Guidelines for Advisors

The University of Richmond deems it necessary for each recognized organization to have an advisor. Student organizations may seek advisement from either faculty or staff members of the University community. However, organizations should endeavor to seek an advisor that has adequate time to dedicate to their respective organization.

Organizations should seek out professionals that are allied to, or have a professional interest in, their organization. It should be noted that some organizations have permanent advisors. This is a result of the necessity to offered continued stability and survival of an organization that meets educational and developmental goals.

The relationship of the advisor will vary, not only with each organization, but from time to time within the group. Areas with which the advisor will be concerned are: responsibility to the group, responsibility to the individual, and responsibility to the University of Richmond.

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  • Responsibility to the Organization
    1. There must be opportunities for the education and personal development of students who participate as members of student organizations.
    2. The program must justify a student’s time, abilities, energy, and dues.
    3. The advisor should discourage domination of the group by any individual.
    4. The advisor should be familiar with the history of the group and any major events and/or changes that have occurred within the organization.
    5. The advisor should assist in the orientation of new officers.
    6. The advisor is encouraged to attend events sponsored by the organization.
    7. The advisor should offer assistance for sponsored events and must be willing to play a more active role if deemed necessary to insure the success of the event.
    8. The advisor should use discretion in this role and remember that students can often learn from experiences that are not completely successful. Therefore, it is highly recommended that advisors review/evaluate programs with their student organization(s).
    9. The advisor should encourage students to initiate the evaluation process.
    10. The advisor should verify that the organization has registered all campus events and has reserved the necessary rooms and equipment.
    11. The advisor should verify that the organization has spoken to University Police regarding security needs for an event.
    12. The advisor should apprise the organization to follow the alcoholic beverage policies and encourage responsible use of them. The University of Richmond Alcohol Policy should be at the advisor’s and students’; disposal.
    13. The advisor should assist the organization in setting realistic goals and obtaining objectives for each academic semester and/or year.
  • Responsibility to the Individual
    1. The advisor should encourage each individual to participate and plan group events.
    2. Group members may need guidance as they try to decide to what degree they should participate in activities and/or events. The advisor should seek to assist the students in maintaining a balance between the academic and co-curricular aspects of student life.
    3. The advisor should encourage students to challenge themselves and to accept responsibility for their actions in regards to their conduct and their group efforts.
  • Responsibility to the University
    1. An advisor is a person who acts as a resource to student organizations, but also a person who is a professional. Thus, the advisor must guide the organization in accordance with the purposes and educational objectives of the University.
    2. An advisor is responsible for seeing that finances of the organization are handled properly.
    3. An advisor must be aware of University policies and procedures.
    4. An advisor should examine what their liability is to the student organization as well as what effect the programming and activities of this organization will have on the University. An advisor’s common sense should prove to be efficient in handling most situations. Should an advisor have any doubt in their judgment or have questions regarding the liability of a student organizational event, they should contact the Office of Student Activities.
    5. An advisor must report any instances of violence or sexual harassment in the organization to University Police immediately — for more details, see the Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act information in this publication.
  • Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act

    In 1990, Congress passed into law the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Jeanne Ann Clery was a 19-year-old university freshman who was assaulted and murdered while asleep in her residence hall in 1986. Her parents, Connie and Howard, led a crusade to enact this law after they discovered that students hadn’t been told about thirty-eight violent crimes on the campus of the university she was attending in the three years preceding Jeanne’s murder.

    The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires that each institution of higher education in the United States which participates in federal student aid programs produce an annual report containing crime statistics and statements of security policies. If you are unfamiliar with this report, a copy is available online. Failure to provide required information, or the inclusion of inaccurate information, can result in fines of up to $25,000 per violation being imposed by the U. S. Department of Education (DOE).

    This act requires that all faculty and staff who interact significantly with students (to whom students may report crimes) or university employees who take "disciplinary actions against students" be aware of their role in the University of Richmond’s compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act. Because of your job or role dealing with students you meet the federal definition of a campus authority with "significant responsibility for student and campus activities." Included in this definition is a director of athletics, team coach, faculty/staff advisor to a student group, a dean of students or director who is responsible for student housing, a student center, or student extracurricular activities.

    The Clery Report requires crime statistics for the campus, certain non-campus properties, and certain public property areas, which have been reported to University Police or local police in the most recent three calendar years be made publicly known. Faculty and staff members who are involved in disciplinary actions concerning liquor law violations, drug law violations and illegal weapons possessions must report these statistics to the University of Richmond Police Department. These violations must be a violation of the law, not a violation of university policy. They need to be listed by the nature, date, time and general location of each crime.

    You must also report the following criminal offenses in accordance with the law to the University of Richmond Police Department if reported to you to be included in this report. The University understands that you may not be familiar with the legal definitions of these crimes and if you are unsure you may contact the University Police for assistance in reporting.

    • Murder
    • Sex offenses, forcible or non- forcible
    • Robbery
    • Aggravated assault
    • Burglary
    • Motor vehicle theft
    • Manslaughter
    • Arson
    • Hate crimes by category of prejudice

    These also need to be listed by the nature, date, time and general location.

    It is the intent of the University of Richmond Police Department to compile accurate statistics of the crimes that have occurred on and around our campus and report it to the campus community as well as to prospective faculty, staff, and students. We would greatly appreciate your assistance with compiling this data. Crime-related information is reported annually and should be mailed to the following address by January 15th each year beginning January 2000.

    University of Richmond Police Department
    Attn: Captain Beth Simonds
    P.O. Box 296
    University of Richmond, VA 23173

    For more information on the Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act, contact Captain Simonds at 804-289-8722.