Advisors play an important role in student organizations. Expectations for advisors are not always clear. Take a 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 reach out the staff of the Campus Activities Office.
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 as well as receiving confidential care and support if you need it.
Before agreeing to become a club advisor, it's important to understand the difference between Cornell's Independent Organizations (IO) and University Organizations. In short, University Organizations are those groups that are affiliated with a university department or unit, and whose activities fully relate to the education, research, and community-service mission of the university and the goals of the department.
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 important 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 process, advisors will be required to sign off on documents confirming their role. Included in those documents are an attestation for Clery Act.
Though roles and responsibilities may be defined by a sponsoring department or constitution, it's still important for advisors and student leaders to be on the same page.
From registering the organization each year, to registering events on campus, to missing classes for club activities, it is important for advisors 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.
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 contact Campus Activities via email, or call (607) 255-4169.