Thank you for your new or continued interest in serving OU students as a Registered Student Organization adviser. Below you will find information addressing the most common questions and concerns of advisors.
Student Government and Organization Services aims to support students and advisers in as many ways as possible. If you have a question or ideas to improve our adviser resources, please do not hesitate to contact George Ahmadi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students greatly benefit from a well-rounded collegiate experience encompassing both academic pursuits and social involvement. As an adviser, you have the opportunity to help students learn and apply life skills such as networking, leadership development, critical thinking, organizational management, and communication techniques. You can serve in a mentor capacity, experience student life outside the classroom, and build relationships that students will remember and appreciate long after their college years. Serving as an RSO Adviser is a commitment to the students and to the University of Oklahoma, but in return you will benefit from a greater knowledge of student development, a feeling of connectedness to University activities, and a sense of accomplishment that your efforts have directly and positively impacted the lives of students.
All RSO dvisers must be full time (FTE 1.0) faculty or staff members at the University of Oklahoma. Organizations may have more than one adviser. The choice of advisers is at the discretion of each organization. However, in some cases departments may wish to make recommendations on the basis of teaching loads and academic advising responsibilities of the faculty members.
Guidance and Support - Serving as an organization's adviser shows a commitment to the success of the involved students. By association it conveys a special interest in the students' values and goals. The students count on the adviser not only to assist with administrative tasks and serve as a liaison with the University, but also to provide encouragement and guidance through a wide range of situations.
Continuity - The adviser provides stability for organizations so records are not lost during the constant turnover of officers as students graduate from the University. The advisor can assist students with information regarding events, processes, etc. that have worked in the past and may be applicable to future group endeavors.
Fiscal Oversight - One of the most important responsibilities of an RSO Adviser is the role of financial oversight. While each registered student organization should elect a student financial officer/treasurer, the adviser can provide guidance and training regarding how to create a budget and keep good financial records. RSO Advisers are not be signature authorities or approvers with any banking institutions outside of the scope of the university.
Policy Interpretation and Advocacy - As an employee of The University of Oklahoma, RSO Advisers can provide a unique perspective to students regarding University policies and procedures. The adviser can serve as an advocate for students who do not feel their needs are being met or who need assistance interpreting policies. The adviser can also provide critical feedback to Student Affairs regarding ways to improve the student experience.
Meetings and Social Activities - Advisers are encouraged to participate in meetings and activities with their respective RSOs. Many organizations create their own requirements for adviser involvement; if your organization has such requirements, be sure to communicate with the students regarding your availability and willingness to participate. It is important that students feel worthy of the adviser's time as this helps establish mentoring relationships that many students greatly desire in their extracurricular activities.
Inclusion - A Registered Student Organization should be sure to extend invitations to the adviser for group meetings and planned activities. The organization can outline expectations for advisor involvement and should be sure to clearly communicate such expectations to a potential adviser before he/she is committed to working with the group. The organization should also be respectful of the advisor's work and other commitments, and should plan activities with expected attendance accordingly.
Fiscal Responsibility - RSOs should include the advisor on all financial decisions. Registered Student Organizations should maintain an annual budget, reconcile their accounts monthly, and work closely with the adviser to ensure that all expenses are allowable and processed correctly. RSO accounts are subject to audit by the University's Internal Auditing division.
Communication - RSO leaders and members should maintain an open line of communication with the group's adviser. The adviser serves as a liaison on campus for the group's activities and cannot effectively do so if he/she does not know what the group is doing. Communication methods should be utilized that are effective for all involved.
Documented Processes - Organizations should have clearly documented processes regarding adviser selection and removal procedures as well as advisor involvement expectations. Student leaders should establish practices that support the betterment of the organization and provide fair treatment of all members and advisers. If tensions arise between group members and the adviser, it is critical that the organization have a system in place for addressing such issues that allows moving forward in a productive and peaceful manner.