Advisor Resources

 Student Organization


As an advisor to a student organization you have the opportunity to extend the learning that happens out of the classroom. You will also have the potential to influence and develop that learning with the students. We appreciate your commitment and dedication to enhancing student life at SUNY Geneseo. Students will grow and develop as you fulfill the vital role as an advisor. We value the work you do with our student organizations.

Advisor Eligibility

Any SUNY Geneseo faculty or staff member may serve as a student organization advisor. Emeriti are considered acceptable advisors. All student organizations are required to have an advisor to maintain College registration. It is the responsibility of the organization to find an advisor.

 Quick Links

Contact Us

Coordinator of Student Life Activities & Late Night Programs
Madison Jansen
College Union 303

Department of Student Life
College Union 321
Facebook: MacVittie College Union
Twitter: @GeneseoMCU

Role of the Advisor

Advisors play a vital role in making the student organization experience meaningful for the officers and members. The most successful organization are those in which the advisor takes an active interest in the group. Advisors to student organizations should offer constructive criticism and guidance, while allowing the students to develop their own goals, rules and methods of accountability. An advisor serves as a resource, consultant and mentor for student organizations, as well as aid in the development and growth of the student organizations and its members. The advisor accepts responsibility for serving as an educator, staying informed about the activities of the organization, advising organization officers and members on College policies and procedures and modeling ethical leadership.

Expectations of the Advisor

Each individual advisor must decide the amount of time and energy they can devote to the organization. The advisor should let the organization know how much time they are able to commit. It is also important that the organization officers share their own expectations and limits. It is up to the particular advisor and the respective organization to decide the best way to make their relationships productive, successful and fulfilling. An individual should not accept the invitation to serve in the important role of advisor unless he or she is capable of fulfilling the expectations. 

  1. Promote the College values of learning, creativity, inclusivity, civic responsibility and sustainability
  2. Serve as positive and ethical role models
  3. Serve as a resource and guide to the organization
  4. Attend some meetings of the organization and their executive board. Advisors should also try to attend a few club programs or activities to show their support for the organization. 
  5. Maintain regular contact and an awareness of the activities and programs sponsored by the organization
  6. Take an active role in helping students plan and execute a meaningful program that is consistent with the organization’s purposes and in line with the goals and objectives of the College
  7. Motivate the organization to develop leadership skills, professionalism, and personal growth
  8. Provide support, direction, feedback, and praise to the organization
  9. Notify College administrators of any unacceptable behavior, violations, or noncompliance on behalf of the organization
  10. Articulate campus policies and procedures and assist the organization in understanding these policies
  11. Provide guidance regarding financial transactions, help maintain accurate financial records, and help organization submit Student Association budgets, if applicable
  12. Provide consistency and continuity during leadership transitions from year to year
  13. Communicate to new members the goals and procedures of the organization so that all members understand why the organization exists, why it was started, and who is responsible for doing the various jobs
  14. Provide signature and oversight to the continuing registration process
  15. All student organization advisors are considered “Campus Security Authorities” (mandated reporters). A “Campus Security Authority” is a college official who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities. The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Clery Act), requires colleges that receive federal financial aid to report the occurrence of certain criminal offenses that are reported to local police agencies or any official of the college who is defined as a “Campus Security Authority” (mandated reporter). Criminal offenses required to be reported are: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, sex offenses broken down by forcible sex offenses (includes rape) and non-forcible sex offenses (incest and statutory rape), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, arrests for liquor, weapon and drug violations, date of the incident. As “Campus Security Authority” (mandated reporter), the advisor must report the details of the incident; what, where and when the incident occurred; who was involved is helpful but not mandatory; and the location of the incident to University Police and/or the Dean of Students.

*Adapted from the ACPA Commission for Student Involvement Advisor Manual and Dunkel & Schuh’s Advising Student Groups and Organizations

Benefits and Rewards to Advising

  • Working with students as they learn and develop new skills

  • Witnessing the coming together of individual students to share common interests and work towards common goals

  • Developing a personal relationship and mentoring the students you advise

  • The opportunity to participate in an organization with a purpose you enjoy

  • Sharing one’s knowledge and skills with other advisors on campus

* Adapted from Dunkel & Schuh’s Advising Student Groups and Organizations

Please know that the The Department of Student Life is always here to assist you if you should have any questions or concerns. We are located in the MacVittie College Union, Room 321, or can be reached at (585) 245-5851.