University Center Activities & Events (ucae)

Student Organization Advisors

Welcome to the UCAE Student Organization Advisor site! Advisors play an important role in the functioning and development of our students and student organizations. This site contains resources, tips, and information to help you best support your organization and work toward becoming a STAR Advisor

2017-2018 Advisor Handbook

The newly updated Student Organization Advisor Handbook is now available digitally. This handbook has all the information you could need to effectively advise a student organization and all the resources available to advisors! Take the time to check it out below or download the PDF for offline reference!

What is an advisor? - Why become an advisor? - STAR Advisor Award - Advisor Resources - Advisor Liability

What is an advisor?
The duties of an advisor include:

  • Maintaining regular contact and involvement with the officers of their student organizations. The exact time commitment is up to you.
  • Being knowledgeable about the missions, goals, and purpose of the student organization
  • Helping the group uphold Duke University’s policies and guidelines
  • Being familiar and involved with activities and events of the group
  • Providing resources and support for events and usage of spaces
  • Assisting with the administration of the financial affairs of the group

Advisors take on different responsibilities depending on the needs of their organization. Some advisors are more involved in organizational planning and problem-solving, while others take more of a step back. Is it important to remember that an advisor is NOT a supervisor. Here are some of the common roles of advisors:

  • Mentor
  • Team builder
  • Motivator
  • Role model
  • Educator
  • Institutional policy interpreter
  • Sources of information and ideas
  • Liaison between the organization and university administration

Advisors must be full-time faculty or staff members of Duke University, excluding Greek organization advisors.

Why become an advisor?

  • Satisfaction of seeing and helping students learn and develop new skills
  • Increased student interaction
  • Furthering personal goals or interests by choosing to work with an organization that reflects one’s interests
  • Sharing one’s knowledge with others
  • Helping diverse groups of students work toward common goals
  • Taking part in exciting and meaningful student activities outside of the classroom or office environment

Convinced? If you’re interested in becoming a student organization advisor, fill out this interest form and we’ll contact you if an opportunity becomes available.

Thank you to our current student organization advisors! Student organizations are an integral part of any university and of student life. However, they would not be possible without the support of our amazing advisors! UCAE and the entire Duke University community thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students and to higher education.

STAR Advisor Award
Each year, we recognize some of our most outstanding advisors with the STAR Advisor Award as part of the Student Organization Line-Up.

Advisors are nominated by students, and the recipients are selected by a committee of faculty, staff, and students. This 2017's STAR Advisor Award recipients are:

  • Kiah Glenn-Smith, Duke Muslim Students' Association
  • Nancy Kelly, Nicholas School  Student Council
  • Jennifer Handel, Jewish Student Union

Student Organization Advisor Resources
UCAE Student Involvement is here to support you and we've gathered a list of resources to facilitate your success as a Student Organization Advisor. Please visit our Student Organization Advisor Resource page for more information

Student Organization Advisor Liability
Advisors do have potential liability exposure, and should understand their obligations to actively and effectively provide advice (“legal duty of care”) to the organization.  Depending on the intended scope, comments could be as simple as “to the extent advisors become the subject of claims or other liabilities as a result of their role, they are covered by the University’s liability insurance programs so long as the alleged acts giving rise to the claims/liabilities fall within the scope of their official duties.” Please visit our Student Organization Advisor Liability page for more information.

We want to hear from you!
How are we doing? Please let us know if you have any suggestions regarding things you would like to see on the website, professional development topics, resources, or anything else that may be helpful to student organizations and advisors. UCAE Student Involvement is here to support you!