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The University of Michigan



Student Organization Advisors

Advisor__________________________________________ _________________________________________________

Produced for Advisors of Student Organizations by

The Office of Student Activities & Leadership Division of Student Affairs

Fall 2010

Table of Contents I. Advisor Generally


Roles Responsibilities Benefits Guidelines Working With Students

2 3 4 5 5

II. Advising at U of M


Leadership for the Public Good The Framework How Student Organizations Fit In Student Organizations Defined Ethics and Student Organizations Student Organization Statuses

7 8 8 9 9 10 Standards of Conduct & Responsibilities 11 Sanctions & Restorative Measures 13 Recognition of Student Organizations 15 Establishing your SOAS/ Project Grant 15 Sponsorship 16 Sponsorship Agreement 17

III. Information Every Advisor Should Know

What Research Tells Us Liability & Risk Management Hazing Officer Transition The Recognition Process Overview Policies Space Transportation SORC

IV. Additional Resources Websites Facilitating a Workshop Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals Officer Transition Toolkit Leadership Transition Toolkit

18 19 20 21 23 24 24 25 25 26

27 27 27 28 29 30

Introduction Dear Student Organization Advisor, This handbook has been developed by the Office of Student Activities & Leadership (SAL) to assist faculty and staff advisors at the University of Michigan. It provides guidelines on being an effective advisor and information regarding the purpose and procedures of student organizations. Michigan strongly encourages students to become involved in student organizations and other activities which complement the classroom experience. Involvement in these organizations promotes the development of leadership, organizational, and programming skills. These skills help our students develop as complete individuals and prepare for their lives outside the University. As a student organization advisor we challenge you to develop programs that foster a greater understanding of academic pursuits, diversity, social justice, and service to the community. Thank you for your involvement and commitment to our students-we look forward to working with you! The Office of Student Activities & Leadership 2205 Michigan Union (734) 763-5900 Notes

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I. Advisor Generally Roles of an Advisor As an advisor to a student organization, your service and support can be defined in several advisor roles. The following are some of the important roles you will have as a student organization advisor: 1. A RESOURCE – as a faculty or staff member at the University of Michigan, you can be a valuable resource for information about the University, the organization, and the various campus policies or procedures. An advisor cannot be expected to know everything down to the last detail, but as an advisor you have many more connections than the students to find the answers they seek. 2. A CONSULTANT – without a doubt, there will be times that the organization you advise will get stuck on something! That is where you come in. A student organization needs to be able to consult with their advisor on issues of programming (whether or not a program is worth the time or money, what risks are involved, how to best execute the program), on policies they may not understand or they disagree with, or on any number of other subjects. Organizations may need assistance in event and meeting planning, budgeting, fundraising, and development of organization rules and procedures. 3. A MEDIATOR – from time to time issues may arise between the members of a student organization, different organizations, or between your organization and the university administration. Your role as an advisor is to step in and take necessary measures to resolve the situation. Most of the time it will be as simple as having a discussion with the parties involved. The Office of Student Conflict Resolution has trained a number of mediators that also may be of assistance. Remember, the University is a big place with many experts- and advising is a collaborative effort. Guide and refer your students when necessary and appropriate. 4. A MENTOR – as someone with experience in campus life, students in your organization may look to you as a mentor. One of your roles is to provide them with advice and share your life experiences to help with their academic career and beyond. 5. A LIAISON – an advisor can be a very useful person to bridge the gap between student organizations and university administration or even within the student organization community. As an advisor, you should look for opportunities to advocate on behalf of the student organization and assist them in connecting with the appropriate office and departments on campus.


Responsibilities of an Advisor The specific responsibilities of a student organization advisor will differ from one organization to the next. However, there are a few responsibilities which are essential to foster a collaborative and beneficial relationship between you and the student organization. It may be helpful for you to talk with other advisors of student organizations to see how they help foster an effective advising relationship. If suitable, implement some of these methods into your advising work. In either case, student organizations also serve as a great place to try new ideas and approaches! 1. Attend executive board and organization meetings on a regular basis. This helps keep you up to date on what the organization is doing. In addition, your presence demonstrates your commitment to being a resource to the members and demonstrates your willingness to help. 2. Attend organization events. Attending events also demonstrates your interest in what the organization is doing. The advisor’s attendance serves to support the accomplishments of the organization. It is also good for an advisor to support the group leadership, especially in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. But most of all, events are fun! 3. Be available in the case of an organization emergency. No, you don’t have to be on call 24 hours a day, but if there are events you can’t attend, trips you won’t be on, or meetings in which you can’t be present, it is your responsibility to make sure the organization can reach you, if they need to. 4. Accompany organizations when attending off-campus activities. While it may not always be possible for the advisor to travel with the group at all times, it is encouraged that the advisor travels with the student organization when possible. This is an important measure to ensure the safety of members of the organization, as well as compliance with University policies. Advisors of Sponsored Student Organizations, or other groups representing the university, are especially encouraged to accompany their organizations. 5. Monitor financial accounts. The organization you advise may have a treasurer, but it is still your responsibility as their advisor to occasionally check and make sure they are being fiscally responsible with the organization’s funds. From time to time you may want to check the organization’s books with the Student Organization Accounts Service (SOAS) records of activity. You are not in charge of the organization’s finances, but you can help them to maintain responsibility with their money. 6. Attend organization retreats. As an advisor, you are a part of the “team” atmosphere of the organization. Therefore it is important for you to be there for team building activities, such as retreats, in order to form lasting bonds and assert yourself as someone the members of the organization can trust. 03

Benefits of being an Advisor Being an advisor to a student organization not only benefits the group, but also provides great rewards to the advisor. While each person may have a different experience and gain different things from being an advisor, some benefits are: •Feeling the satisfaction of seeing and helping students learn and develop new skills •Watching a group come together to share common interests and work towards a common goal •Developing a more personal relationship with students than would otherwise be possible •Furthering your own personal goals and interests by advising a group that shares those same interests and goals •Enhancing students’ experiences and lives by sharing your knowledge with them •Witnessing the progression/growth that students go through as members of student organizations •Being recognized for your service to the student organization •Having the opportunity to network with colleagues with whom you may not have had the opportunity to before Notes


Guidelines for Effective Advising While the personality traits that cater to being a good advisor may come naturally, the know-how of the role may not. Below you will find some useful guidelines for the preparation and practice of working with students. Preparing to work with students • Do a self-assessment of past experiences, current expectations, future plans, and knowledge. Make concrete plans for enhancing or developing deficient areas. • Assess what you are looking for in the advising relationship. What personal or professional needs are you trying to satisfy and are they appropriate? •Learn about the history, structure and goals of the organization, but don't allow tradition to dictate your relationship with students. Effective advisors honor the past and keep what is working for the group, but are also active change agents. • Determine which advising style is most appropriate for the group's stage of development and needs. There may be times when you will need to adjust your advising styles as the organization develops. • Consider your responsibility as a role model. Understand the impact your personal and professional behavior, communication style, values and opinions.

Working with Students

• At the initial meeting or orientation, assist students with a self-assessment of both their programming and organizational skills. • Clarify responsibilities, roles and expectations. Evaluate throughout the year by discussing how well these are being met, what needs to be changed or modified, etc. • Make sure your expectations of roles and relationships are understood. • Inform the students that the responsibility for maintaining the advising relationship is shared with the students. • Keep the lines of communication between students and advisor open, direct, and honest. Understand that there will be some differences in opinions. • Allow for mistakes, different value systems, communication styles, and standards. • Allow for growth, change and learning in each other. • Provide feedback on a regular basis. 05

II. Advising at the University of Michigan The Mission of the University of Michigan The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving, and applying knowledge, art and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. Notes


Leadership for the Public Good Introduction Leadership. When you read that word, chances are you pictured something in your mind. Did you think of motivation, influence, authority, guidance, or knowledge? Perhaps you thought of a particular person: someone who has inspired you, maybe a political figure, spiritual teacher, or even your next door neighbor. Whatever you pictured, this is only one example of what Leadership may mean in the University of Michigan community. The Office of Student Activities & Leadership (SAL) believes that leadership is something more than just having a position in an organization or a simple set of skills. SAL believes that leadership is a process in which an individual initiates, directs, and/or assists a group to accomplish a shared goal, unified vision, or common purpose. Given that leadership takes many forms and has many definitions, the question becomes “leadership for what purpose?” At the University of Michigan, we believe every student has the capacity for leadership. The notion of leadership development is rooted in the University’s mission statement (see inset). Our mission is to “develop leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.” Leadership requires action, and getting involved is the first step towards challenging the present and enriching the future. The Office of Student Activities & Leadership is here to help you get involved. A core purpose and focus of the Office of Student Activities & Leadership is to provide opportunities for this leadership education. This focus has two dimensions: 1) Individual leadership development; and, 2) Leadership in the context of a community. Both are important; neither dimension functions independently of the other. Our work is guided by several principles: • All students, by virtue of their status as U of M students and future graduates, are leaders and have the potential for leadership. • We strive to strengthen curricular and co-curricular arenas through partnerships for purpose and development of the whole being. • Leadership requires self-awareness, humility, and the ability to communicate effectively with others. • We are intentional in creating an environment of pervasive leadership education which focuses on preparing students to serve as contributing members of an interdependent world. There are several values which serve as the foundation of our understanding of leadership here at Michigan: being authentic, taking initiative, acting with mutuality, and engaging in responsible stewardship. We believe that our student leaders will engage in initiatives that enhance society. They will pursue lives of integrity and authenticity. We call this Leadership for the Public Good.

The Framework Eight leadership capacities embody the framework of Leadership for the Public Good and guide our work. They are: • Individual Capacities • Empathy • Commitment, • Self-Awareness, • Organizational Competence, • Group Capacities • Inclusion, • Shared Purpose, • Collaboration, and •Learning Environment. A true steward of the public good does not possess knowledge alone, nor does s/he excel in only one capacity; a leader understands the need to incorporate theory and practice, as well as, to be fueled by the desire to be an engaged citizen. The framework refers to these developmental levels as knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Leaders for the public good are in constant pursuit of understanding: a better understanding of themselves and those around them. At all times, these leaders aim to leave a legacy for those who follow.

How Student Organizations Fit In Student organizations are the living laboratories in which leadership skills are gained and honed. They give students an opportunity to pursue their interests, to succeed, to fail, and most importantly, to grow. Not all academic classrooms will give students the chance to take responsibility and have accountability at the level that involvement in a student organization will allow. Leadership is not merely a collection of skills; leaders must forge their style through experiences that allow them to build and apply organizational and individual capacities for the public good. Student organizations are one of the few opportunities that students have to gain hands-on experience working towards those goals. Notes


Student Organization Defined Student organizations at the University of Michigan are based on, centered around, led, governed, and directed by students. Each is focused around a guiding mission and works to realize this mission. These organizations make a difference in the lives of student members by creating a niche for students who might otherwise be overwhelmed in an institution of over 50,000 people. These niches are provided by hundreds of student organizations that are arranged on a wide gamut of topics, interests, and fields of study. The large number of organizations allows each organization to maintain a high degree of focus upon their particular mission. When coupled with the dedication of its student members, the cultural, social, and academic climate on campus is greatly enriched. Student organizations have had a real and profound effect on the University and the outside world through their vision, accomplishments, and determination. Student Organizations are: 1. Student led and organized 2. Provide opportunities for: • leadership development, • organizational skills, • budget handling and development, • vision, • strategic planning, • creative thinking, and • problem solving. 3. Adhere to the policies and procedures of the University of Michigan

Ethics and Student Organizations Encourage the members of your student organization to understand that all of you, as members of a student organization at the University of Michigan, are expected to exemplify the principles of honesty and integrity. As a member of the University community, you will be expected to uphold University policies and procedures, always acting in good faith when conducting your organizational business. Further, you are expected not to misrepresent the mission, purpose or goals of your organization. By upholding the Standards of Conduct for Recognized Student Organizations, you will garner a positive reputation of your student organization, and student organizations in general, and continue to be recognized as a student organization in good standing with and of great value to the University of Michigan.


Student Organization Statuses Non-Affiliated Student Organizations (NSO) • Non-recognized student organizations are not affiliated with the University in a formal way. As a result, NSOs have no access to University-controlled benefits and resources, except for a listing in Maize Pages. NSOs will be treated the same as individual students or members of the public who seek access to University-controlled benefits and resources. Sponsored Student Organizations (SSO) • Sponsored student organizations are student organizations that operate under the direct supervision of the sponsoring University unit. SSOs must be sponsored by an executive officer, dean, or director of a major academic or operational unit committed to providing significant financial and staff support to the student organization whose mission is consistent with the University’s and sponsoring unit’s. The unit will provide an advisor for the SSO. • SSOs must have a written document detailing the nature of their sponsorship. This document must be signed both by the sponsoring Executive Officer, Dean, or Director and a representative of the student organization. Sponsorship agreements can be obtained from Voluntary Student Organizations (VSO) • Voluntary student organizations are student organizations that seek access to certain University-controlled benefits and resources and are accountable to the university for legal compliance, fiscal responsibility and adherence to established community standards. It is recommended that VSOs seek out a faculty/staff advisor although it is not a requirement. Recognized Student Organizations This term refers to both sponsored and voluntary student organizations. NSOs are not recognized by the University. Notes


Standards of Conduct and Responsibilities A. All recognized student organizations (sponsored or voluntary) are expected to act consistently with the values of the University community. The University places the highest value on student organizations’ expressive activities. Except as necessary in cases of misconduct, the University will not interfere with the internal affairs of RSOs. RSO’s are not presumed to be responsible for the independent acts of their individual members or autonomous RSOs that are subordinate to the original RSO (hereinafter collectively referred to as members). A RSO is responsible for a violation of the Standards of Conduct if: 1. A member acts in contravention to the Standards of Conduct as a representative of the organization, 2. The member's actions, which contravene the Standards of Conduct, result from the practices or dispositions of the RSO, or 3. The member's actions, which contravene the Standards of Conduct, have been explicitly or tacitly approved by the organization. B. The following contradict the values of the University community and are subject to corrective action under the Standards of Conduct. 1. Health and Safety. RSOs must not foster, promote, or participate in activities that unreasonably threaten the safety or well-being of their members, other people, or animals. 2. Hazing. Hazing is strictly prohibited. RSOs must comply with the University of Michigan policy on hazing. 3. Use of University funds. RSOs may not use University funds for the following purposes: a) Political campaigning. To advocate for or against a candidate for elective office. b) Staff salaries. To support salaries of full or part-time employees not employed directly by the University of Michigan. c) Illegal activity. To support or engage in illegal activity. d) Business Activities. To support for-profit activities of individuals or groups. e) Donations to non U-M charities. f) Lobbying. To influence legislation by contacting, or urging the public to contact, members or employees of legislative bodies for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or advocating for the adoption or rejection of legislation. g) Alcohol and tobacco products. To purchase alcohol or tobacco products. 4. Fundraising. RSOs may not engage in fundraising or soliciting activities in violation of the University’s fundraising guidelines for recognized student organizations. 5. Financial Stewardship. RSOs may not use or account for student organization funds in violation of university financial and accounting procedures. Violations include but are not limited to: 11

a) breaching contractual obligations. b) using student organization funds for purposes not authorized by the student organization and/or outside the realm of these Standards of Conduct and University Policy. c) failing to provide accounting of all contributions and reporting said contributions to the proper University unit. d) using contributions for a purpose other than as stated by the contributor and/or failing to submit a report of expenditures against those contributions to the proper University unit. e) failing to follow SOAS policies and procedures. 6. Appropriate Use of Space. RSOs must use University-controlled spaces in accordance with the standards of the particular space. 7. Non-Discrimination. The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity, and Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817. 8. Compliance with University’s naming and trademarks policies. VSOs may not use the University’s name, logo, symbols, seal, or trademarks without obtaining express written permission from the University. SSOs may only use the University’s name, logos, symbols, seal or trademark as permitted by the U-M Internet Publishing Guidelines and Instructions Section 3.8, the U-M Identity Guidelines; and any other policies established by either the Office of the Vice President and Secretary or the Office of the Vice President for Communications. 9. Violation of the Student Organization Constitution. RSOs are bound by the constitution submitted during the recognition process. Any organization that violates their published constitution, is in violation of these Standards of Conduct, even if an amendment has been made and submitted, but has not yet been approved. 10. Adherence to Other University Policies. RSOs must adhere to University policies, including but not limited to the University’s computer use policies, Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs, Dance and Party Policy, Diag Policy and housing policies. 11. Adherence to Law. RSOs must adhere to federal, state, and local laws. 12. Adherence to the Standards of Conduct. RSOs may not file a false complaint, use this policy to harass or intimidate a student organization, or fail to cooperate or participate in the accountability process. 13. Interference with RSO or University business. RSOs may not engage in intentional interference that impedes or disrupts the business of an RSO or University unit. Ethical competition is not considered to be interference.

Sanctions and Restorative Measures A. Sanctions. The sanctions that may be imposed on student organizations by the Dean of Students after a recommendation from a student governing body are included in, but not limited to, the following list. The student governing body may recommend and the Dean may issue one or any combination of sanctions. 1. Formal Written Reprimand. A formal notice that the Standards of Conduct has been violated and a warning that future violations will be dealt with more severely. 2. Fines. Payment of a monetary fine. 3. Inability to Access University Funds. Rendering a student organization’s SOAS or other University account inactive so as to prevent access to funds or services being granted or disbursed. 4. Restricted Activities. Restricting the student organization’s ability access Universitycontrolled benefits and resources. 5. Disciplinary Suspension. Separation of the student organization from the University for a period of at least one semester. 6. Emergency Suspension. In cases where students’ health and safety is alleged to be significantly jeopardized, the Office of the Vice-President for Student Affairs may suspend the activity of a student organization for 30 days. The organization then is entitled to a hearing within 10 days. 7. De-Recognition. Permanent separation of a student organization from the University. Student organizations that are de-recognized are not eligible to apply to be a recognized student organization for at least four years. 8. Suspension of Sponsorship. To suspend the agreement, either party to the agreement must notify SAL and their respective sponsor or sponsored student organization. The suspension is effective upon receipt of this notification. Any person, office, or organization outside the Sponsorship Agreement may recommend the suspension of sponsorship; only the SSO and the Sponsoring Unit have the power to suspend the agreement. 9. Dissolution of Sponsorship. If an occasion arises such that one party of the sponsorship agreement wishes to dissolve the sponsored relationship, that party may suspend the agreement (see above). If both parties agree to dissolve the agreement, SAL must be notified, and the agreement is dissolved. At this time, the student organization will become a VSO. If either party contests the dissolution of the sponsored relationship, the Director will facilitate a meeting with both parties. The meeting will be held within two weeks of SAL’s notification of the suspension of sponsorship and will aim to establish a mutual agreement between the parties. If no agreement is met, the sponsored relationship is considered dissolved. Any person, office, or organization outside the Sponsorship 13

Agreement may recommend the dissolution of sponsorship; only the SSO and the Sponsoring Unit have the power to dissolve the agreement. B. Restorative Measures The University of Michigan sees education potential in unconventional situations and incidents. Working with student organizations is no exception. The educational value of student organizations is the primary reason for the strong university support that they receive. Unfortunately, some of the best educational opportunities come through mistakes and adversity. The sanctions listed above are designed to protect the University community and maintain high community standards. They are not, however, the only or best avenue for a positive learning experience. A student governing body may recommend and the Dean may issue one or any combination of the following restorative measures in addition to, or in lieu of, the sanctions listed above. These measures may take the form of, but are not limited to, any of the following: 1. Written plan for restructuring of the Organization. 2. Restitution. Required compensation for loss, damage, or injury to the appropriate party in the form of service, money, or material replacement. 3. Class/Workshop Attendance. Attendance and completion of a class or workshop that will assist the student organization avoid future non-compliance with the Standards of Conduct. 4. Educational Project. Completion of a project specifically designed to assist the student organization avoid future non-compliance with the Standards of Conduct. 5. Service. Performance of a task, or tasks, designed to benefit the community and that also assists the student organization avoid future non-compliance with the Standards of Conduct. Notes


Recognition of Student Organizations The Regents have delegated the responsibility of registering all non-profit student organizations on campus to Michigan Student Assembly (MSA). MSA registration is a key part of the Recognition process. In order to receive the benefits of recognition, all student groups must complete the process each year. The recognition process begins May 1st and recognition status lasts until September 30th of the following year. Groups may register anytime throughout the year. The recognition process can be completed at The following is a list of organizations that sustain an ongoing registration status with MSA, determined by the Regents: • Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) • Campus Broadcasting Network (WCBN) • University Activities Center (UAC) • Student Publications Board • Michigan Daily • Michiganensian • Student Directory • Gargoyle

Establishing Your SOAS Project/Grant Initially, the student who registers the student organization will nominate three or four authorized signers as a final step of the student organization registration process. Once the registration process is complete, an email will be sent to each of the individuals nominated with a link allowing them to confirm or deny the nomination. Once the organization has at least three confirmed authorized signers on the account, SOAS will review the students and the account will be activated. We strongly believe that students should conduct the business of their own organization(s). However, faculty and staff advisors can assist your organization in many ways. The leadership of an organization changes almost every year. An advisor may have a better sense than any of the student leaders of how an organization and the University operate. An advisor can provide a framework to the student leaders and organization members for such matters as university policies and procedures, how to accomplish administrative tasks on campus, and what activities the organization can expect to participate in during the course of a year. An advisor is vital to the continuity of an organization by serving as a bridge from one year to the next for the organization. In some organizations, the role of the Faculty Advisor is solely to be a source of leadership and advice and not to have financial responsibility. If the role of the Faculty Advisor is to conduct financial business (e.g. Sign Disbursement and Transfer forms) for your organization, then they will need to be a restricted (flagged) Authorized signer on the SOAS account. All business that is authorized by a Faculty/Staff advisor must also be approved by a student authorized signer. Sponsored Student Organizations SSO’s are required to have an advisor. 15

University Sponsorship University sponsorship of a student organization or a student organization’s program can only be established by a written agreement between the organization and a University unit. University sponsorship is the determining factor between Sponsored and Voluntary organizations and brings with it benefits, while holding the organization to same level of institutional scrutiny as the unit is held. A student organization becomes an SSO by turning in a completed Sponsorship Agreement to SAL ( An event becomes a sponsored event through the completion of an Event Sponsorship Agreement (ESA) between the RSO and the University unit. ESAs do not need to be on record at SAL but sponsors and student organizations are strongly encouraged to maintain records of all ESAs.

Sponsorship vs. Support

Being supported by the University is not the same as being sponsored. Sponsorship is a formal relationship existing between the organization and the University. An organization that is supported by a specific unit does not necessarily imply that the organization is an SSO. NOTE: Financial support by a University unit is not enough to establish sponsorship. Advertising should accurately reflect the level of support given by a University unit (e.g. If a student organization receives only funds from a University unit, their advertisements may read “Supported by funds from the Office of X” but it may not read “Sponsored by the Office of X.”).

Purpose of Sponsorship The purpose of the sponsoring relationship is to support the potential of student organizations from within University units, while strengthening the mission of the University. Faculty, staff, and students offer each other invaluable opportunities for interaction, learning, and development through commitment to common goals. Through sponsorship, the University gives its units the chance to align with student organizations in order to actively contribute to the cultural, social, and academic life on campus and enhance student life at the University. The University also offers the student organization its resources in order to allow the organization to fulfill its mission and attain its goals. Through the sponsoring relationship the sponsoring unit and student organization are, together, making the Michigan experience real and meaningful.


Sponsorship Agreement Overview

Sponsored status for a student organization is a statement of recognition by the University of Michigan that the student organization is a key element in helping the University realize its mission. Student organizations that receive a proposal of sponsorship from an academic or operational unit of the University should be aware of two things: • That the University views the organization, through its efforts, as worthwhile and vital, and therefore commits itself to provide support for the organization and its endeavors. • The organization would be a representative of the University; therefore, a high level of accountability from the organization will be required, while recognizing the importance of the organization’s self-direction and student leadership. Academic or Operational units that wish to sponsor a student organization must be committed to the support of that organization’s mission and activities. In addition to formal advising, unit support may take any of the following forms: financial, administrative, office and/or operational space. If you have any questions about Sponsorship or Sponsored Student Organizations, please contact: The Office of Student Activities & Leadership. 2205 Michigan Union (734) 763-5900

Important Sponsorship Information

• The Sponsoring Unit must provide an advisor. • The mission of the student organization must be aligned with both the Sponsoring Unit’s mission and that of the University. • The Sponsoring Unit and the Student Organization should negotiate the Sponsorship Agreement and file a copy at SAL. • Both parties must understand and agree to the procedure for joint operations such as accepting tax deductible gifts and entering into contracts.

Sponsorship agreements automatically renew each year unless either party wants to modify the agreement. If a party wishes to modify the agreement, it should begin negotiations before the beginning of the next school year. New or modified agreements must be on record at SAL. In the event of a new signatory in the unit, a new agreement must be submitted. It is advised that the unit and the student organization review and initial the agreement each year. The sponsorship agreement must contain the above provisions and have the signature of the sponsoring Executive Officer, Dean, or Director.


III. Information Every Advisor Should Know Characteristics of a Good Student Organization 1) A good organization has a clear mission, sense of identity, and direction. 2) It communicates effectively both within the organization as well as externally. 3) It continually maintains strong, competent leadership. 4) It stays committed to the organization’s shared values. 5) It sets out to accomplish clear, measurable goals. 6) It has a desire to continually evolve and create new visions to enhance the mission of the organization. 7) It continually works to meet the needs of its membership as well as its community. 8) It makes thoughtful, purposeful decisions based off of organization plans. 9) It manages its resources wisely. 10) It takes time out to reflect on actions and reward itself for outstanding efforts. Notes


Purpose of Student Organizations – What Research Tells Us There are primary and complimentary purposes of student organizations. First, is to foster a sense of community and belonging (cultural, religious, special interest, social identity, etc.) Second, is to provide opportunities for students to take the initiative for their own learning and development. Further, student government organizations provide critical avenues for students to take an active part in the life of the University. For many students, student organizations make the campus a community. Research in higher education has evidenced that those involved in student organizations report a higher level of satisfaction with their university experience, than those who are not involved. Similarly, the breadth of student organizations serve as an important recruitment tool and supports the University’s retention efforts, particularly for students of color who often experience difficulties “finding their way” at such a large university. In addition, students who participate in student organizations are more likely to remain connected and supportive of the University after graduation. Some of the ways student organizations contribute are by: 1. Providing students with the opportunity to exercise and develop leadership, advocacy, and organizational skills; 2. Complementing and strengthening the formal academic experience; 3. Providing a means for students to pursue diverse interests that the formal academic programs may not provide; 4. Serving as an important social network in which students can comfortably and safely transition into adulthood; 5. Enriching the public discourse on important academic, political, artistic and social issues; 6. Supporting the recruitment goals of the University by providing prospective students with opportunities to explore a variety of interests; and 7. Supporting the retention goals of the University by providing all students and particularly students of color, international students, and non-traditional students with smaller communities in which to develop a sense of belonging to the University. Pascarella, E. & Terenzini, P. (1991). How College Affects Students: Findings and Insights From Twenty Years of Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Cheng, D.X. (2004). Students' Sense of Campus Community: What it Means, and What to do About It. NASPA Journal, 41(2): Article 2; and Hernandez, K., Hogan, S., Hathaway, C, and Lovell, C.D. (1999). Analysis of the Literature on the Impact of Student Involvem7ent on Student Development and Learning: More Questions than Answers? NASPA Journal, 36(3): Article 2. Cunningham, B. & Cochi-Ficano, C (2002). The Determinants of Donative Revenue Flows form Alumni of Higher Education: An Empirical Inquiry. Journal of Human Resources, 37(3): 540-569; and Clotfelter, Charles T. (2001). Who are the Alumni Donors? Giving by Two Generations of Alumni from Selective Colleges, Working Paper Series, Duke University.


Liability and Risk Management Student organizations plan and execute programs and activities that fall across the spectrum of risk. The safety of the participants and attendees is an important priority that the advisor must keep in mind at all times- whatever the activity may be. The advisor, in close collaboration with the Risk Management Department, has the responsibility to evaluate and manage the liability exposure which may be created at any given event. This responsibility increases as the level of risk heightens. Advisors for SSO’s must also keep in mind that their organization is a part of the University. Therefore, any actions that the organization takes are generally considered actions of the University. The actions of VSO’s are not considered actions of the University, but this does not lessen the importance of VSO advisors. An advisor must fulfill its role for the good of whatever organization they advise. • Identify level of liability • Take steps to limit the liability involved in the activity • Make suggestions clear. If the situation calls for more than suggestions (e.g. calling off an activity or part of an event) take the appropriate actions. Remember- bad things can happen regardless of how many precautions are in place. Use common sense and the various resources that the University has for advisors to limit the effects of unforeseen circumstances.

Personal Liability

Advisors of student organizations may incur personal liability due to the role. If the university requires the faculty or staff member to be an advisor of an organization (e.g. in the case of an SSO) then the University will defend the individual just as it would if that person were sued in the professional capacity. In essence, that is precisely what is happening. If the University does not require the faculty or staff member to be the advisor of an organization, then that advisor is regarded as volunteering in a personal capacity. The risk of personal liability can be limited through taking the appropriate measures, knowing and abiding by regulations, and using common sense. Keep in mind that the benefits of being a student organization advisor far outweigh the risks! If you are confronted by a situation that you feel may be risky, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Activities & Leadership, the Office of the General Counsel, and/or the Risk Management Department. Advisors are also encouraged to secure private counsel to ensure that they are making decisions that are in their own best interest.


Hazing The University of Michigan recognizes the inherent value of student organizations and teams. The chance to experience and small community with similar values and interests working together for a common purpose or goal enriches the university experience. How, then, does hazing become a part of such a noble endeavor?

University Policy Against Hazing

The University of Michigan condemns hazing practices as requirements for membership, advancement, or continued good standing in organizations. Background: Hazing practices are potentially hazardous to life and limb and may often place their victims at risk of physical and emotional damage. The University community joins in condemning such practices and could not support the continuous operation of any group which allows such practices. The University community urges appropriate sanctions to violators to the extent legally possible. At the least, the word “hazing” includes the following willful acts, with or without the consent of the individual involved: • Physical injury, assault, or battery • Kidnapping or imprisonment • Intentionally placing at risk of severe mental or emotional harm (pushing “over the edge”) • Degradation, humiliation, or compromising or moral or religious values • Forced consumption of any liquid or solid • Placing an individual in physical danger (at risk) which includes abandonment • Impairment of physical liberties which include curfews or other interference with academic endeavors Approved by the Regents, June 1982

The University has created a website to help those who may encounter hazing to identify and report it to the appropriate University office. To access these hazing resources please see: Many units in the University have adopted supplementary policies and guidelines to inform the campus community to the dangers of hazing. The University has provided student organizations with the following guidelines as part of the SOAR initiative:


Hazing Guidelines for the SOAR Initiative Guidelines: The University of Michigan condemns hazing practices associated with membership, advancement, leadership or continued good standing in student organizations. Background: Hazing is a destructive approach to assimilation into and membership in a organization. It results in mental and physical harm, injuries, and deaths. Nearly 90% of states have enacted laws outlawing, many of which include criminal penalties. Michigan law criminalizes hazing when there is a physical injury. Hazing stems from a power differential between members, often based on a hierarchical membership structure. Activities associated with membership in a student organization should contribute to the positive development of the person. Activities intended to assimilate a student into the organization should focus on the purposes, values and goals of the organization. Membership activities should be positive, educational, challenging, and fun. It should also conscientiously avoid placing the student in danger. As a guideline, in addition to activities of physical abuse, if you see “RHED” (ridicule, harassment, humiliation, embarrassment, degrading, discomforting, demeaning), the activity is probably hazing and should be abandoned. This hazing definition is intended to be measured on an objective basis. The fact that the victim of hazing willingly submits or agrees to the activity is not relevant. It is the responsibility of all members to protect others from unreasonable risk of harm. Definition: “Hazing,” as used here, means any action or situation that: 1. Recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization; 2. Includes, but is not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquid, liquor, drug, or other substance; 3. Includes any other forced or coerced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student; 4. Includes any activity which would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, impairment of physical liberties (e.g. kidnapping) or interfering with the student’s academic endeavors; 5. Includes forced or coerced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or; 6. Other forced or coerced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student.


Detecting Hazing Signs & Symptoms of Hazing Actions and activities which are explicitly prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following: • Any activity that might reasonably bring physical harm to the individual • Paddling, beating or otherwise permitting members to hit pledges • Requiring pledges to wear degrading or uncomfortable garments • Depriving pledges of the opportunity to get a sufficient amount of sleep (a minimum of 8 consecutive hours per day) and decent edible meals • Activities that interfere in any way with individuals’ academic efforts (e.g. causing exhaustion, loss of sleep, or loss of reasonable study time) • Activities that interfere with an individual’s employment or family obligation • Requiring or encouraging pledges to consume amounts of alcohol or other drugs • Forcing, coercing, or permitting students to eat or drink foreign, unusual, or noxious substances (e.g. raw meat, raw eggs, salt water, onions, etc.) • Having substances such as eggs, mud, paint, honey, etc. thrown at, poured on, or otherwise applied to the bodies of pledges • Morally degrading or humiliating games or any other activity that make an individual the object of amusement, ridicule, or intimidation • Kidnaps, road trips (a mandatory/forced off-campus trip as part of a pledging activity) • Subjecting an individual to cruel and unusual psychological conditions for any reason • Any requirement which compels an individual to participate in any activity which is illegal, perverse, publicly indecent, contrary to the individual’s genuine morals and/or beliefs (e.g. public profanity, indecent or lewd conduct, or sexual gestures in public) From:

Officer Transition Most organizations experience some sort of officer transition at the end of each academic year. Outgoing officers should begin identifying emerging leaders early in the year in order to foster as seamless a transition as possible. Once new officers have been elected, the outgoing officers should orient them together as a group in order to encourage a sense of cohesiveness. The advisor can facilitate this transition through workshops. Please see end of guidebook for officer transition workshop examples. As an advisor this is one of the most important roles one participates in. Advisors serve as facilitators through this process, while assisting in the continuity of the organization through a seamless transition. Student Organization Support (S.O.S.) is the student extension of the Office of Student Activities & Leadership. S.O.S. consultants create and implement workshops on numerous topics, including leadership transition. For more details, please see: 23

The Recognition Process- A Brief Overview Completing the student organization registration involves a number of steps. For a list of all required information necessary to complete this process, please see the registration guide ( Recognition process checklist: 1. Complete online registration 2. Submit your organization’s constitution 3. Identify three to authorized signers for SOAS account 4. If you are a sponsored organization, submit a Sponsorship Agreement to the Office of Student Activities & Leadership (SAL). After these requirements are fulfilled the organization you advise will be recognized!

Policies It is essential that all recognized student organizations both understand and adhere to University policies. The Office of Student Activities & Leadership acts as a resource to help student organizations locate and comprehend the policies that apply to them. One key policy that all student organizations must adhere to in order to maintain Sponsored or Voluntary Student Organization status is the University’s non-discrimination policy. The policy reads:

The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity, and Title IX/ Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.


Space The University Unions has an online scheduling system where your organization can reserve meeting space ( Representatives of a University Department or student organization authorized signers with a SOAS shortcode can reserve rooms in the Michigan Union, Michigan League, Pierpont Commons and Palmer Commons. To reserve space, please visit the University Unions at For more information on Student Organization and Accounts Service (SOAS), visit http:// In order to schedule your event, you may also see the following web sites: For additional information, please call or visit one of our University Union buildings: Michigan Union Event Services, Room 1310, (734) 763-5750 Michigan League Event Services, First Floor, (734)-764-8837 Pierpont Commons Event Services, Room 2202, (734) 764-7544 University Catering, Pierpont Commons, (734) 764-2142

Transportation Recognized student organizations may rent U-M vehicles as long as there is a U-M business need to do so. These rentals must be approved by a dean or department head and include such activities as travel to conferences, competitions, field trips or other appropriate educational opportunities that are relevant to current curriculum or U-M mission. University Vans and Cars Vehicles other than buses are rented through U-M Transportation Services (734)7643427. There must be a departmental sponsorship (i.e. use of a departmental account number and official signature). The department will be charged for the use of the vehicle(s); the organization will be responsible for completing a Transfer of Funds form (available at SOAS) in order to reimburse the department. It is recommended that forms are submitted 10 business days prior to the desired vehicle rental date.


Bus Rentals University buses can be rented from U-M Transportation Services through SOAS. A bus request form must be completed and submitted to a SOAS representative for verification and confirmation of the buses. Additional Resources Transportation Services,, (734)764-3427 SOAS,, (734) 763-5767 Student Org Vehicle Rental Form:

Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) The Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) advertising services are available for use by MSA-recognized student organization and University departments. Unaffiliated businesses and individuals may purchase materials and balloons but may not use other SORC services. SORC coordinates numerous advertising and display options for student organizations: • Union Banners • Diag Board Space • Bus Sign Space • Showcase Rental – Fliers and Posters • Plasma Screen Ads • Balloons • Table Tents in the Union and MUG Student organizations can use computers, fax machines (for a fee), copy machines (for a fee) and other office equipment (i.e. paper cutter). SORC also has a conference room that is available for reservation on a first come first serve basis for student organizations. For more information visit the SORC website at or call (734) 764-0436. SORC’s office is located on the 4th floor of the Michigan Union. Notes


IV. Additional Resources Websites:

Office of Student Activities & Leadership (SAL) – www.studentorgs.umich/sal Student Organization Accounts Service (SOAS) – www.studentorgs.umich/soas Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) –

Facilitating a Workshop Icebreaker Select an introductory warm-up from the folder (Takeover, Starting Again, Designing Countries). Pairs Allow participants of the workshop to communicate with one another their perspective on focus questions pertaining to leadership. Discussion Provide the opportunity for participants to discuss, as a class, the results of their individual conversations. Be sure to note commonalities, points of interest, and further discussions that may arise through this discussion. How did these conversations have an impact on the group as a whole? Groups Allow the participants a chance to gather in groups (ideally different than their pairs listed above) and discuss specific focus questions. Utilize the leadership notebook if possible. Sample questions: 1) What are some strategies you hope to utilize in transitioning new officers into your organization? 2) What tips could you give your successor to make things smoother for next year? 3) What foreseeable difficulties do you think might arise during this process? Group Discussion Tie the group discussions together by providing the opportunity for groups to communicate what they observed in their groups. Discuss the individual questions as a class. What did participants learn? What did participants find helpful? Where might there be difficulties? What more would participants like to know? Questions? Closing Provide an opportunity to tie everything together.


Setting Goals With Your Organization How to use the S.M.A.R.T. Method to help your organization reach its goals

Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely

* * * Specific- A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal, you must answer the six “W” questions: - Who: Who is involved? - What: What do I want to accomplish? - Where: Identify a location. - When: Establish a timeframe. - Which: Identify requirements and constraints. - Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal. Measurable- Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal that you set. This helps you stay on track. Ask questions such as “how much?” “how many?” and “how will I know when it is accomplished?” to determine if your goal is measurable. Attainable- You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a timeframe that allows you to carry out those steps. When you list your goals, you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them. You grow and expand to match your goals. Realistic- To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic: your organization must decide how high your goal should be. Some ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you truly believe it can be accomplished, if you have successfully done anything similar in the past, or to ask yourself what conditions would need to exist in order to achieve your goal. Timely- A goal should be grounded within a timeframe. There is no sense of urgency if a deadline has not been set. EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a SMART goal would say, “Join a health club by February 2nd and workout 3 days a week to lose 10 pounds by April 1st.”

Officer Transition Toolkit Leadership Transition Toolkit (90 minutes)

Conversations with Outgoing & Incoming Officers Icebreaker-15 minutes Select an introductory warm-up from the folder (Takeover, Starting Again, Designing Countries). Pairs-10 minutes With the person next to you (or better, somebody you don’t know), discuss the role of an effective leader and what types of qualities you feel are important. What does an effective leader look like to you? What skills does the effective leader possess? Why are these skills important? Discussion-20 minutes What did you discuss in your groups and how do you feel that it pertains to leadership within an organization (if possible, relate it to personal experiences)? What were your answers for the following questions: What does an effective leader look like to you? What skills does the effective leader possess? Why are these skills important? Groups-20 minutes In a pairing of outgoing/incoming officer, discuss the following questions: Items to question (Using leadership notebook) 1) What was your best experience in this position? 2) What tips could you give your successor to make things smoother for next year? 3) Name the administrators/staff you found to be helpful in your position. 4) What did you find most difficult in this position? 5) What was the best resource you used in this position? 6) Which offices/departments/student groups did you co-sponsor with that worked well? 7) Please list any projects or ideas you were developing that you would like to see continue. 8) Name one thing you wished you knew when you started the position. 9) Do you think the student body knows of your position and the services your group provides? 10) Any areas of difficulty? Group Discussion-10 minutes Did anybody find anything interesting or helpful in this exercise they would like to share? How did the leadership notebook play a role in your conversation? Why do you think it’s important to have this conversation in terms of leadership transition? What are some foreseeable problems for the future? Where do we go from here? What more would you like to know? Closing-5 minutes *10 minutes added for transitions between activities 29

Leadership Transition Toolkit (60 minutes) Conversations with the Incoming Officers

Icebreaker-10 minutes Select an introductory warm-up from the folder (Takeover, Starting Again, Designing Countries). Pairs-10 minutes With the person next to you (might be helpful to mix up the group), discuss the role of an effective leader. What qualities does an effective leader possess? How does your position as an officer play a role in your organization? Why is a smooth leadership transition important? Discussion-10 minutes What did you discuss in your groups and how do you feel that it pertains to leadership within an organization (if possible, relate it to personal experiences)? What were your answers for the following questions: What qualities does an effective leader possess? How does your position as an officer play a role in your organization? Why is a smooth leadership transition important? Groups-15 minutes In small groups (3-4 people per group), discuss the following: Items to discuss (Using leadership notebook) 1) What are some strategies you hope to utilize in transitioning as a new officer into your organization? 2) What information would you need in order to make your transition smoother? 3) What foreseeable difficulties do you think might arise during this process? Group Discussion-10 minutes 1) Did anybody find anything interesting or helpful in this exercise that they would like to share? 2) How did the leadership notebook play a role in your conversation? 3) Why do you think it’s important to have this conversation in terms of leadership transition? 4) What are some foreseeable problems for the future? 5) Where do we go from here? 6) What more would you like to know? Closing-5 minutes


The information in this workbook has been compiled over many years. Additional information from other sources was utilized in this process.


Adapted from David C. Hardesty, Jr. (“Ten Characteristics of a Highly Effective Organization,” The State

May 2003) & “Characteristics of a Good Organization at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.”

From SOAR Report pp. 11 & 12

Article/Chapter on Advising-San Diego State University Dunkel, N. W. & Schuh, J.H. (1998). Advising Student Groups and Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Fairleigh Dickinson University Indiana University of Pennsylvania Ithaca University University of North Texas Oglesby Union, Florida State University Penn State Altoona (2007). Student Organization Advisor’s Handbook. Retrieved December 6, 2007 from handbook.pdf Policy Regarding Hazing for the Greek Community at the University of Michigan (2006, December). Retrieved from, pdf Purdue University Virginia Commonwealth University (2007, November). Student Organization Advisor Handbook. Retrieved December 6, 2007 from StudentOrganizations_Advisors_Handbook.pdf University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wright State University


FACILITIES Bake Sale Tables in Angell Hall (MSA) CCRB Diag Scheduling (SAL) East Quad Auditorium Scheduling Palmer Commons Challenge Course (NCRB) Plant Operations Theater Department Trotter Multicultural Center University Unions Event Services LS & A Facilities

763-3241 763-3084 763-5900 763-0176 615-4444 763-4560 647-2059 764-5351 763-3670 763-5911 764-0323

PROGRAMMING The Spectrum Center 763-4186 Minority Engineering Programs Office 647-7120 Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs 763-9044 Project Community/SERVE 936-2437 Services for Students with Disabilities 763-3000 Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Center 998-9368 University Activities Center 763-1107 University Unions Arts & Programs 763-3203 Campus Information Centers (CIC) 764-INFO Michigan Daily 764-0550 University Record 764-1817 Student Organization Resource Center 764-0436 University Radio 763-3500 FUNDING Arts at Michigan 764-5123 Center for the Education of Women 764-6005 Ginsberg Center 647-7402 Hillel 769-0500 LS&A Student Government 763-4799 Michigan Student Assembly 763-3241 Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives 936-1055 Residence Hall Association 763-3497 Student Affairs Programming Council 763-5900 U of M Engineering Council 764-8511 OTHER UNIVERSITY RESOURCES Office of the Vice President and General Risk Management Department Cashiers Office (LSA) Computer Service/ ITCS Dean of Students Office Mail Services Office/ Ombudsman Office Services (LSA) Photo Services Property Disposition Student Legal Service Student Organization Accounts Service U-M Computer Showcase

Counsel 764-0304 763-2200 764-8230 763-6300 764-7420 764-9599 763-3545 764-0355 764-9217 764-2417 763-9920 763-5767 764-9261

Advisor Handbook  

This handbook has been developed to assist faculty and staff advisors at the University of Michigan. It provides guidelines on being an effe...