Advising a Chapter

Advisors of Greek organizations (both Faculty and Alumni Advisors) provide a vital link between the Greek organizations and their constituents.

For example, Faculty Advisors often help students bridge the gap between classroom and out-of-classroom activities and Alumni Advisors help to connect chapters with other alumni/ae and with the (inter)national organization.

Alumni Advisor Recommendations

  • Meet at least once per month with the chapter to talk about chapter related issues.
  • Once a semester, meet confidentially with individual members, who may either seek, or need, guidance. One way to do this is to select a time (preferably not a chapter meeting night) and post available appointment times on the chapter bulletin board, or pass around an appointment sheet.
  • Provide advice and guidance to chapter officers on a number of important issues: risk management, service, alumni involvement, financial management, and brotherhood, for example.
  • Recruit other advisors and get to know these other advisors.
  • Provide assistance with officer training.
  • Become familiar with chapter documents, bylaws, and risk management policies. Work with the chapter to know and follow these policies.
  • Work with the House Corporation to ensure the chapter facility is safe and secure.
  • Ensure that actions of the organization are in compliance with mission of organization.
  • Serve as a role model for members of the organization.
  • Keep communication with the President of the organization open.
  • Assist and advise in the planning of new member education and recruitment.
  • Serve as an advisor, not a leader in the organization.
  • Develop a relationship with the organization by being accessible and present at events.

The Role of a Faculty Advisor

As a fraternity or sorority at WPI, it is recommended that groups have a faculty advisor.  This vital position works closely with chapters on their overall scholarship programs including the following:

  1. Assist the chapter in developing an overall scholarship program.
  2. Be available to meet with the new members each semester to review their academic progress and plans at WPI.
  3. Assist with developing any scholarship recognition program for the chapter.
  4. Assist the chapter in developing an academic incentives program.
  5. Attend any scholarship receptions the chapter hosts.
  6. Be available to meet with individual members who are in need of academic assistance.
  7. Attend two chapter meetings/dinners each year to get to know the members and the members get to know the advisor.

Other Important Information

  1. Faculty advisors are covered under WPI's liability policy when acting in the scope of a faculty advisor.
  2. Faculty advisors are also covered by the national fraternity's and sorority's policies but it is always good to check with them.
  3. Faculty advisors serve for one-year terms with possible extensions based on a mutual agreement between the fraternity or sorority and the faculty advisor.
  4. Faculty advisors are not expected to serve as the chapter advisor nor to serve on the alumni board (if they wish to serve in these positions that would be great but it is not expected)
  5. Faculty advisors are not on call nor are they responsible for the social aspects of the chapter.

Faculty Advisor Recommendations

  • Attend one of the first chapter meetings of the semester to talk to members and new members about the importance of academics, how the chapter is meeting this responsibility, your availability for consultation, and your role as the faculty advisor.
  • Once a semester, meet confidentially with individual members, who may either seek, or need, guidance on academic issues. One way to do this is to select a time (preferably not a chapter meeting night) and post available appointment times on the chapter bulletin board, or pass around an appointment sheet.
  • Provide advice and guidance to chapter offices should they wish to develop to speaker series featuring faculty, to discuss ways of meeting more faculty on an informal basis (such as a faculty reception or dinner), or to seek ways of changing the faculty's perception of them as a student organization.
  • You are encouraged to attend lunches or dinners with the members as a way to become more familiar with the group (for those groups with houses, dinner usually precedes chapter meetings). Faculty advisors find this a helpful way to get to know students. Some Faculty Advisors also invite the new members to either breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a way to get to know them better. If the new member group is large, you might want to deal with several smaller groups to facilitate discussion.
  • The rewards of being a Faculty Advisor are sometimes intangible. Current Faculty Advisors cite the deep satisfactions of working with college students outside the classroom, of having meaningful relationships with students, and of knowing that they have made a difference in some students' lives

 

 
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