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Chapter 8: Club Advisors

Advisor Information

Advisors play an essential role in student organizations. Expectations for advisors are not always clear. Look at the information within this site to learn more about what it means to be a club advisor. If you still have questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact the Campus Activities Office staff.

The Advisor Checklist

This form aims to facilitate communication between advisors and student officers, aiding in gauging levels of involvement. As an advisor, this tool can assist you in initiating discussions about expectations with student leaders, conducting self-evaluations of your role, and offering key insights on fostering communication. This includes building trust, understanding, and engaging in team-building activities, along with celebrating achievements.

Report an Incident

Reporting, understanding, and preventing unacceptable behaviors such as bias, sexual misconduct, and hazing are essential to maintaining our caring community. This page provides avenues for reporting these incidents and receiving confidential care and support if needed.

Independent vs. University Organizations

Before agreeing to become a club advisor, it's essential to understand the difference between Cornell's Independent Organizations (EO-external) and University Organizations (IT - internal). In short, University Organizations are those groups that are affiliated with a university department or unit, and whose activities entirely relate to the education, research, and community service mission of the university and the goals of the department. A University Organization has an advisor assigned to them; the advisor has the role in their hired job description.

Role of the Advisor

The role of the advisor varies from organization to organization. If your organization is a university group, the role may be defined by the sponsoring department. However, if the organization is an independent group, it's essential to be sure your role and expectations are clear from the beginning - to both you and the students.

Advisors must be full-time faculty or staff members at the Cornell University campus where the club is located (Ithaca, NYC, Geneva, etc.). During the club registration or renewal, advisors must sign off on documents confirming their role. Included in those documents is an attestation for Clery Act.

Expectations of Advisors

Though a sponsoring department or constitution may define roles and responsibilities, it's still crucial for advisors and student leaders to be on the same page.

Policies and Procedures

From registering the organization each year to registering events on campus, to missing classes for club activities, advisors need to understand policies and procedures as they work with their student organizations. Some are pretty clear and outlined in the Campus Code of Conduct, while others may be a little more difficult to find and interpret.

Constitutions and Bylaws

Every group is required to submit a constitution and bylaws with their registration. While there are very few requirements about what should be covered within a group's document, the advisor should be familiar with the group's constitution and bylaws, and understand how they should be amended, if necessary.

For more information about club advisors, please get in touch with Campus Activities via email, or call (607) 255-4169.