The role of the Advisor of a Registered Student Organization (RSO) is to provide guidance to the student organization(s) in operational functions, continuity between years and its adherence to University policies and procedures. For undergraduate only RSOs, the advisor must be a MSU faculty, staff or graduate student. For graduate RSOs, the advisor must be either a MSU faculty or staff member.  Advisors should approach the work in a way that empowers the students to critically think and work through the management of their organization.  

Key responsibilities that are expected of Advisors are:

  1. Have reviewed the student organization constitution
  2. Have reviewed the Registered Student Organization’s Handbook (RSOH)
  3. Have reviewed this, the Advisors of Registered Student Organizations Handbook (ARSOH)
  4. Have an awareness and basic knowledge of federal, state, local, and Michigan State University (MSU) laws and ordinances, including but not limited to Clery Act and RVSM reporting responsibilities
  5. Understand the relationship between the organization, the MSU community and the greater East Lansing/Lansing 
  6. Undergo the annual mandatory Clery Act training
  7. Undergo the annual mandatory Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct training
  8. Be present and involved in official conduct cases involving the RSO
  9. Be present and involved in planning large scale events that anticipates an attendance of 200 or more participants including attending the event
  10. Be accessible to student organization members, especially officers of the group
  11. Engage with the RSO by frequently attending meetings and events as much as you are realistically able to manage
  12. Assist the organization with setting expectations and goals for the group
  13. Assist the organization with budgeting and all financial affairs 
  14. Assist the organization in critically thinking through policy, procedural and operational facets, while supporting changes when necessary
  15. Assist with intragroup conflict through mediation and group problem solving
  16. Assist the group, as needed, with planning meetings and events
  17. Assist members in managing a balance with involvement, academics and other responsibilities they hold in their lives
  18. Share resources and information with officers of the organization

For those Advisors working in a co-advising model with non-MSU advisors (fraternities and sororities, religious organizations etc.) we encourage you to advise within the scope of MSU, on campus events, alignment with MSU policies and procedures and ensuring adherence to Spartan Life. Many of the organization’s operational and directional pieces can be advised by the non-MSU advisor. Best practice is to work with your co-advisor and have open communication with them. If you’d like to meet with Student Life to help build out your co-advising model, please do not hesitate to reach out!