All COSO organizations are required have a staff or faculty advisor from the college. Your advisor can be as involved with your organization as you want them to be. Be sure to develop guidelines and expectations to foster a strong relationship with your advisor.
In order to clarify the role of the Student Organization Advisor, the Council on Student Organizations has adopted the following policy:
- The role of an Advisor is to provide stability and continuity to student organizations.
- The Advisor is to provide guidance to student organizations through advice and suggestions.
- The Advisor is to assist in fostering the prudent management of organizational funds.
The following is an attempt to expound upon each of the above aspects of the Advisor's role.
- To provide stability and continuity to a student organization, the Advisor must assume an active role in the affairs of the student group. One of the most common reasons for the failure of a club or organization is internal strife among club members. Maintaining stability and promoting close cooperation among club members frequently requires that the Advisor act as an arbiter and mediate disputes. Ideally, the energy behind intra-group conflicts should be channeled through constructive outlets. It is important to avoid the breakdown of a student group into non-functioning factions.
- The Advisor is to provide guidance to student organizations. This guidance may assume a variety of forms. One aspect would be specialty advice, such as suggestions that an Advisor might make to an organization concerning the selection of material for a student publication. The Advisor is not the director or a club's activities. Providing guidance through advice and suggestions, the Advisor assists students in making their own decisions.
- The prudent management of funds necessitates close cooperation between club officers and club advisors. In order that COSO policy be in line with that of the general college, the signature of the Collis Center staff member must appear on all purchasing forms.
The Council's experiences with student groups have proven the importance of the Advisor to the success of a club's endeavors. The Council has learned that the activity of a student group is often proportional to the Advisor's involvement. Those student organizations that are most successful have active Advisors. COSO encourages the full participation of the Advisor in the affairs of student organizations.