RSO Advisor Resources

Thank you for your interest in serving as an advisor to a Registered Student Organization at Illinois Wesleyan! RSOs serve as places for community, connection, and exploration for IWU students. Advisors play an integral role in the operation of RSOs, and all RSOs are required to have a faculty/staff advisor in order to be recognized by the Office of Student Involvement and Student Senate. Please see below for FAQs about becoming an advisor and tools to help you serve as a resource to the organization(s) you advise.

What is the role of an advisor?

Advisors are not the leaders or decision-makers of RSOs, nor are they expected to be hand-holders of student leaders. Advisors serve as mentors, motivators, sounding boards, and guides as students navigate their leadership of RSOs. Each RSO has different expectations of their advisor's level of involvement in the organization. Some advisors meet weekly with their organizations in group settings at club meetings while others have monthly check-ins with students in leadership positions. It is the responsibility of the students and advisor to set clear expectations for the role of the advisor in the RSO.  

How are advisors selected?

It is the responsibility of the student leadership of an RSO to find an advisor. When students form a new RSO, they have to have an advisor prior to registering the organization, and existing RSOs need to confirm that their existing advisor is able to work with the RSO for the upcoming academic year prior to registering. Often, students ask a faculty or staff member who is involved in the subject area of their RSO (a science professor serving as the advisor for the biology club) or a faculty or staff member they have an existing relationship with on campus. Sometimes, students do not have an existing connection on campus and need assistance finding an advisor. The Office of Student Involvement can provide ideas and make connections on campus for these organizations. If you are interested in serving as an advisor, please email getinvolved@iwu.edu and we will share your name with RSOs seeking an advisor. 

Do RSOs have responsibilities to remain recognized by IWU?

Registered Student Organizations are Expected to Abide by the IWU Code of Conduct in Addition to the Following Policies: 

1) All RSO members must be enrolled as a student at Illinois Wesleyan University

2) A member of each RSO must attend mandatory RSO trainings

3) In order to maintain active RSO status, an RSO must have an up-to-date purpose statement on file with the Office of Student Involvement and register the organization for each academic year

4) All RSOs must maintain a level of membership of no less than three students

5) All RSO members must abide by campus policy, code of student conduct, city, state, and national laws. An RSO that violates city, state, or national law may be potentially liable in civil and criminal court as well as through the IWU student disciplinary process

6) RSOs and members will be liable for disciplinary action as a result of actions of individual members of the organization, while representing the organization

7) RSOs will be held responsible for all activities and/or damages resulting from events. RSOs must exercise reasonable precaution to ensure that events, and agents acting on its behalf, do not harm people or cause damage to the property of students, university employees, other organizations, or the University

8) RSOs cannot organize, sponsor, cosponsor, or in any way coordinate an event in University facilities with any student organization that has been prohibited from participating in that type of event or has had its RSO status suspended, placed on interim suspension, or terminated

9) RSOs should be in good financial standing and will be responsible for keeping record of the organization's finances (Through the IWU Business Office or otherwise)

10) Post flyers/advertising materials on designated bulletin boards only or on designated areas with approval of the Office of Student Involvement and 25Live.

What if I need to step away from my advisor role? 

 We understand that circumstances change and you might need to step down from your role as an advisor. We ask that you clearly communicate with the students in the RSO and provide ample notice so that they can find a new advisor. If possible, it is helpful to the organization if you can fulfill your role for the remainder of the academic year. 

Who can I contact for assistance? 

The Office of Student Involvement is the headquarters for Registered Student Organizations. We can answer any questions you may have about becoming an RSO advisor and help you get support for RSO registration, leadership development, 25Live assistance, and program collaboration. Stop by our office (Hansen 101) or contact getinvolved@iwu.edu for questions or to set up an appointment.