Recognized Student Organization (RSO) advisors play an invaluable role in contributing to the development and impact of both student leaders and student organizations at Tulane University. We value and thank you for your time, energy, and dedication to your organization(s).
All RSOs must have a Tulane faculty or staff Advisor. The primary role of the advisor is to serve as a resource for the RSO officers and members. Advisors have four broad functions:
Additional expectations of an individual RSO advisor should be determined by the advisor and the RSO leadership. This role may vary from RSO to RSO, based on the group’s needs and goals. The advisor should never be considered just a signature on required forms. The student leadership of the RSO and the advisor should have a conversation early on to determine roles and clarify the students’ expectations of the advisor and the advisor’s expectations of the students.
The amount of time required of an RSO Advisor is based on the needs of the group. Minimally, advisors are expected to attend quarterly one-hour advisor meetings and spend two to three hours per month on organization issues during the academic year. An active advisor for a large RSO could expect to spend as many as two to four hours per week engaged in related activities.
These activities may include:
Agreeing to serve as an Advisor comes with a great deal of responsibility. Advisors are expected to stay well informed of their RSO’s actions and decisions and to stay visibly involved in their role. RSOs must comply with all university policies and procedures, local, state, and federal laws. Advisors are expected to help RSOs understand their responsibilities and to ensure activities
and events are in compliance with the aforementioned policies and laws.
Advisors do have potential liability exposure and it is important to remember when advising, advisors are serving as ambassadors of the University and are therefore covered by the university’s insurance policies. This does not guarantee that advisors could not be personally named in a lawsuit as a result of RSO activities. It is important advisors not ignore any foreseeable risk and advisors educate the RSO to follow all university policies and procedures as well as local, state, and federal laws. Intentionally harmful, willful acts of negligence, or omissions by an advisor are not covered by the university’s insurance policies.
RSOs are required to get advisor approval for requests including, but not limited to, event registrations, motor pool vehicle requests, budget submissions, and financial transactions. When reviewing documentation for approval, advisors should read the information thoroughly, communicate with the RSO for questions or clarification, ensure that the activity is compliant with university policies and local, state, and federal laws, verify there is adequate designated funding to support the activity if applicable, and provide a timely approval or denial.
Requests for approval for event registrations, motor pool vehicle requests, and budget submissions will be sent to an advisor’s Tulane email address. The email will include a link to the specified request and buttons to select approval or denial of the request.
RSOs may have one or more university fiscal account(s). RSOs are not allowed to have an off-campus bank account. Advisors should have access to financial information for their student organization(s). Advisors can be provided Cognos access to monitor account balances and to ensure adequate funding for organization activities and resources. If an organization has been provided a USG budget, advisors can view the budget in WaveSync.
For questions about RSO accounts and budgets, contact Jane Rushing, LBC Associate Director of Administration and Finance, at email@example.com or 504-314-2915.
Clery Act & Campus Security Authority
One particular requirement of an RSO advisor falls within the purview of The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or more widely known as the Clery Act. This piece of federal legislation requires TUPD to report “statistics concerning the occurrences of certain criminal offenses reported to the local police agency or any official of the institution who is defined as a ‘Campus Security Authority.’ RSO advisors are considered a Campus Security Authority (CSA) because they have “significant responsibility for student and campus activities.” This means advisors have the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution should they know of a crime that has taken place.
To better understand the role of a CSA, advisors must annually complete the Clery Center CSA training video found at https://vimeo.com/103610195. The password for the video is CSAClery2014.
Advisors should report incidents to tulane.edu/concerns. For questions regarding reporting crimes or other issues, please contact Erica Woodley, Assistant Vice President of Student Resources and Support Services, or Catherine Yockey, Director of Case Management and Victim Support Services at 504-314-2160. If there is an emergency incident, advisors are directed to call TUPD at 504-865-5911 or NOPD at 911.
Hazing includes, but is not limited to, acts of servitude and/or behavior that humiliates, degrades, embarrasses, harasses or ridicules an individual or otherwise is harmful or potentially harmful to an individual’s physical, emotional or psychological well-being, as an actual or apparent condition for initial or continued affiliation with any group. A student violates this standard regardless of either the lack of intent to cause harm or the hazed individual’s own willingness to participate. Advisors are expected to report any allegations of hazing to the University at http://tulane.edu/concerns.
Some of the key elements to ensure an organization’s smooth transition from academic year to academic year are to complete a timely renewal of their organization and to conduct a successful transition for their officers. An advisor can and should play an active role in the transition process. There are many methods of transition, including passing on notebooks/manuals and electronic records, having one-on-one meetings between incoming and outgoing officers, or planning day long retreats.
The following elements are important in organization transitions:
Quarterly RSO Advisor Meetings are held throughout the academic year. Below are the fall 2020 meeting dates. All advisors are asked to attend.
This year we are also launching a comprehensive New Advisor Training that will be offered each semester. Dates for 2020-2021 are listed below.
The LBC supports RSO advisors through consultations, ongoing training and resources, and providing assistance with organization-specific issues. If you are in need of assistance, please contact Heather Seaman, LBC Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-865-5193.
Advisors must annually sign the Recognized Student Organization Advisor Role & Responsibilities Form to acknowledge understanding of the expectations of advising. The completed form is uploaded in the RSO’s WaveSync portal.