a cooperative relationship between the club, its members, and the University. The Advisor ensures that all reasonable steps are taken to protect the safety and welfare of all club members during club meetings and activities. The advisor also provides support and guidance to officers and members of a student organization.

The advisor is responsible for assisting club officers in completing necessary paperwork yearly (i.e. Student Organization information update form, contacting the IRS to obtain a tax identification number if one has not already been established, Organizational Aid Application, etc.), and for ensuring that these documents/forms are submitted at the appropriate deadlines throughout the academic year.

Advisors should:

  • Facilitate intelligent, fair and reasonable decision-making
  • Advise organizations about potential and perceived risks
  • Understand university/departmental expectations
  • Be familiar with organizational documents and policies
  • Be committed to the educational development of the students and uphold the mission and values of Western Kentucky University

The knowledge, leadership, and guidance that an advisor can provide your organization is priceless. An advisor can assist in designing and evaluating organization goals and activities. Most advisors will have more familiarity with the university and its extensive community of services.

Complete and submit an Advisor’s Statement Form in its entirety yearly. Contact Randall P. Bogard at rso@wku.edu to have the Advisor’s Statement Form emailed to you. 

The advisor is voluntarily associated with the group. It is the group’s responsibility to keep the advisor inform on all the activities of the organization.

An Organization should:

  • notify the advisor of all meetings and events
  • consult your advisor in the planning of all activities
  • understand that although the advisor has no vote that she or he should have speaking privileges
  • remember that the responsibility for the success or failure of the organization activities rest ultimately with the group, not the advisor
  • talk over any problems or concerns with the advisor
  • be clear and open about your expectations for the advisor’s role

Adapted from: The University of Texas at Dallas’s Student Organization Manual (2012). https://www.utdallas.edu/soc/manual/04/



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 Last Modified 5/20/19