Chapter Advisor Accreditation, page 4
Working with Your Institution
As a chapter advisor, you have many relationships to manage and steward. Some of those relationships are more important than others. One relationship to maintain is the one with the institution where you are advising. Having positive relationships with the office of Fraternity & Sorority Life can lead to fruitful results and an improved chapter.
Know the Players
Before you can build a relationship with the institution, it is important to identify the important personnel at your school which have a stakeholder relationship with the chapter. To give you some idea, some of the common people to know are:
- Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) Advisor
- Director of Student Conduct
- Counseling & Psychological Services
- Title IX Coordinator
- Dean of Students
While you might not need to be on a first name basis with all of these individuals, it is important to have that strong relationship with the Fraternity & Sorority Life advisor at the bare minimum. It is recommended that chapter advisors meet with the Fraternity & Sorority Life advisor at least once per year – ideally twice (once per semester). During these meetings, it is best to ask how you can help them and get their opinion on how the chapter is doing relative to: the fraternity expectations, community, and the chapter’s prior year performance.
Know the Rules
Besides knowing the people at the institution where you advise, it is important to know the policies, procedures, and standards of the school where you are advising. While all institutions are different, most Fraternity & Sorority Life offices, as well as IFC communities, are going to have a set of standards for their member organizations. Take time to understand the standards that the institution and FSL office has for your chapter and ensure that they are aware of the standards as well.
In addition to the standards, it is useful to have a working knowledge of the conduct process. While you don’t need to be intimately aware of every single detail or appeal condition, it is helpful to be a source of knowledge and support for the chapter should they get into a student conduct situation with the institution. Understanding who the decision makers are, what rights the chapter as a student organization, and their appellate options will go a long way towards helping the undergraduate chapter navigate the situation.