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

2021-2022 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!

The Duke Field Guide for Student Organization Advisors 2021-2022
21-22 Field Guide - Advisors
Printed copies are available in the UCAE Suite.

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.

  • 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.

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.”

Duke University defines hazing as any action taken or situation created, whether on or off university premises, that is harmful or potentially harmful to an individual’s physical, emotional, or psychological well-being, regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate or its bearing on his/her membership status. As a student organization advisor, it is important that you discuss hazing with your members, work to prevent it from occurring, and report any incidents to administration. For more information, visit Duke’s hazing website.

Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 requires all entities receiving any form of federal funds and financial assistance to prohibit sex discrimination in their education programs and activities. Title IX applies to all aspects of education and programs at Duke University. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX. As an advisor, you should prevent these situations from occurring, and report any incidents to administration. For more information, visit or contact Duke University’s Director of Title IX Compliance.

Duke University adheres to a policy of compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The policy permits students to inspect their education records, limits disclosure to others of personally-identifiable information from education records without students’ prior written consent, and provides the students the opportunity to seek correction of their education records where appropriate. This is important to keep in mind in the case of organizations with GPA requirements.

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!