Student Organization Advisors

Who Can Be an Advisor?

All student organizations must have an on-campus faculty or staff advisor in order to obtain official recognition. Advisors must be .5 time base or above and employees of HSU. Employees of University Auxiliary Organizations and student assistants are not permitted to serve as student clubs and organizations advisors as regulated by California State University Executive Order 1068.  Housing employees and federal programs employees are permitted to serve as advisors.

The club advisor must agree to follow CSU and campus policies and complete an online orientation.  For clubs who do any kind of financial transactions, the advisor is mandated to complete an online “Cash Handling/Treasurer Training” which will be a part of the Advisor training.  Most readily, this means that the club advisor must be knowledgeable of and support use of authorized club accounts, and be willing to sign for authorization of any transaction from those accounts.

Roles and Responsibilities of Advisors

The Advisor:

  1. Serves as an advisor, mentor and guide.
  2. Must complete the online orientation and quiz.
  3. Is aware of the policies and procedures for student organizations contained in this handbook and knows university policy affecting such groups; also ensures that the student leaders for the organization are informed of these policies.
  4. Is aware of their student organization activities and program, and provides signature authority where appropriate on event approval and other pertinent forms.
  5. Encourages leadership development.
  6. Assists with organizational continuity and officer transition.
  7. Encourages student leaders to critically examine the organizations structure and activities to ensure compliance with university regulations and to avoid any liability
  8. May terminate their commitment at any time by contacting the club they advise, as well as the Clubs & Activities Coordinator. Whenever possible the retiring advisor should give assistance to the student organization in locating a suitable replacement.
  9. May be required to attend programs, dances, activities, or meetings sponsored by the student organization they advise. 

An Advisor shall strive to:

  • Support student leaders

  • Advocate for your students’ organization

  • Assist with organizational continuity and officer transition

  • Inspire leadership development

  • Encourage student leaders to critically examine their organizations structure and activities to ensure compliance with university regulations and to avoid any liability

The Responsibility of an Advisor:

  • Be familiar with University policies and ensure club members understand them

  • Keep up-to-date on clubs activities and events

  • Make time to be available to sign/approve appropriate forms

  • Complete required online orientation and follow up quiz

    • This will include a “Cash handling” training to help advise on proper support of Student Club and Organization accounts.

  • Submit necessary forms:

    • HSU Volunteer ID

    • Acknowledgment of Clery Act Guidelines

  • Be present! Attend club programs, dances, activities, or meetings when at all possible.

The Benefits of Serving as an Advisor:

  • Endless opportunities to:

    • Connect with HSU students in a positive and meaningful ways

    • Influence and impact career and life choices

    • Networking with other advisors for the greater good of the campus

    • Expand circle of contacts at HSU

The Key to being a Successful Advisor:

  • Communication!

    • Make sure you are notified of:

      • ALL club events or activities

      • Change in Leadership roles or contact information

      • Any club travel plans

      • Requests for travel or event grants

    • Don’t postpone contacting the clubs office, if:

      • You need clarification of campus policy or procedure

      • You feel uneasy about a club situation or member

      • You need any help with the organization

      • You no longer wish to serve as an advisor

      • ESPECIALLY – if your club has had a SUCCESS!

An advisor wears many hats...

Adapted from: “What Kind of Advisor are You” by Jason Chapman


In this role, an advisor teaches students the importance of having a(n):

  • Knowledge of their profession

  • Enthusiasm for their profession

  • Warmth and understanding for others

  • A high, yet achievable standard of performance

  • Honest, emotional rapport


In this role, an advisor displays examples of:

  • Team Building

  • Performance Planning

  • Communication

  • Recognition

  • Self-Assessment

  • Evaluation


In this role, an advisor demonstrates ways to:

  • Be part of a team

  • Communicate effectively

  • Develop many other skills they will use well beyond their time in school


In this role, an advisor guides students on how to:

  • Challenge the process

  • Inspire a shared vision

  • Enable others to act

  • Model the way

  • Encourage the heart

Resources for Advisors

The Clubs & Activities Office, handbook and website should be utilized as resources for advisors.

All advisors are required to take the online orientation at least once a year to help provide them with additional support. If they have any questions about their club or organization, they are welcome to contact

Selecting Your Advisor

Student organizations may choose their own advisors from any department or college across the campus.

Tips for students:

  1. Sit down and talk as a club about your expectations of an advisor.
  2. Before making a selection, consider finding someone who will have the time to devote to your club, and who will take the role willingly and seriously.
  3. If possible, choose someone who shares some of the same interests of your organization.
  4. If your organization is academic, try and find an advisor that works in that field.
  5. When approaching your potential advisor for the first time, make certain they have a clear understanding of your organization’s purpose as well as what will be required of them in their role, duties and time commitment as advisor. 
  6. If you club will be conducting any type of financial transactions, make sure your club advisor is willing and has room in their schedule to be available to authorize and sign payment requests.

Responsibilities of the Club/Organization to Advisors

  1. Provide the advisor with the schedule of meetings and events.

  2. Send the advisor a copy of all minutes.

  3. Remind advisor that they need to approve Event Application Forms via OrgSync for all events and activities.

  4. Talk about specific expectations in terms of notification of and involvement in organizational activities.

  5. Agree on method for obtaining approval and signatures for all financial transactions, if applicable.