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Advisor Resource Guide

There are many rewards of being a club/organization advisor including the opportunity to:

  • Serve as a mentor and role-model for students.
  • Connect to students and what is happening around campus.
  • Teach, lead, and coach involved students.
  • Form networks with other colleagues involved in advising or other aspects of Hawkeye.
  • Network with advisors of similar organizations on a regional or national level.
  • Participate in a club/organization whose purpose you enjoy.

Any Hawkeye faculty or staff member, pending supervisor approval, can be an advisor to a club or organization.

What Does a Club/Organization Advisor Do?

The main objective of a club/organization advisor is to be available to guide and assist the officers or members in the mission and goals of the group and ensure they are complying with all Hawkeye Community College policies and procedures. How active or passive you will be should be negotiated between you and the group.

Some groups will need more or less attention depending on the time of year. Discuss with the group the time and attention they need from you before you agree to be their advisor.

Also, by assuming the advisor role for a club/organization, you take on the responsibility of the club/organization and all events/actions taken by the students. It is your responsibility to assess the risk of the club/organization and activities, as well as make necessary changes to assure the lowest risk possible or make the College aware of any potential risk for an activity/event.

It is Not Your Job as Advisor to:

  • Control the group.
  • Manipulate the group.
  • Take ownership for the group.
  • Close communication.
  • Be afraid to try new ideas.
  • Know it all.
  • Be the leader.
  • Say "I told you so…".
  • Impose your own bias.
  • Tell the group what to do (unless they are acting in violation of a policy).

Taking an active role in a club/organization (attending meetings, events, meeting with officers, giving advice) does not mean you are running the organization. It means you guide and assist the officers in their roles, not doing the day-to-day operations. You might meet less frequently with the officers if the organization does not need an active advisor.

Tools for Success

  • Develop your club/organization advisor style. Being an effective club/organization advisor means developing a style that matches the club/organization's needs. When developing this style, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of the club, the types of activities they are involved in, and the mission of Hawkeye Community College.

  • Create a contact list of officers and members.

  • Create a calendar of events for the club/organization.

  • Know your club/organization constitution/by-laws. Student Life has each club/organization's constitution/by-laws on file.

  • Know the history of the club/organization.

  • Know the club/organization policies and procedures. Student Life can provide these to you.

  • Attend as many meetings and events as possible.

  • Knowledge of Hawkeye Community College resources.

  • Be willing to assist the group and its members.

  • Allow others to fail.

  • Trust yourself and the group.

  • Allow others to succeed.

  • Serve as a resource person.

  • Know your limits.

  • Teach the art of leadership.

  • Know the group's limits.

  • Be available in emergency situations.

  • Keep your sense of humor.

  • Be consistent with your actions.

  • Inform the group of policies.

  • Be visible.

  • Learn when to speak/when not to speak.

  • Assist officers with procedural matters.

Challenges of Being a Club/Organization Advisor

  • Time management issues and becoming over-committed.

  • Trouble defining your role within the group (getting too involved or not involved enough).

  • Knowing what should be done in a group and not just doing the tasks yourself.

  • Frustration with some officers/members and/or the organization.

  • Being patient in the growth and development process of students and organizations

What is my liability/risk associated with being a club/organization advisor? Can I personally be held responsible if something should happen with my group?

The simple answer is no, you will not be held personally responsible as long as you advise/guide in a manner consistent with common sense and follow Hawkeye Community College policies and procedures.

It is important for you and the group to learn the information in the Clubs and Organizations web site and ask questions if you don't understand something.

All employees of Hawkeye are covered by institutional liability insurance as long as they are working within their job description and advising a Hawkeye club/organization.

It is very important for you to understand that if you know of any illegal activity, or activities that are not in line with the Student Code of Conduct, and chose to do nothing about this, you could be held responsible. Additionally, following industry standards (e.g. club sports teams wearing recommended protective gear, complying with film copyright laws), following Hawkeye procedures (all travel or risky activities require a release/waiver form), following state and federal laws (e.g., hazing is illegal, drinking age), and using common sense go a long way in reducing your risk.

Student Life

Brock Student Center

Brock Student Center
319-296-4027
1-800-670-4769 ext.4027
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Regular Hours—Fall 2017
Mon–Thurs 7:30am–6:00pm
Friday 7:30am–3:30pm