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Advisor Handbook

ROLES AND FUNCTIONS OF ADVISORS
How the Proactive Advisor Prepares for Success
Definition of Advising
Advisor vs. Supervisor on University Campuses
Tips for Good Advisor/President Relationship
Overcoming Barriers to Success for the Advisor
Organization Advisor Job Description

HOW THE PROACTIVE ADVISOR PREPARES FOR SUCCESS
(at a glance)


Initial Preparation:

A. Gather relevant training materials.
B. Design an officer training program.
C. Select one hour per week to devote to student group planning.

Stimulate Interest In Student Groups:


A. Posters of the previous year's highlights in high volume student areas.
B. Discuss importance of student groups with present student leaders.
C. Polish meeting notices and election announcements with officer descriptions.
D. Promote interest in student groups through general student meetings.
E. Join in College Organization Fair.

Set Up Weekly Meetings With Officers:


A. Insist upon utilizing agendas, minutes, and posting information.
B. NEVER abandon this meeting!

Establish Goal Setting Procedures With Officers:

A. Insure that the group formally adopts the goals.

Challenge The Leadership About The Decision Making Processes That The Group Utilizes.

Build Evaluation Into The Fabric Of The Organization:


A. Evaluate programs.
B. Periodically evaluate group process.

DEFINITION OF ADVISING

ADVISE (ad viz) v, -vised, -vising, 1. to give advice to., 2. to recommend an action, policy, etc., 3. to give information or notice to., 4. to give advice., 5. to take counsel. (from Webster's Dictionary)

  • to encourage social maturity, to enhance the learning environment and encourage academic excellence, to encourage community relations and service projects to help establish a sense of involvement. - Pavone
  • to help set an atmosphere where students feel they can voice an opinion and initiate action.
  • to assist in the training of officers.
  • to offer a broader perspective on issues and problems by sharing your experience and staff expertise.
  • to advise residents on the possible results or implications of a proposed action.
  • to insure that group activities are conducted in accordance with University and state regulations.
  • the process in which an individual listens, recommends, informs, and maintains two way communication with another individual or groups of individuals. The definition includes the obligation that the advisor will act only in the best interest of the group - Anonymous
  • to help facilitate the actualization of a group's goals without taking ownership of that group. - Jane Tuttle


Do's and Don'ts of Advising: A short list

DODON'T
allow others to failcontrol the group
allow others to succeedmanipulate the group
know your limitsmiss group meetings and functions
know the group's limittake ownership for the group
be visibleclose communication
be consistent with your actionsbe afraid to try new ideas
teach the art of leadershipknow it all
keep your sense or humortake everything so seriously
trust yourself and the groupbe the leader
learn when to/not to speak

 

inform the group of policies

 


ADVISOR versus SUPERVISOR On University Campuses – Who am I?

ADVISOR

Definition: An advisor is a person who is either chosen by or assigned to a group or organization. The enjoyment of the position stems from the fulfillment of a mutually attractive set of rewards.

Skills: Listening, conflict resolution, decision-making skills, motivation, sensitivity to group dynamics, flexible time schedule, tolerance to ambiguity, and sensitivity to group norms.

Roles: Motivator, sounding board, confidante, negotiator, moderator, mentor, equal participant, observer, summarizer, reality checker.

Mode of operation:

  1. Develops clear expectation with the organization
  2. Process-oriented; non-directive
  3. Attempts to define criteria for success based on the organization's goals
  4. Maintains contact and visibility with the group, but does not take charge
  5. Provides neutral and honest feedback to the group
  6. Encourages feedback regarding goals and task accomplishment
  7. Documents for the purpose of maintaining clarity, providing history, re-enforcing consistency, and showing internal development.

Does not: control, boss, fire, rule, have final say

Words to remember about student organization volunteers:

Volunteer
Amateur
Untrained
Unsure
Willing
Able
PRAISE

If you volunteer for something, how would you like to be treated?

SUPERVISOR


Definition: A supervisor is a person who is assigned or appointed to a group or organization for the purpose of aiding in certain specialized functions.

Skills: Experience in management, supervision, assertiveness, persuasion, skill development, finance; familiarity with rules, polices, state and federal laws; and structured time schedule.

Roles: Resource person, manager, administrator, enforcer, trainer, teacher, "bottom liner," authority figure.

Mode of operation:

  1. Seeks clear expectations of the specific responsibilities from the Central Staff and communicates those to the entire group
  2. Goal-oriented; directive based on authority
  3. Has specific criteria to determine success/failure
  4. Maintains constant contact to facilitate information flow
  5. Requires feedback
  6. Documents for the purpose of limiting liability, establishing history, guaranteeing consistency, and making sure that internal development occurs

Can: control, boss, fire, rule, have final say

Words to remember:
Paid
Pre-professional (para-professional)
Trained
Confident
Willing
Able
Praise

Remember, our basic goal here in advising is to challenge and support.

TIPS FOR GOOD ADVISOR/PRESIDENT RELATIONSHIP

  1. Clear understanding of each other's role in the organization.
    •clarify, in writing, what those roles are
  2. Clear expectations.
    •verbalize what it is you expect and want; clear up any misconceptions
  3. Realistic relationship.
    •friendly should NOT be an exception; if it happens, it should occur naturally
  4. Advisor – encourage president to set specific goals.
    •then be supportive of these goals
    •remember that the president often has the least well-defined role
  5. Support each other.
    •provide positive feedback for things well done
  6. Have a sense of humor.
    •the ability to laugh at yourself and see the humor in situations can make the job a lot more fun; especially if the humor is not negative or demeaning
  7. Practice open and honest communication.
    •this helps you establish a trusting relationship and helps avoid problems with hidden agendas
    •it also helps when you have differing viewpoints
  8. Respect each other.
    •it is important to respect both the person and their position

Adapted from: material at the National Association of Campus Activities, 1993 Southeast Regional Conference.

OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO SUCCESS FOR THE ADVISOR

  1. QUESTIONABLE ACTIVITY HAS BEEN INTRODUCED.
    •Introduce alternatives
    •Point out difficulties inherent to the plan.
    •Suggest that the group obtain the opinion of individuals or groups affected by the activity.
    •Suggest that the leadership contact individuals who possess expertise or have responsibilities in this area.
  2. GROUP MEMBERS LACK THAT CREATIVE SPARK.
    •Utilize brainstorming.
    •Refer leaders to various professionals for additional ideas.
    •Develop a program that has never been done before.
  3. MEMBER MONOPOLIZES DISCUSSION.
    •Encourage individuals only if his/her contribution will benefit the group.
    •Otherwise, politely interrupt.
    •Never embarrass anyone publicly!
  4. ARGUMENTATIVE OR OBSTINATE GROUP MEMBER.
    •Keep an open mind to the content presented.
    •Keep your temper.
    •Politely interrupt and suggest that the group move on to other agenda items.
    •Talk to the individual privately.
  5. WHEN A POINT OR ISSUE IS BEING DISCUSSED TOO LONG.
    •Suggest having questions after the meeting for those who are interested.
    •Appoint a sub-committee.
    •If appropriate, call for a vote.
  6. WHEN TWO INDIVIDUALS GET INTO A HEATED EXCHANGE.
    •Summarize the points made by both individuals and then turn the discussion back to the group.
    •Invite the two to stay after the meeting to talk it over.
  7. WHEN A SPEAKER DRIFTS OFF THE TOPIC.
    •Politely interrupt, give credit for the idea, but explain that it is departing from the main point.
    •Bring the discussion back by using the related idea as the transition.
    •If the "departure" may be beneficial, ask the group whether it wishes to stray from the topic at hand temporarily.
  8. WHEN A MEMBER HAS DIFFICULTY EXPRESSING HIM/HERSELF.
    •Build up confidence by expressing appreciation for his/her contribution.
    •Rephrase the material with a clarifying preface such as "Is this what you mean?"
  9. GROUP ONLY PLANS SOCIAL EVENTS AND AVOIDS UNDERTAKING DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS AND POLICY ISSUES.
    •Go back to basics with officers. Spend time examining the purpose of the organization.
    •Have several motivated individuals plan a project under the auspices of the organization.
  10. WHEN A CLIQUE ASSUMES CONTROL.
    •Privately, confront individuals and challenge them to explain what they see their responsibilities to be. Fill in the gaps.
    • Introduce topics and program ideas that mandate broad-based participation.
    •Volunteer to establish committees.
    •Have several motivated individuals plan projects that meet the needs of individuals not considered by the clique.
    •Engage in staff in strategy session. The end result may be asking the organization to evaluate its mission and progress.
  11. WHEN AN OFFICER DOES NOT FULFILL HIS/HER RESPONSIBILITIES.
    •Explore the reasons privately.
    •Go over position responsibilities thoroughly.
    •Openly discuss the individual's suitability for the position.
    •Suggest ways of rectifying the situation and have the individual agree that she or he should not hold office unless certain behavioral changes occur.

Adapted from: A Publication of United Educators Insurance Risk Retention Group, Inc.

ORGANIZATION ADVISOR JOB DESCRIPTION

Service Organization

Relationship to Group:
• The advisor focuses on student development and student leadership in coordinating all the activities of Elon Volunteers.
•Assists and encourages students to have regular interaction/communication with the entire organization.
•Attend service trips.

Expectations of Advisor:
• Meet weekly with student coordinators and directors
•Meetings: In order to maintain student involvement
•Bi- weekly with Organization
•Occasionally with program, organization and event coordinators
•Events: Attend mid-year and end year banquets
•Administrative Tasks: All of the above. Budgeting, reports, brochures, office management, validation, placement, reflection, written communication (letters, memos, e-mail), van and room reservations, service learning workbooks, timesheets, etc.
•Leadership Development: Staff and director retreats. Support and encouragement at state and national conferences.
•Other time commitments: Attend conferences and service trips.

ORGANIZATION ADVISOR JOB DESCRIPTION


Greek Letter Affiliation

Relationship to Group:
• Not necessarily affiliated nationally with group, more staff, attends executive board
meetings, some chapter meetings, attends Greek events or special events sponsored by chapter, attends monthly advisor luncheon hosted by Greek Life Office.
•Little interaction with inter/national office (may be more involved if affiliated).
•Expected to: attend advisors roundtable luncheons monthly at least one chapter meeting a semeste, and at least one executive meeting each month; sign off on paperwork as needed; attended Greek events or other special chapter events as available.

Expectations of Advisor:
• Meetings: varies by group
•one executive meeting a month
•at least one chapter meeting each semester
•Greek faculty advisor roundtable one time a semester
•Events: Advisors are required at large events (especially those held in Whitley or Fine Arts.) They are encouraged to attend other events as available.
•Administrative Tasks: Approve campus events; for example, event registration forms, regular solicitation forms; Greek (house/suite) lease agreements, anti-hazing contracts, help facilitate timely submission of chapter paperwork, help obtain payment for house/suite common area damages, wristband charges, etc., review calendar to check for over-programming; etc. discuss academic support/enhancement provided by chapter. Assist in organization in management of financial responsibilities.
•Leadership Development: As available; no formal leadership development training is required.
•Other Time Commitments: None; unless group uses a University van or asks advisor to attend retreats, conferences, etc.

Other:
• May assist chapter member discipline or checking GPA information on individual members or potential members (with written consent of member).

ORGANIZATION ADVISOR JOB DESCRIPTION

Academic/Departmental Groups

Relationship to Group:
• Supervision of special events, carry out duties assigned by groups responsible for paperwork and national dues.
•Follow University policies, attend semesterly advisor meetings, approval of facilities/van requests, be aware of and assist organization in management of financial obligations.

Expectations of Advisor:
• Meetings: Per by-laws of individual group
•Events: Advisor attends if the organization is using University vans, or going on a retreat away from campus, or if the event is in an on-campus facility.
•Administrative Tasks: Signing University documents; event registration forms, room reservations, budget requests, membership rosters/goals/progress reports. Assist with developing and presenting annual budget to SGA.
•Leadership Development: Developing retreat plans; encourage involvement in Leadership Development Institute.
•Other Time Commitments: Yes, 2 times a year (on average); 1 retreat, 1 conference/trip.

ORGANIZATION ADVISOR JOB DESCRIPTION


Performance Groups


Relationship to Group:
• Supervision of performances and related practices; dress rehearsals, carry out duties as assigned by group by-laws; serves as a resources on University polices and procedures.
•Reserving facilities and making sure all performance spaces are intact and working properly.
•Supervision of heavy equipment used as props.
•Beware of and assist organization in management of financial obligations; approval of facilities request

Expectations of Advisor:
• Meetings: Per by-laws of individual group
•Advisor meeting 4 times a year
•Events: Advisor attends if the organization is using University vans, or are going on a retreat away from campus, or if the event is in an on-campus facility.
•Administrative Tasks: Signing University documents, event registration forms, room registrations, budget requests, membership roster/goals/progress reports. Assist with developing and presenting annual budget to SGA.
•Leadership Development: Developing retreat plans; encourage involvement in Leadership Development Institute.
•Other Time Commitments: Yes, 2 times a year (on average); 1 retreat, 1 conference/trip

ORGANIZATION ADVISOR JOB DESCRIPTION


Programming

Relationship to Group:
• Advisor supervises special events; serves as a resource on University policies and procedures. Carry out duties assigned by group by-laws and accompanies group to conferences.

Expectations of Advisor:
• Meetings: Per by-laws of individual organization.
•Entering into negotiations with agents reserving facilities and making sure facility is in good shape after event.
•Load in/load out of heavy equipment.
•Events: Advisor attends if the organization is using University vans, or are going on a retreat away from campus, or if the event is in an on-campus facility.
•Administrative Tasks: Signing University documents; event registration forms, room reservations, budget requests, membership rosters/goals/progress reports. Assist with developing and presenting annual budget to SGA.
•Leadership Development: Developing retreat plans; encourage involvement in Leadership Development Institute.
•Other Time Commitments: Yes, 2 times a year (on average); 1 retreat, 1 conference/trip

ORGANIZATION ADVISOR JOB DESCRIPTION


Political/Governmental

Relationship to Group:
• Supervision of special events, accompany groups to conferences, serves as resource on University policies and procedures, carry out duties as assigned by groups by-laws.
•Reserving facilities/vans

Expectations of Advisor:
• Meetings: Per by-laws of individual group.
•Events: Advisor attends if the organization is using University vans, or are going on a retreat away from campus, or if the event is in an on-campus facility.
•Administrative Tasks: Signing University documents; party events, room reservations, budget requests, membership rosters/goals/progress reports. Assist with developing and presenting annual budget to SGA
•Leadership Development: Developing retreat plans; encourage involvement in Leadership Development Institute.
•Other Time Commitments: Yes, 2 times a year (on average); 1 retreat, 1 conference/trip.

ORGANIZATION ADVISOR JOB DESCRIPTION

Honor Organizations


Relationship to Group:
• Help initiation process, carry out duties assigned by groups by-laws.
•Follow University policies, attend semesterly advisor meetings.

Expectations of Advisor:
• Meetings: Per by-laws of individual group
•Events: Advisor attends if the organization is using University vans, or is going on a retreat away from campus, or if the event is in an on-campus facility.
•Administrative Tasks: Signing University documents; event registration forms, room reservations, budget requests, membership rosters/goals/progress reports. Assist with developing and presenting annual budget to SGA
•Leadership Development: Developing retreat plans; encourage involvement in Leadership Development Institute.
•Other Time Commitments: Yes, 2 times a year (on average); 1 retreat, 1 conference/trip.