Student Organization Guidebook

Download a printable version of the Student Organization Guidebook (PDF: 30 pages).

Student Organizations Guidebook

Role of the Adviser

The University requires that each student organization be advised by at least one faculty or staff member. Effective advising requires numerous skills normally associated with teaching or counseling and a willingness to commit time to these activities. Advisers play an important role in student organizations. By sharing knowledge about the university and personal experience, advisers provide professional expertise to student organization members, as well as foster rewarding mentorships with students. Advisers are rewarded in knowing that they have contributed significantly to the growth and development of students through co-curricular activities.

Requirements to be a Student Organization Adviser

  • Must be a full-time St. Cloud State University employee during the academic year in which one serves unless otherwise approved by the Department of Campus Involvement.
  • Serve without pay and not be provided release time from other professional duties unless specified in a job description.
  • Represent and protect the interests of St. Cloud State University in all matters pertaining to the organization.

Choosing or Changing an Adviser

Student organizations are generally responsible for selecting their own adviser unless it is specified in an employee’s position description (note: the Coordinator of Intramurals and Sport Clubs in Campus Recreation is the official adviser signing off on all financial forms for sport clubs). Student organizations are allowed to choose their adviser in accordance with their constitution and/or operating documents, unless it is specified in an employee’s position description. Any student organization may have more than one adviser, though only one adviser is specified to sign financial forms. All changes to advisers should be updated in the online club management system and emailed to the Department of Campus Involvement at campusinvolvement@stcloudstate.edu.

Benefits of Being an Adviser

There are several rewards associated with being the adviser to a student organization. They include:

  • Observe and assist in the development of students.
  • Teach, lead, and coach students.
  • Serve as a reference for students.
  • Serve as a mentor for students.
  • Observe culture changes in the life of the University and community.
  • Form networks with colleagues involved as advisers in similar organizations.
  • Provide service to the University.
  • Participate in an organization whose purpose you support.
  • Receive recognition by the institution, the organization, and students for a job well done.

Responsibilities of a Student Organization Adviser

In assuming the role of student organization adviser, it is inherent that the adviser accepts and agrees to fulfill these responsibilities in the manner listed below:

  • Serve as the official person responsible for the budget, including signing financial forms, budget requests, etc.
  • Take an active role in advising the student organization.
  • Know the general purpose of the organization and be familiar with all provisions outlined in its constitution or by-laws, and review the constitution annually with the organization membership.
  • Meet with the organization president on a regular basis (at least twice each month is recommended as the minimum requirement).
  • Attend organization meetings and events.
  • Remain informed of all activities sponsored and conducted by the student organization.
  • Establish with the student organization president the manner in which the adviser will participate in the organization’s activities; i.e., programs, social events, recruitment and new member activities, and meetings.
  • Know the officers and members of the organizations.
  • Be familiar with the status of the current membership of the organization.
  • Know the organization’s process for obtaining new members.
  • Offer guidance to the organization on goal setting, organization management, program planning, problem solving, and group evaluation.
  • To be knowledgeable of and adhere to University policies and procedures which pertain to student organizations and to inform the student organization officers and members of their responsibilities.
  • Be knowledgeable of policies and procedures listed in the St. Cloud State University Student Code of Conduct.
  • Review with the student organization membership the policies and procedures listed in the St. Cloud State University Student Code of Conduct.
  • Immediately report to the Department of Campus Involvement any activities that may or will violate University policies.
  • Review and adhere to the policies in the Student Organization Policy Guidebook.
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