Advisors of Student Organizations

Thank you for taking the opportunity to be a student organization advisor. By taking on this role, you have already made a significant contribution to Kansas State University and its students.

Each registered student organization is required to have an advisor. This information is intended to serve as a starting point to help advisors. It is a collection of resources, responsibilities, expectations, and suggestions. If you have any comments or suggestions concerning this publication, please feel free to contact the Office of Student Activities and Services at (785) 532-6541. Good luck and enjoy this opportunity to make a difference!

What is Advising?

Advising means challenging students to be better than they were yesterday and supporting them when they find themselves unprepared to perform the task set before them. A good advisor will use their personal and professional experience to motivate individuals, as well as the group, toward a common goal. Advisors participate with their student organizations on a broad spectrum - on one side they may be too involved, making many decisions for the group, taking control of meetings, handling all finances, etc. and on the other they may not be involved enough, not attending any meetings, never knowing what is happening within the group, etc. Ideally, each organization's advisor would fall somewhere in the middle - being involved, attending meetings, offering advice as needed, but ultimately, allowing the students to lead the organization. Each group is different and has different needs. We recommend regular meetings between advisors and the organization's officers to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Why be an Advisor?

Advising is a unique opportunity to interact with K-State students outside of the classroom setting. The environment developed through an advisor-advisee relationship is one that touches students’ lives on a different level. This experience provides students the opportunity to get to know faculty and staff as “real” people, and often leads to long term mentoring. There are many benefits involved in advising that include: knowing you are making a difference, having fun, keeping abreast of campus events, building community, receiving student appreciation, and personal satisfaction.

Types of Student Organizations

Student organizations, like all organizations, involve people - people getting together to accomplish a task. Getting people to work together in an organized manner is not an easy undertaking, but is essential for the success of an organization. Here are some types of student organizations on our campus:

  • Departmental
  • Greek Letter Organizations
  • Student Government
  • Residence Halls
  • Honors
  • Multicultural
  • Sports Clubs
  • College Councils
  • Religious
  • Special Interest


Valuable Resources

Advisor Handbook

Information about Student Trips

Advising Student Organizations:

Information about establishing effective advisor/student leader relationships, establishing identity as a student organization, and investing in the organization. Read the article.

How Advisors Learn to Advise: A Study

How can student organization advisors learn how to be effective? Read the article.

The Tao of Advising:

Ancient Principles for Today’s Professionals. Read the article.

What Kind of Advisor Are You?

It’s Crucial to Know Your Roles and the Challenges and Rewards that Come with the Job. Read the article.

New Benchmarking Assessment for Student Activities

The dramatic increase in assessment in student affairs has gained even more momentum during the past year. Resource allocation decisions are more and more becoming dependent on the ability of program administrators to prove their impact, as well as their efficiency. Read the article.