Information for Advisors

Each Registered Student Organization (RSO) is required to have a faculty or staff advisor. Advising a student organization can be a very rewarding experience. This close interaction with students allows advisors to promote skills such as leadership development, teamwork, equity, and self-discovery that are invaluable to students when they leave the University of Richmond. Advisors play an integral role in helping students develop new skills, become leaders, and enhance their co-curricular experience.

The Advisor Handbook outlines expectations and best practices for advisors, as well as serves as a resource manual for organization management, evaluating and mitigating risk, event planning, as well as applicable University policies.

General Information for Advisors
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  • Eligibility and Selection

    Registered student organizations (RSOs) are required to have an advisor in order to be active and in good standing. Organizations may choose to have more than one advisor or create an advisory board. If an organization needs help locating an advisor, the Center for Student Involvement can assist in identifying potential faculty or staff to fill the role of organization advisor.

    Advisors must be full-time, continuing faculty or staff members. Adjunct faculty are not permitted to serve as advisors to student organizations. 

    The advisor role is a voluntary position and has no term limit, but all advisors must confirm their role during the registration process each semester. To learn more about the student organization registration process, review the Registered Student Organization Handbook.

    Faculty and staff may advise more than one organization; however, they should consider how they will balance these multiple responsibilities and if they can fulfill all advisor requirements and organizational expectations.

  • Expectations
    • Communicate with student leaders about the responsibilities and expectations of both the advisor and the registered student organization.
    • If an advisor plans to be absent for an extended period of time, or no longer wishes to serve in the advisor capacity, it is his or her responsibility to assist the organization in finding a new advisor. The advisor is also required to communicate this update to Student Involvement.
    • Be familiar with the organization’s history, purpose and constitution. CSI has specific requirements for organizational governing documents.
    • Assist the RSO with procedural matters, such as elections or decisions requiring a vote, and encourage the executive members to maintain accurate records.
    • Meet with student leaders regularly and maintain communication to offer support and advice.
    • Advisors are expected to be aware of the organization’s meetings and events; advisors are also strongly encouraged to attend any event with over 100 individuals in attendance, or if the event is controversial in nature.
    • Offer guidance to the organization with regard to university procedures and policies, and be familiar with University policies, student organization policies, and risk management best practices.
    • Be able to help members explore alternatives as they plan activities and events, realizing that final decisions and organizational management are the responsibility of the members.
    • Offer constructive feedback and assist the organization in evaluating programs.
    • Provide continuity to the group by assisting with the transition of the organization’s officers each year.
    • Advise organization executive members on appropriate budgeting practices and ethical stewardship of university funds. All advisors should become familiar with the organization’s account index number and current balance.
    • Alert student leaders to potential organizational problems and provide recommendations if the group is advised to cancel any activities that are inadequately planned, violate policies, or are unsafe.
    • Successfully complete all necessary trainings—FERPA, Title IX, Hazing Prevention, and any others applicable—required by Student Involvement.
  • Reporting Concerns

    As a University employee, the advisor has a responsibility to both the University and the organization. Advisors are required report violations of University policy, as well as organizational concerns or issues to the Associate Director for Student Engagement in Student Involvement.

    In addition, advisors should report concerns related to student well-being, Title IX, bias related incidents, and hazing:

    Report a concern for any student who may be experiencing any significant stressors, such as: academic difficulty, alcohol or drug abuse, changed mood/appearance, disordered eating, excessive absence from class, family emergency, family illness, financial aid concern, grief, and/or loss, injury/illness, missing student, personal wellness, relationship or roommate concern, retention concern, self-injurious behavior, social adjustment/involvement, student death, suicide ideation, threat to others, and unusual behavior. 

    Report Title IX violations immediately to the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator. All University employees, other than counselors, pastors, and those employees legally regarded as confidential sources, must report alleged Title IX violations, including sexual and gender-based harassment, assault, and violence; the report should include the names of any involved parties.

    File a Bias Incident Report if you witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or violence motivated by prejudice against a person’s race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, gender identity, transgender status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability status, marital status, citizenship status, or any other characteristic, prohibited by applicable law. The University will respond appropriately and in keeping with the law.

    Report suspected hazing by an individual, group, or registered student organization. Hazing is an act that, as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation to, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group organization, could be seen by a reasonable person as conduct that endangers the physical health of an individual or causes mental distress to an individual.