Club & Organization Faculty and Staff Advisor Guide
What is the role and responsibility of a faculty advisor?
Faculty Advisors voluntarily serve in their role as a student organization Faculty Advisor but are considered to be engaging in a service to the University. Advisors are asked to be familiar with the mission of the organization, get to know the leadership and as many members as possible, provide support and guidance as necessary, help officers manage any obstacles that may hinder the group from accomplishing its goals. Faculty advisors serve as the content experts for these groups, and the events they hold. Attendance at group events and programs is highly encouraged.
Student club advising is a very personal, individual pursuit and there is no one "right way" or "best way" to advise. It is over time we develop our own unique advising styles and know what we are most comfortable with. While some advisors play a very involved and "hands-on" role, others are more comfortable remaining less involved and active. Whatever your personal advising style is, there are some common roles and responsibilities to keep in mind:
- Advisors do not set policy for the club. Rather, they serve as a resource and guide to assist students in developing their own rules, guidelines, and goals.
- Advisors ensure that the college fulfills its responsibilities to students and that the activities of the organization are consistent with the rules and policies of UMass Lowell.
- Advisors attend regularly scheduled club meetings as well as on and off campus activities, both business and social. The advisor may meet regularly with the organization's leaders. The advisor may also provide a formal report during regularly scheduled meetings.
- Advisors keep club members informed of relevant institutional matters.
- Advisors serve as student advocates.
- Advisors ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken to protect the safety and welfare of club members.
What is the role of a program advisor?
A Program Advisor is someone who is assigned to a club/organization from the Office of Student Activities and Leadership (SA&L). This person assists clubs with programming logistics, ordering supplies for events, and any other support they may need for event planning. This person will also assist the club with leadership opportunities, recruitment and retention of club members, and club development.
Each UMass Lowell club/organization must register each year with the Office of Student Activities and Leadership on the groups Engage homepage. This process is important so that we know the club is active, we can communicate with the current leadership of the club and their faculty advisor, and they have access to all of the resources they need to operate. Club re-registration provides access to University services:
- Use of Engage page for their organization
- Reserving space on campus, including tabling locations
- Publications of events to University calendar
- Access to spend their SGA budget, and fundraised money
- Ability to order apparel, giveaways
- Last day to submit all event requests for the semester on Engage is two weeks prior to the last day of classes in the Spring Semester.
- Last day of classes each semester is the last day students groups are allowed to hold meetings and events.
- Club re-registration on Engage begins in April and will roll through the fall semester.
- SGA club budget requests due in March (SA&L will communicate the date annually).
Information regarding starting a new club
The undergraduate club recognition process can be completed in four steps:
- Create a constitution.
- Collect 10 signatures.
- Find a faculty/staff advisor.
- Complete new club training
For more depth details, a constitution template, and how to form a graduate club visit the UMass Lowell Engage website and scroll down to the campus links section.
A Club Transitions PowerPoint with helpful tips and tricks for when your club's leadership changes is available. Please email: Cheyenne_Alexander@uml.edu and we’ll send it to you.
What is Engage and how to use it
Engage is the platform Student Activities & Leadership and Multicultural Affairs uses to manage everything club related from event requests, general communication, and everything in between. For more information on how to use Engage, please see the videos below.
All contracts must be sent to the club's Program Advisor. Contracts must be executed by the Program Advisor and signed by our Dean of Student Affairs and University Events. IF the performer/speaker/artist is asking for a university-generated contract please contact your Program Advisor and they will facilitate this process. For any questions related to contracts and agreements please email: Joanne_Dunbar@uml.edu
All travel must be submitted in Engage as an event submission and approved by the Program Advisor. Each student attending the off-campus trip must complete the liability waiver. Depending on distance and length of time students must complete the university required travel form. Please have your students contact the Program Advisor with as much advance notice as possible. For overnight travel we need 8 weeks notice. For a day trip we need 4-6 weeks notice. We can help coordinate transportation, hotel rooms, and flights as needed.
Event Submissions and Approvals
Clubs must submit all activity on their Engage page. Meetings, events, trips, tabling, fundraisers, etc. must all be submitted for approval by the Program Advisor. Please review the Engage tutorial video on event submissions for more information on this process. Through the submission process clubs are able to request space, use of a pro-card or spending money, receive assistance with fundraisers, bake sales, travel needs and more.
UMass Lowell Community Standards
Faculty and staff may be designated by Equal Opportunity & Outreach (EOO) as responsible employees. This designation will vary by role. When any concern about sexual misconduct or criminal acts are brought to the attention of any staff at the university, it is recommended that the staff member report the information to the appropriate department or staff members. These departments include UMass Lowell Police Department (UMLPD), EOO, of the Student Conduct Office.