Clubs and Organizations

Bringing your vision to their goal

What is the role of the Advisor?

Only full-time PLU faculty, staff or administrators may serve as advisors.  The responsibilities of the Advisor include:

  • Being knowledgeable of the guidelines and procedures for student organizations and insuring that student leaders of the organization are also informed of these policies.
  • Serving as a liaison between the club and the University.
  • Providing guidance and leadership.
  • Offering assistance in developing and overseeing the club budget.
  • Periodically attending club meetings
  • Monitoring club travel
  • Giving signature approval for club events & fundraisers

Some advising tips

Listen, Listen, Listen!

At times, your club leaders will want to bounce ideas around with someone other than themselves. During other moments, you may become a venting post for frustrated advisees who have come to spell out their conflicts to a sympathetic ear. And yes, there will be those occasions where you have suddenly found your office transformed in the blink of an eye into “The Club Thinking Spot.” With this last situation, your are like the tree that shades Winnie the Pooh as he rubs his forehead, squints his eyes, and ponders his sticky situations: you just need to be there.

Whether you are actively offering guidance to your students or simply providing them with a comforting and safe spot to speak aloud, your spectrum of listening skills is immensely beneficial for young club leaders who seek understanding, perspective and advice from their club advisor.

Come to club meetings

Sit in on club meetings to get a feel for the club dynamics and understand new club plans. If you cannot make it to club meetings or small activities, set meetings with the club leaders to review important points brought up at the last meeting.

Encourage all club members to play a role

As an advisor, practice promoting a welcoming club atmosphere, one that involves all members into the club planning and activities. To do this, ensure that democracy is in play during club interactions. See to it that anyone who speaks up will have his or her opinion heard with tolerance and respect. It is also wise to make sure your club officers are not crippling their shoulders with too much work that could be handled by regular club members. Encouraging and facilitating delegation of club duties with your club leaders will help them perform their specific roles better and make other club members feel more useful. A thriving club comes from the contributions of many. Help your students grasp this idea.

Get to know club officers individually

Take some time to talk about club and non-club stuff with the students to see their differing personalities, interests, and interaction styles. A few simple small lunches or get-togethers can forge a closer relationship with your club leaders, establish better trust and enhance your knowledge of how each club member works inside or outside of the club. These informal encounters can improve attitudes and help you and your advisees run a smoother club operation.

Make a club connection

Staying connected with your student leaders gives them support and keeps you well informed about the club status. Set regularly scheduled meetings with your student leaders to talk about club-related aspects such as programs, budget, and club member interaction.

Find out your club leaders’ work styles

Do your club leaders like to play e-mail ping-pong or do they appreciate a call to hear your voice? Do they like to plan things out far in advance or touch base often as a project progresses? Can they listen to you once and remember or do they need written notes? Knowing how your students like to keep in touch and retain information will ensure that you get things done faster.

Participate in and show up to club events

You’ve worked with your club to get an event off of the ground, refined the plan and set it into action. The event arrives and—you’re nowhere to be seen? Something’s wrong with this picture. An advisor plays an integral part in club engineering to the very end. Under that big event spotlight, your club leaders will appreciate seeing your face, hearing your encouragements, and even having you as part of the show. The culmination of all that hard work is a moment to be shared by the whole crew, so attend the awesome event you’ve helped bring to life!

Resources for Advisors