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The Student Engagement and Traditions staff is trained to help student organizations operate in the most educationally effective way possible. We believe that with the right information, the advisor and the organization can develop a relationship that is rewarding to both parties. Students join organizations for a variety of reasons: social, leadership opportunities, interest, involvement in the campus, resume builders, and for success in college. Your role as the advisor is critical to help each member reach his/her goals and achieve success. Please review the information below and contact Student Engagement and Traditions with any questions.

Expectations of Advisors at ODU

  1. Re-register each fall - advisors must update their information for the organization each fall during re-registration process.
  2. Attend major events of the organization - There are events the student organization sponsors where ODU will require the advisor be present.
  3. Notify SET with any risk management, Title IX or Clery information.


  1. Define the nature of your role.
  2. Anticipate controversial situations. Realize that your role may include being a negotiator at times.
  3. Advocate for inclusion and diversity. Bring awareness of differences to your group. For example, help students understand that an event that excludes nontraditional students, even if unintentionally, is hurtful to the group and others. Do your best to encourage participation by all.
  4. Assess the liabilities of participation. The rewards of advising can be great. Understand that personal sacrifice (such as time) is essential to achieving those rewards.
  5. Do your homework. Advisors need a functional knowledge of the University's mission, drug/alcohol and hazing policies, code of conduct, political climate on campus, and local laws. A well-prepared advisor uses good common sense for the good of the group and the University. See the ODU Student Handbook and the Student Organization Handbook for policy information.
  6. Know the rules. Officers who have less than a 2.00 GPA will be asked to resign form their position.
  7. Be aware of deadlines. Student organizations must re-register at the beginning of the fall semester to maintain a mailbox, room reservation privileges, and Student Government funding. The deadline to apply for Student Government funding is scheduled for late February.
  8. Join the Leaders Listserv to get updates on student organizations and events.
  9. Be a motivator. Remember that praise does more good than criticism. Be generous with your praise. If a member does something right, tell the entire organization, and when a student slips up, help him/her privately. The following is a list of ideas to help motivate your students:
    • Outstanding member/leader award
    • Organization/theme t-shirts
    • Birthday recognition
    • Annual banquet with guest speakers, parents, administrators
    • Holiday parties
    • Member of the month award
    • Attendance at annual conventions
    • Helping students narrow and focus goals

What a Student Officer May Expect of an Advisor

  • Assist the group in formulating long-range goals and in planning and initiating shortterm projects.
  • Serve as a resource person for alternative solutions to problems confronting the group.
  • Give assistance with University's procedural matters.
  • Make suggestions of ways by which the group meetings can be improved.
  • Represent the group and its interests in staff and faculty meetings.
  • Assist in evaluating group projects, performance and progress.
  • Make suggestions that will permit the officers to improve leadership skills.

What an Advisor May Expect of a Student Officer

  • Keep advisor informed of all organizational activities, meeting times, locations, and agendas.
  • Provide advisor with minutes of all meetings.
  • Meet regularly with the advisor and use him/her as a sounding board for discussing plans and problems.

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