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Student Group Advisor’s Role and Responsibility

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Center for Leadership and Service

The Role of the Student Group Advisor

A student group advisor is an institutional representative who volunteers to assist their student group in the areas of organizational development and program support. The advisor assists the group in delineating and achieving its goals within the context of University’s mission, policies, and procedures. The advisor is not the group’s leader, but may give advice, make suggestions or provide any information applicable to the organization’s interest. The student group advisor may, or may not, serve as an event and/or trip advisor. Decisions within the organization should be made by members themselves. Therefore, in reality, the advisor’s role is that of a consultant.

If a student group advisor has questions, needs advice or would like assistance, the Center for Leadership and Service, located in Miron Student Center, room 219 (908-737-5170) or the Involvement Center, located in Miron Student Center, room 303 (908-737-5270), are the primary resources for the support.

Student Group Advisor Eligibility Requirements

  • Student group advisors must be a full-time faculty or staff member of Kean University.
  • Unless specifically noted in the advisor’s full-time employment description, serving as a student group advisor is optional and voluntary. The duties and responsibilities of a student group advisor should not impact the advisor’s primary employee responsibilities.
  • There is no University term limit to how long a student group advisor may serve as an advisor to a group, but the advisor and organization’s president must complete an annual advisor contract during the student group recognition process.
  • Prior to appointment, advisors should become familiar with the organization’s constitution, mission and purpose.
  • Every recognized student group must have at least one advisor that will serve as the primary point of contact regarding University announcements and notices. If the organization chooses, they may select additional advisors.
  • All student group advisors must successfully complete a bi-annual student group advisor training program regarding University policies, risk management, event planning and management, student conduct, crime reporting and Title IX. Additional trainings or workshops may be planned as policies or legislation changes. Student group advisors that fail to fulfill their training obligation may be removed from their role as a student group advisor or the organization may become suspended until their advisor completes the training.

Student Group Advisor Duties and Responsibilities

  • Since an organization’s success is directly proportional to the quality of leadership, interest, and support of its members, the responsibility the organization assumes regarding any endeavor lies with the membership, not the advisor.
  • The advisor should help ensure that the organization maintains adequate records of the organization’s activities in Cougar Link.
  • Advisors should be familiar with University policies regarding risk management and the use of facilities and room reservations. In the case of organizations receiving funding from University departments or organizations, the advisor should be familiar with all applicable guidelines from the funding source concerning budgeting and spending.
  • Advisors should be invited to attend all organization events and regular meetings. They should make every effort keep up to date with the group and attend meetings.  When an advisor is unable to attend, the advisor should be informed of all business conducted during the meeting, as well as receive a copy of the minutes.
  • The advisor may participate in all the organization’s activities and social events. During events and programs, advisors are responsible for assisting with the enforcement of and educating student group leaders on University policies and procedures. If the organization is hosting an event where any of the following applies, the student group advisor, or an alternate event advisor, must be present for a specified amount of time:
    • Recreational or Performance Activities with High Level of Physical Activity: Advisor must be present for the entire duration of the event (this includes rehearsals).
    • Events in any Kean University Theatre (Wilkins Theatre, Little Theatre, etc...): Advisor must be present for the entire duration of the event. If deemed necessary, a second student group advisor may be required.
    • Bus Trips with University Provided Transportation: For day trips, at least 1 advisor must be present for every 48 persons for the entire duration. For overnight trips, at least 1 advisor must be present for every 25 persons for the entire duration.
    • Special Events and Parties in Downs Hall: For parties in Downs Hall, an advisor must be present for the duration of the event (typically 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.). For special events in Downs Hall an advisor must be present for the first 2 hours of the event.
    • Miscellaneous Events: For all other events that trigger Events Board approval, the student group advisor must be present for the first 2 hours of the event unless otherwise indicated.
  • The advisor should make themselves available for members to speak with as often as necessary to discuss concerns within the organization, program planning, challenges and other organization-related business.
  • The advisor should assist in keeping the organization informed of institutional issues and concerns as they relate to the organization’s activities.
  • The student group advisor may perform other mutual agreed upon duties and responsibilities.

Student Group Advisor Resources

Resources are available to all student group executive board members and advisors through the Center for Leadership and Service and the Involvement Center. For online resources, please visit the Involvement Center website by clicking here

Student Group Advisor Contract

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