Advisors

What is an Advisor?

Advisors are an extremely important asset to a chapter’s success. Advisors provide guidance and support to the chapter and chapter officers in several areas of operation. It is important that advisors foster the development of the chapter as a whole as well as individual officers and members. The advisor provides continuity to the organization as the membership and officers change. An advisor should be familiar with the policies and regulations of the chapter, inter/national organization, University of Connecticut, and relevant state and federal laws.

Types of Advisors

  • Faculty/Staff Advisor: As listed in the Student Activities Advisor Manual, “registered student organizations must have an Advisor who is either a full-time member of the faculty (including emeritus), full-time professional staff, a Graduate Assistant or a Teaching Assistant at the University of Connecticut – Storrs Campus.” The advisor serves as the liaison between the University and organization. This person does not have to be a member of a Greek organization to serve in this role.
  • Chapter/Alumni/Graduate Advisor: This advisor is usually selected by the chapter or inter/national organization, and is typically affiliated with the Greek organization.

 

Responsibilities of a Faculty/Staff Advisor

 

Responsibilities of a Chapter/Alumni/Graduate Advisor

  • Provide guidance and advice to the chapter
  • Attend chapter/executive meetings when needed or as expected
  • Advise chapter officers
  • Meet regularly with the chapter president and other officers to discuss important chapter issues
  • Actively communicate with chapter members, OFSL staff, regional/province offices, and inter/national headquarters as required
  • Read and understand the Chapter Accreditation Program to support the chapter’s adherence to their Action Plan, and their ultimate accreditation status
  • Be knowledgeable about procedures and policies associated with the inter/national organization * Role may be defined by inter/national organization and may require more than the responsibilities listed above.

 

Tips for Faculty/Staff Advisors

  • Consider joining and becoming involved in the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA)
  • Use the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life as a resource
  • Access University resources and connect chapter members to these resources
  • Determine which mode of communication works best when interacting with chapter members (email, phone calls, in-person meetings, etc.)
  • Create a trusting relationship with chapter officers by building rapport
  • Serve as a positive role model to chapter members
  • Let the group know you’re there to help and assess their needs
  • Respond to all questions and request for help in a timely manner
  • Assist the chapter in developing an academic support program that helps encourage individual and collective success
  • Review the chapter’s Chapter Accreditation Program submissions to support their efforts toward accreditation and improvement
  • Initiate communication with the chapter/alumni/graduate advisor, regional/province officer and/or inter/national headquarters to provide your contact and background information and solicit accurate names for local and regional contact people
  • Connect with Student Involvement staff in the Department of Student Activities for additional advisor resources and support

 

Tips for Chapter/Alumni/Graduate Chapter Advisors

  • Consider joining and becoming involved in the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA)
  • Obtain a copy of the chapter and inter/national organization’s Risk Management and Anti-Hazing Policies
  • Determine which mode of communication works best when interacting with chapter members (email, phone calls, in-person meetings, etc.)
  • Use the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life as a resource
  • Review the chapter’s Chapter Accreditation Program submissions to support their efforts toward accreditation and improvement
  • Assist the chapter in regularly setting realistic goals and reviewing progress
  • Respond to all questions and request for help in a timely manner
  • Create a trusting relationship with chapter officers by building rapport
  • Challenge the chapter to grow and develop and then support them in their endeavors
  • Know what the chapter expects from you as an advisor and make clear what you expect from them as chapter members
  • Ask to receive all meeting agendas and minutes
  • Encourage chapter members to participate in leadership development opportunities provided by the inter/national organization
  • Provide chapters with support when it comes to recruitment/intake
  • Ask questions to determine the culture of the campus and Greek community
  • Be actively involved in the UConn Greek Alumni Network (UGAiN)

 

Advising Resources

The following resources have been pulled from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) website, which is the national association dedicated to providing exception resources, experiences, and support to fraternity and sorority advisors.

Some resources open as .pdf documents available for your download.

The Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) provides standards and guidelines for professionals working within higher education.  As a supporter and advisor of fraternity and sorority students, you may find interest in knowing and understanding these standards and utilizing them to inform your advising work.  To access the CAS standards for Fraternity and Sorority Advising Programs, you must visit the AFA website, which has permission to post the standards.