Resources for Advisors

Thank you for the time and effort that you give to ensure the effectiveness of our campus organizations and the growth and development of our student members! We know your role can be very demanding, and at times confusing, so we hope that the following information is helpful to you.

Whether you are a new advisor or an established advisor working with a new group of officers, we recommend that you first take the time to meet with your officers to discuss mutual expectations regarding task responsibility, involvement in decision-making, and attendance at meetings and programs. This initial discussion will help to alleviate confusion and conflict, and will hopefully get your relationship off to a good start!

General Responsibilities of Advisors:

An effective advisor:

  1. is a knowledgeable resource,
  2. shares valuable input into policy and program development,
  3. interprets university policies and regulations,
  4. provides continuity, and
  5. is a good role model for students.

Guidelines for effective advising include:

  1. helping the group develop goals and plans of action,
  2. knowing the group and its unique needs,
  3. being available and approachable,
  4. providing appropriate feedback, and
  5. sharing in the group's experiences!

In summary, advisors serve as consultants and educators to the organizations and students they advise.

Functions of Advisors

  1. Maintenance functions include those activities that help the group exist, such as interpreting policies, sharing information about resources, and serving as the validation signature when necessary.
  2. Group growth functions are designed to help the group become more effective in progressing towards its goals through leadership development opportunities.
  3. Program content functions include those behaviors which help the group achieve higher levels of self-actualization through pointing out new perspectives and providing ideas for new programs.

Tasks for Advisors

The 5 tasks for the initial development of an organization or the re-evaluation of a student group include:

  1. determining the need for the organization,
  2. identifying support,
  3. obtaining a source of income,
  4. ensuring effective student leadership, and
  5. developing methods of system maintenance.

All elements of this process must be completed before Mercer University will recognize you as a student organization. Contact the Office of Campus Life for any questions: (478) 301-2868 or