Congratulations! You have been asked to advise one of the over 150 student organizations at the Illinois Institute of Technology. We want you to know that the Office of Campus Life is here for you and your organization to help in any way we can. If at any time you are unsure of your role as an advisor on our campus, please let us know how we can help!
What is a student organization advisor?
An advisor is an expert who gives advice. We don’t expect you to be an expert in everything, but if your students didn’t think you were an expert in something, they wouldn’t have asked you to be their advisor.
As an advisor, you must play many roles. You may be most comfortable in your role as a faculty or staff member at IIT, but keep in mind that we are here to help develop our students and, at times, they may need more from you.
You may be asked to be a mentor. As someone with knowledge and enthusiasm about your profession, your student organization may look to you for personal development, academic guidance, and support.
You may be asked to fill the role of a team-builder. By working with the executive board, you can help establish goals for the year, identify strengths and areas of growth, and plan out the next year while developing a team.
You may need to be a conflict-mediator. Our students come from different backgrounds, different parts of the world, and with different agendas. It may be necessary to meet with students to discuss their direction, the organization’s mission, or how to change their attitude
You will need to be an educator. Keep this in mind in all of your interactions with your students. One of the most difficult actions as an advisor is to do nothing, but you need to allow students to learn from their mistakes and make their own decisions
As an advisor, you will assume numerous roles, including some that are not mentioned here. A key idea to remember is that you are an advisor, not the leader. You provide guidance, insight and perspective to students as they work on projects, but you should not be doing the work. Students will learn if they are engaged. They make decisions, and they are accountable for those decisions and for the successes and challenges of the organization
What are the minimum expectations of an advisor?
- Meet with your organization
- Have open and constant communication with student leadership
- Understand financial proposals
- Ask questions
- Remind officers of deadlines
- Understand Campus Life’s role with your student organization