Registered Student Organization Handbook

Advisor Expectations

Student organization advisors are required to review the following terms and conditions regarding their involvement with student organizations.  This agreement establishes the understanding that the faculty or staff member involved is aware of the policies and procedures associated with their involvement in student organizations at Grand Valley State University. 

Advisor Expectations


Student Organization Advisor Agreement

Grand Valley State University

Office of Student Life


Student Organization Advisor Philosophy and Purpose:

Student involvement in campus organizations provides an opportunity for students to develop leadership and organizational development skills. This involvement also complements their educational objectives with important co-curricular activities by exercising basic freedoms and learning about human behavior. In support of these objectives, it is important that persons with experience in organizations be available to assist students in their organizational endeavors. While the range of activities or student organizations is diverse, the assistance advisors can give organizations by being responsive to students' questions on procedural matters, university policies, financial matters, and so on, can help advance the basic reasons for recognizing student organizations at Grand Valley.


All RSO's must have a faculty or staff advisor selected from GVSU full-time faculty or administrative staff members. In certain situations as designated by the Office of Student Life, an organization will be directed to use an appropriate advisor. This staff member will have been chosen because of their capabilities in a specific area of expertise. In such cases, the student organization shall follow the guidelines of the advisor assigned. In all other cases, the organization may choose an advisor according to constitutional requirements.


Advisor Responsibilities:

I understand that I am responsible for familiarizing myself and the organization members with all university procedures and policies pertaining to the organization's activity.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following publications:  The GVSU Student Code, RSO Handbook, Event Services Policies and Procedures, Office of Student Life Policies and Procedures, Fraternity and Sorority Manual, and the Sport Club Policies and Procedures. 


Advisor Address Information Release:

I understand that some advisor information will be treated as public information and distributed to the university community when necessary.  Advisor name, campus phone number and e-mail address information will be provided in the registered student organization information published by the Office of Student Life.  An e-mail address contact listing will be available on the Student Life web page.


Advisor Non-Hazing Statement:

I understand and will support the university's policy on hazing. GVSU Student Code Section 221.00 Hazing:  The university prohibits any student, acting alone or with others, to conspire to engage in hazing or to participate in hazing.  Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, whether on or off campus, for the purpose of initiation or affiliation with any organization or team which jeopardizes the physical and/or mental well being of any individual, or is, presumably, an illegal activity.  Freedom from humiliation and danger of hazing is guaranteed to every student on this campus.  This policy includes individuals as well as whole organizations.  Any violation of this policy must be reported immediately to the Director of Student Life.


Responsibilities of an Advisor to the University

I understand and support the following responsibilities:

A. The advisor to a student organization must be familiar with University policies and regulations and the particular organization that they advise.

B. All off-campus accounts must have two signatures on their checks. It is suggested that the advisor audit off-campus accounts on a regular basis and before new executive boards begin their duties.

C. GVSU recognized that the definition of the role of advisor to a student organization is that of consultant or resource person. Therefore, with the assumption and completion of the duties and obligations outlined herein, he/she should be not accountable for the conduct of the organization's members and their activities.

D. The advisor is expected to attend complete the online training via Stuey, the registered student organization registration system, and are encouraged to participate in any trainings offered by the Office of Student Life.

E. Because scholastic success is important to the university's mission, the advisor may wish to work closely with the students concerning their academic progress.

F. Organizations such as sport clubs, fraternities, and sororities have special needs and considerations.  Advisors should become familiar with these additional policies. 

G. During travel-related activities, participants are required to complete the Travel Release Statement. Advisors should make sure all participants review the risk of the off-campus activity and complete the release statement. Forms are available at 


Responsibilities of Advisors to Registered Student Organizations

I understand and support the following responsibilities:

A. Maintain regular contact with officers and members.

B. Serve as a resource person at executive and regular meetings. Attend functions of the organization as necessary.

C. Assist with the formulation and/or revision of the organization's constitution and bylaws.

D. Encourage and assist the organization to plan active and significant programs, work with the officers and promote efficient and effective administration of the organization.

E. Assist the treasurer in maintaining accurate accounting procedures and in formulating an annual budget, as well as individual account budgets.

F. If it is necessary for an advisor to resign his or her position as advisor, he or she shall notify in writing the organization and the Office of Student Life.


Page last modified July 12, 2012