Expectations of a Chapter Advisor and advisory team include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Working with the chapter officers to integrate the organization’s mission values with chapter goals, developing a positive relationship with their inter/national organization through attendance at leadership conferences and utilizing available resources.
- Supervising the chapters affairs as they relate to the organization, the campus, and the community.
- Maintaining visibility in the chapter by regularly visiting the chapter, or interacting with members via email or video communication, and attending chapter programs and meetings when possible.
- Meeting regularly (at least monthly) with the chapter leadership and being available to meet with members upon request.
- Ensuring an effective and timely officer transition occurs.
- Serving as a resource for planning events and programs, resolving issues confronting the chapter and being involved in the education of new members.
- Educating the chapter about inter/national policies, state and local laws, UW – Madison, and governing council policies.
- Assist the chapter in developing an overall academic achievement program and facilitate the creation of an environment that supports academic success.
- Meet with the new members each semester to review their academic progress and plans at the University.
- Ensuring that individual behavior is addressed through a system that empowers members to hold each other accountable for their actions consistent with the values of the organization and UW – Madison.
- Being involved in any situations that involve allegations of sexual misconduct or other egregious behavior.
- Attending meetings of the chapter advisors when requested by CfLI or FSL.
- Working in partnership with University staff and inter/national headquarters to foster a positive fraternity/sorority experience for the membership.
- Assisting the chapter officers in developing a membership recruitment and retention plan.
Advisors are a wealth of knowledge, both from their own experiences and from the training and resources provided through their inter/national headquarters. It is important to understand the organization’s history, mission, and values, history, operations, policies, and best practices and impart this knowledge on the members of the chapter.
Our students are charged with a great deal of responsibility in leading an organization of this magnitude. It is important that advisors provide space for questions, feedback, and sharing perspectives to continue to allow our organizations to elevate themselves to new heights.
As advisors, it is not our role to do any of the work for our students or tell them how to do things. Rather, we serve as a map to help students navigate themselves through situations, problem solving, goal setting, and anything else the students may need.
Strong listening skills are imperative as an advisor. Utilizing these skills will enable you to truly hear what the members are experiencing, asking for, or needing which will allow you to be most effective in your role. Advisors should spend most of their time listening rather than speaking themselves.
Unfortunately, there are times when students don’t meet expectations or requirements. As advisors, it is important to understand accountability processes and balance supporting the chapter or individual responsible, while also helping them to understand their mistakes, rectify the situation, and create strong follow through on any outcomes or next steps.