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Being the president of NEDAC has been the defining experience of my college career. I learned so much by working with the USC, from program planning to general professionalism, and they are skills I'll take with me into the future. One of the greatest gifts USC has given me is a network of other student leaders to not only work with, but be inspired by and to call my friends.
-Michelle Reed, Class of 2011
I joined Gamma Sigma Sigma as a sophomore. Through all of our community service events, I feel like an active member of the UD, Newark, and world communities. The student centers and events services staff always supports us and helps us to achieve great things to assist those around us.
-Kristen Pannullo, Class of 2011
I started my own RSO and I couldn't have done it without the help of the USC staff. They were so friendly and supportive of my initiative. Thanks to the USC staff, I've created a successful group and it can only go up from here.
I created the Zumba Club at the end of my first semester Freshmen year. It has given me a chance to connect with other students doing something I love. Also, joining Alpha Delta Pi in the Spring has opened so many doors to get involved on campus. I really encourage you to get involved and experience as much as you can here at UD!
-Lindsay Irwin, Class of 2011
The Student Centers are filled with the nicest and friendliest employees who have even more answers than the website, if that's possible! If you're a student leader or a student just looking to get involved, the Student Centers and their staff will lead you on a path that will make your time at UD the best possible.
-Michele Ingari, Class of 2011
USC > Student Involvement > Advisor Handbook

All Registered Student Organizations are required to have a University advisor from among the full-time faculty or professional staff.

Selection of a University advisor is normally the prerogative of the student organization. The termination of the advisory relationship may be made by either the organization or the advisor. In a limited number of activities, such as student media, student government, and student programming organizations, advisors are appointed in accordance with stated University or organizational requirements. In addition, approval of advisors for Sport/Recreational Registered Student Organizations may be restricted to those individuals with special expertise and/or experience in the particular activity.

The general purpose of a University Advisor is to encourage continuity in programming and to assist Registered Student Organizations in operating in a manner that is consistent with the purpose of the University.

The specific duties of the advisor shall be determined and agreed upon by the individual adviser and the organization's leadership. As a general rule, advisers should be familiar with the organization's program and should counsel the organization in the exercise of responsibility. Advisors do not normally have the authority to dictate or control the policies or operation of the organization.

In carrying out their responsibilities, University Advisors shall be protected from liability in accordance with the University's policy on Indemnification of Directors, Officers, and Employees.

Obligations of University Advisors
The role of an advisor varies within each organization, but also during the year as the group matures or as new leadership emerges. There are three main obligations to which the adviser will be committed:

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Relationships with students vary according to personalities and leadership style. Few relationships find immediate working success or satisfaction, but when roles are established and expectations are openly discussed; the relationship is a fulfilling and satisfying experience. Listed below are expectations and guidelines to help the advisor-student relationship become most effective.

Expectations of the Advisor
  • Be well informed about all plans and activities of the group
  • Attend at least some of the regularly scheduled meetings and/or executive meetings
  • Be present at the events or activities sponsored by the group
  • Be an active group member by providing ideas and constructive feedback
  • Serve as a group supporter - do not direct the group or the groups activities unless deemed necessary by the student leaders
  • Encourage each member to be part of the planning process and supportive of the decision of the group
  • Make suggestions to leaders that will upgrade and improve leadership skills
  • Facilitate and encourage teambuilding activities throughout the year
  • Provide networking opportunities whenever possible
  • Be aware of the financial accountability and responsibility requirements for students who manage the budgetary areas of the group
  • Keep in close contact with the treasurer and address budgetary concerns in a timely manner
  • Encourage students to recognize, value, and demonstrate diversity
  • Challenge students by introducing new perspectives
  • Stress the importance of balancing school work with student involvement
  • Model good communication skills by keeping in close contact with group leaders
  • Help the group work within University policy and procedures
  • Serve as a liaison between the administration and the student group
  • Offer evaluation of the group's progress, performance, and projects to leaders and members
  • Aid in revision and evaluation of the constitution/mission statement
  • Provide continuity during leadership transitions by:
    • Assisting with orientation of newly elected student leaders
    • Keeping copies of minutes from past meetings and other files for the group
    • Keeping records of group mission, constitution, and leadership job descriptions
    • Serving as a custodian of group properties
    • The advisor should be available when emergency problems arise
Expectations of the Student Leaders
Your Advisor should be recognized as a vital part of your group even though he/she is not an official member of the group. Remember that your advisor can be an invaluable resource to the group who can usually provide background information drawn from his/her previous experiences. For his/her effort and participation with the group, the Advisor should be extended certain courtesies and considerations. Student leaders are expected to do the following:
  • Consult with the advisor on all group activities, meeting times, locations, and agenda items. It is important for your advisor to be able to attend your meetings and events.
  • Provide minutes of all meetings to the advisor
  • Meet regularly with the advisor and use him or her as a sounding board for discussing group plans and current or potential problems
  • Ask your advisor for reports and input during regular meetings
  • When in doubt, consult your advisor - your advisor can be an invaluable resource to the group and can usually provide background information drawn from his/her previous experiences.
  • Take into consideration that your advisor has other responsibilities (i.e. family, home, job, etc.) and he/she cannot always give you his/her undivided attention.
  • Your advisor will not solve all of your problems for you. As a student leader you must take responsibility for the minor problems your group may encounter. Use your advisor as a resource and for suggestions, but do not expect them to handle all of your issues.
  • Let your advisor know that he/she is appreciated. Thank you notes, appropriate comments at meetings, and personal thanks are some of the ways you can show your gratitude.
The Student Leader's Influence
  • The student leader can be a major "make or break" factor in the success of the group
  • The leader's influence must always be greater than that of the advisor
  • Advisors should encourage the quieter students to make them feel more included
  • Advisors should discourage leadership by one dominant personality, this could lead to a sour feeling among group members
The Advisor's Influence
  • Discuss issues with the leaders and members of the group with a genuine and sincere interest in their development
  • Present information to the leaders and members without imposing personal bias
  • If a group plan or idea may be deemed inappropriate, the advisor should try to point out alternatives and encourage students to consider different aspects and choices
  • Encourage both informal and formal meetings to be open and worthwhile in discussion
  • Assist the leader, do not try to solve his or her problems
  • Encourage the leader to delegate authority and offer leadership opportunities to other members of the group
  • Praise good work in public, but criticize a poor performance in private
Advising a Group That Is Planning a Questionable Activity
  • Recommend other ideas or alternatives for the one which is being considered
  • Do not hesitate to point out difficulties of the plan
  • Suggest that the group gather the opinions of the individuals or agencies affected by the activity
  • Refer leaders to the Student Involvement Office for assistance
The "Advisor's Corner"
  • Some groups reserve a special time for the advisor to speak at the close of a meeting so the advisor can reach out to the group
  • The advisor, at this time, may or may not choose to make comments related to the meeting or plans of the group
  • The "Advisor's Corner" provides an opportunity for closer contact with the students
  • Advisors can also reach out by offering special office hours for students from their group or by offering a designated spot in their office for group members to drop off/pick up notes or other paperwork
Being a Co-Worker
The advisor will feel more willing to participate in the group's discussions when the group accepts the advisor as a co-worker whose opinions are respected for their content and value - not from reference to the advisor's position on campus.

The Registered Student Organization
Freedom of Association
Students are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interest. The University believes it is appropriate to share its resources with associated groups in order to fulfill the University's overall educational function. Therefore, associated groups may apply to become Registered Student Organizations in order to access University resources.

Criteria for Registration
  • That the purpose and goals of the organization are defined and support the educational/developmental goals of the University.
  • That the organization agrees to adhere to all policies and regulations of the University of Delaware, the Student Involvement Office, and all local, state, and federal laws. Once registered, it is the responsibility of the organization members to become acquainted with appropriate University policies and procedures in the Official Student Handbook and other materials provided by the University.
  • That the organization be a viable, functioning organization, composed of full-time matriculated undergraduate students.
  • That the organization not discriminate either in its membership or program on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, veteran or handicapped status, or sexual orientation.
  • That the organization submit a Student Organization Registration Profile stating the purpose of the organization.
  • That the organization submit a constitution and/or by-laws stating the structure and operational procedures.
  • That the group submit a completed Student Organization Registration form annually containing six signatures of the current officers and/or other responsible members, and the name and signature of the organization's University Adviser.
  • That Registered Student Organizations must assume responsibility for all debts and obligations to the University incurred by the group.
Affiliation with Other Organizations
Registered Student Organizations may have affiliation with organizations (campus, local, national and/or regional) inside or outside the University of Delaware. Groups may also be subject to policies and requirements of a parent organization, provided that this relationship does not conflict with University policies, objectives, and activities.

Relationship to the University and Use of University Name
Registered Student Organizations may not use the name of the University of Delaware, as part of its own name except to describe its location (e.g., "Outing Club at the University of Delaware"). Exceptions to this policy may be made only if the group is authorized to officially represent the University.

The organization may state that its membership is comprised of students, faculty, and/or staff of the University, but it shall not indicate or imply that it is acting on behalf of the University. Events or activities may not be advertised or promoted in a manner to suggest that they are sponsored or endorsed by the University.

Release of Information
The request for records and information related to Registered Student Organizations will comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. A copy of the document is on file in the Records Office.

Graduate Students
Graduate students are free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests through the Graduate Studies Office. Graduate students may not be regular members or officers of undergraduate student organizations.

At the beginning of every fall semester, a Registered Student Organization must re-register with the Student Involvement Office. The organization only needs to complete the Student Organization Re-Registration form.

A new Registration Profile and/or Constitution only need to be re-submitted if the organization has changed its purpose and/or structure.

No outstanding debts are to be owed to the University by the organization. Organizations will not be approved for re-registration until all bills are paid.

Membership Status
Membership status in a Registered Student Organization is limited to full-time matriculated undergraduate students at the University of Delaware. Registered Student Organizations may have faculty, professional staff, part-time students, and graduate students as associate members. Other members of the University community may be invited to attend group meetings or special programs.

The following responsibilities and activities, however, are limited to the full-time matriculated undergraduate student members only (A matriculated student is defined as one who has been admitted to a degree program, is registered for the current semester, and who has paid the appropriate fees.):
  • Holding any office or leadership position in the organization.
  • Voting in any organization elections of officers, programs, or policies.
  • Registering the organization with the University.
  • Representing the organization to the University.
  • Reserving University facilities on behalf of the organization.
  • Requesting University services for the organization.
  • Staffing tables or distributing materials on campus on behalf of the organization.
  • Soliciting funds on behalf of the organization. (Registered Student Organizations may solicit funds only with approval of the Assistant Director of the University Student Centers for Operations.)
  • Participating in any activity sponsored by a Sport/Recreation Organization.
Registered Student Organizations are entitled to the following upon completing the registration process:
  • Recruit members on campus.
  • Schedule the use of University buildings, grounds, and equipment when they are available for a variety of programs such as meetings, social functions, membership recruitment, and campus programs.
  • SOLAR services and resources information available in the Student Involvement Office (i.e., copier, typewriters, computers, advisement, mailboxes, etc.)
  • Publicize their activities through the Office of Public Relations, the U of D Today calendar, the Student Activities Hotline (831-8581), and the use of designated bulletin boards.
  • Utilize University services (Graphic Communications, Central Stores, Dining Services, Campus Mail, Purchasing, Motor Vehicle Pool, etc.) Note: Charges are assessed for these services - check with the Student Involvement Staff.)
  • Participate in Student Activities Night, the annual fall activities fair that provides organizations an opportunity to recruit new members and let others on campus know about their activities.
  • Participate in SOLAR workshops on such topics as Publicity, Financial Management, Group Leadership and Organizational Development.
  • Request funds from the Student Center Allocation Board. Note: This privilege is not available to Registered Student Organizations that represent a political party or religious denomination.
  • Solicit funds (including the charging of admissions to programs) on campus for the support of organizational activities. Sales and Solicitations Forms are required.

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