Advising/advisors for student organizations

The relationship between an advisor and a student organization requires mutual commitment, dedication, and value and enriches the involvement of all who participate with an organization.

All registered student organizations are required to have an advisor who is a faculty/staff member of SUNY Oswego. Students and their organizations benefit in having an advisor because it allows them to develop a relationship with a faculty/staff member beyond the classroom with a common experience through their involvement in a student organization. Faculty/staff members who advise student organizations are able to relate with and connect with students in a less formal setting than the classroom while still impacting student development.

Student organizations and advisors should make a mutual agreement as to the expectations that they have of each other and the depth of relationship the organization and advisor wish to cultivate. Utilizing the Advisor Roles and Advisor Responsibilities section of this page should help set a framework for this mutual agreement. These sections are also provided to assist advisors in seeing the importance of their role and to help student organization members gain a perspective on where their advisor is coming from as they challenge and support the organization and its members.

In addition to the Advisor Roles and Advisor Responsibilities section of this page, you are also invited to visit the Student Involvement page in Laker Life to download the "Advisor Guide" from the documents section of the page.


  • Teaching and coaching

    Advisors assist in organization, officer and membership development.

  • Consultation

    Officers and members will consult with the advisor for their opinions on matters facing the organization.

  • Providing continuity

    Advisors may have the longest history with the organization and can share this perspective with new officers and members.

  • Counseling

    Advisors can counsel the organization and its members on everything from policy to assistance in members' personal lives.

  • Interpretation of policy

    Advisors can help officers and members interpret campus policy.

  • Supervisory

    Advisors may assist in supervising certain projects, elections or other areas as requested by the organization.

  • Meeting emergencies

    Advisors can assist organizations and members in times of crisis.

  • Financial supervision

    Some organizations request advisors to review financial records and ask for assistance with budget development.

  • Social activities

    Where appropriate, advisors should attend organization events and help organizations in planning events and making sure they do not violate policy.

  • Organization meetings

    Advisors should establish an agreement with organizations as to what meetings and events they will be attending so all parties know what is expected of them.

  • Scholastic eligibility

    Advisors should challenge members to keep their grades up and direct them to places that can assist them with academics.

  • Organizational records

    Advisors should be given copies of constitutions, agendas, minutes, calendars and organizational materials so they are aware of what is going on and so that they have records to help present and future members.


The relationship of the advisor to the organization will vary according to the needs of the organization. The advisor has three major concerns:

I. Responsibility to the organization

  • Assist with the development of the organization’s group dynamics
  • Help in the organization’s goal setting process
  • Guide organization to stay within its mission and purpose
  • Play the role of "Devil’s Advocate"
  • Be available to the organization
  • Serve as a liaison between the organization and the college
  • Link organization to its past

II. Responsibility to the Individuals

  • Assist in officer transitions
  • Help with needs of individuals and refer them to appropriate campus offices that can further assist them
  • Be available to individuals
  • Help individuals find balance in their involvement
  • Show individuals their importance in relation to the organization’s goals and success

III. Responsibility to SUNY Oswego

  • Represent SUNY Oswego in a responsible manner
  • Guide organization so that they stay within the policies and procedures of the college and all laws
  • Allow students to grow and make mistakes as long as no one is hurt in the process
  • Utilize the staff for Student Involvement in The Point, 131 Marano Campus Center, for advice and assistance in working with your student organization

The Point, 131 Marano Campus Center, 315.312.5420