Advisor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Who is eligible to be a student organization advisor?

An advisor can be any faculty or staff member at San José State University that holds at least a bachelor's degree. Graduate students are subject to Student Involvement approval. Employees of auxiliary entities (e.g.: Associated Students, Spartan Shops, Student Union Inc.) may not serve as advisors (per California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Article 2). If more than one advisor is desired, the main advisor must be a SJSU faculty /staff member.

What is the time commitment for being an advisor?

The time commitment varies per advisor and student organization, but is ultimately up to your discretion. We strongly suggest having an expectations conversation with your organization's student leaders prior to committing to the group. These expectations and standards should be clearly communicated.

If you choose to attend all meetings and events, the time committment could be 1-4 hours per week. If you choose to meet with the group's officers and attend occasional events, it could be as little as 1-4 hours per month. You may choose to allow students to drop by your office at any time or may ask them to schedule appointments.

What are the responsibilities associated with being an advisor?

The student organization advisor is mainly responsible for providing advising and guidance for the organization. They should intervene only to prevent the violation of SJSU policy, Student Code of Conduct (PDF), or Student Organization Code of Conduct (PDF). In addition, advisors are responsible for the health and well-being of our students. Below is a list of other responsibilities of a student organization advisor at SJSU:

  1. Be accessible to the student organization for questions, support, and guidance;
  2. Be familiar with university policies and procedures regarding student organizations;
  3. Provide signatures on documents to assist in the space and room reservations, finance/funding requests (Some cases may require the advisor’s attendance at the event);
  4. Participate in the Alcohol Policies and Prevention Program (per CSU Executive Order 1068);
  5. Be listed with email contact information at the Student Involvement Student Organization Online Directory;
  6. Communicate university information to the organization, including reminders regarding the official student organization recognition process

What are the benefits to being an advisor?

Student organizations continue to be one of the focal points of campus life and provide excellent co-curricular opportunities for our students. Advising a student organization is a rewarding experience that offers wonderful insight into our SJSU student population. You will have the opportunity to interact closely with a group of students, often in a capacity very different from your regular job. In addition, we hope that you will find the position rewarding because you will have the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of our students. Lastly, we have found that student organization advisors develop a stronger connection to the Spartan community through their work with student groups.

Can I be held responsible for my organization's mistakes?

You are there to help the organization make sound decisions, but ultimately, the students are responsible for those decisions. As long as you provide sound advice and guidance to the student groups, you are insured by the university in the role of an advisor.

Where can I go to get assistance and support with my student organization?

The Student Involvement staff is here to assist in the success of student groups, including providing support to student organization advisors. On our website, you will find resources for advisors such as policies and forms, developmental handouts, and a virtual advisor orientation. In addition, staff members are available to meet with you for any of your needs or concerns. If you have questions or would like to make an appointment, please email us.

How are student organizations governed?

Student organizations at San José State University are self-governed. Their actions, activities, and interests are determined by the membership of the organization. Student organization advisors are responsible for providing advising and guidance for the organization. Advisors or other University officials should intervene only to prevent the violation of SJSU policy, Student Code of Conduct, or Student Organization Code of Conduct. If questions or concerns arise, please contact Student Involvement at 408-924-5950 or email us.