Club Adviser Information

Club Adviser Information

The success of the club program at Saddleback is greatly due to the interest and efforts of advisers. Student Development thinks of advisers as mentors to the student leaders in the club and we will use these terms interchangeably. We are grateful that you have considered becoming a partner with Student Development to bring co-curricular opportunities to students across our campus.

Student clubs provide a unique, rewarding opportunity for students to gain practical skills and enhance the out of classroom experience. We recognize and highly value the relationship that the students have with their mentor(s). In order to facilitate the student learning experience, we encourage the mentors to guide and advise the clubs with their experiences and the knowledge of the college and district policies.

Campus clubs and organizations are required to have an adviser in order to become an active, college-sponsored club. Advisers must be a faculty, manager, administrator or full‐time staff member. A mentor's primary role is to serve as a resource to the club and help guide them in effectively operating the organization.

Advisers who would like to start a campus club may host a "Faculty-Sponsored Club" by completing an Activation Form (the “member” portion can be left blank) For questions regarding "Faculty-Sponsored Clubs", please contact the Student Development Office.

The Role of Club Adviser:

Advisers should never be considered just a signature in order to receive recognition. Club mentors are employees of the college who, out of interest and dedication, give their time and talents to the co-curricular programs. Students must realize that mentors are not compensated monetarily for their participation. It is important that club members make every effort to have meetings and events during times at which the mentor can attend without adding undue hardship to the mentor.

The student members of the club and the mentor should have a conversation early on to determine the role and expectations of the mentor and the mentor's expectations of the students.

Benefits of Being an Adviser:

There are many benefits to becoming a mentor to a club. These include, but are not limited to

  • Working with and helping students as they learn and develop new skills
  • Sharing one’s knowledge and experience with others
  •  Meeting and interacting with new students outside of the classroom
  • Working with students who have the same interests as you
  • Helping students to think critically to navigate complex problems and learn to effectively lead an organization 

Adviser General Responsibilities:

Advisers need to be familiar with the club's and Associated Student Government's (ASG) constitution and bylaws, Student Development's processes, College and District policies, local, state and federal laws and rules that govern the student clubs and ensure that these are followed by the club(s) they are advising.

  • Advisers should be available to meet with club officers and/or members when they request help and when planning an event to make sure that the club is prepared to hold each event that they plan.
  • Mentors are responsible for reviewing and approving all financial transactions.
  • Mentors can assist students in the development of skills such as time management, problem solving, delegating, communication and leadership.
  • Mentors can share the history of the organization and explain why past decisions were made to new officers.
  • If a club has more than one mentor, it is important that both of them are working together and aware of what the other is doing in regards to the club at all times. If the mentors are not working together, the club may become divided and ineffective.
  • Empower students to take action in the seeing the organization succeed or fail. Some of the greatest learning moments come from setbacks. Mentors will help students reflect and learn from both success and failures.

Event-related Responsibilities:

  • Mentors are required to attend and supervise the functions and special events of their clubs in their entirety; "first in/last out."
  • Mentors must be present for all events Monday through Thursday after 5:00p.m, Friday after 12:00p.m., all weekend hours and events held off-campus at any time.
  • Mentors should allow the club's members maximum freedom and responsibility in planning and operation of all events. This is a great opportunity to help students learn by ensuring all responsibilities are met and the events are carefully planned.
  • It is the responsibility of advisers to prohibit the use of intoxicants by students during any event sponsored by the college. Students failing to cooperate should be reported to the Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Juan Avalos.
  • If the mentor is unable to attend an event he/she must inform the club. The club will need to reschedule the event for a date on which the mentor is available.

Establishing Expectations Between Mentors and Club Members:

It is very important to establish early expectations that the club has of the mentor and the mentor of the club. Below is a list of possible expectations that can be used as a starting point for the discussion between the student members and the mentor.

It is important to determine what the adviser is and is not comfortable with from the beginning. If the adviser will not be taking on certain tasks, it is important to clarify who will assume the responsibility for the task.

Will the adviser:

  • attend general meetings
  • attend executive board meetings
  • Be present for meetings in which voting will occur
  • explain college policy when relevant to the discussion
  • depend on the club members to carry out college policies through their leadership
  • explain college policy to the membership at a general meeting once a year
  • meet regularly with the President of the club
  • help with preparation of the agenda before each meeting
  • speak up during discussion when s/he believes the group is likely to make a poor decision
  • exert his/her influence with officers between meetings
  • take an active part in formulating the goals of the group
  • initiate ideas for discussion when s/he believes they will assist the group
  • attend group meetings as much as possible
  • periodically check the financial records of the organization's account
  • check the secretary's minutes before they are finalized
  • check all official correspondence before it is sent out
  • be custodian of all group paraphernalia, records, etc. during the summer and between officer transitions
  • keep important files and general information in his/her office
  • inform the group of infractions of their bylaws, codes, standing rules and constitution
  • keep the group aware of its stated objectives when planning events
  • mediate interpersonal conflicts that arise
  • be responsible for planning leadership skills workshops
  • state what his/her responsibilities are, or as s/he sees them, at the beginning of the school year.
  • let the group work out their problems including mistakes
  • conduct an evaluation of each activity by those students responsible for planning it
  • take the initiative in creating teamwork and cooperation
  • let the group thrive on its merits, do not interfere unless requested to do so
  • represent the group in any conflicts with members of the college staff
  • be familiar with college facilities, services and procedures associated with event planning
  • recommend programs, speakers, etc.
  • take an active part in the orderly transition of responsibilities between old and new officers at the end of the semester or year
  • cancel any activities when s/he believes they have been inadequately planned after consulting with the club

Will the club members:

  • schedule regular meetings with the mentor
  • have written goals and objectives
  • work to submit all requests in an organized and timely manner
  • give advance notice of all meetings and events semester calendar
  • have awareness of and adhere to all college policies
  • have full attendance at meetings and events
  • have financial maturity and responsibility
  • have open and honest communication

Adviser Responsibilities in Regards to Travel:

Advisers must accompany the club members during off-campus activities (i.e. conferences, seminars, workshops, retreats) to ensure the safety and welfare of club members. They should be present and with students for the duration of the travel.

Adviser’s of clubs who wish to have off-campus events or to travel must meet with the Student Development Office (Student Development will not make such arrangements with student members).

Support for Club Mentors:

Mentors are invited and welcome to contact the Student Development Office (x4616)

Contact us for assistance with any questions and/or problems, or to discuss club status that may be of interest or importance to the college.

The Inter-Club Council Adviser provides support to the Inter-Club Council and is available as a resource to club officers and mentors by providing guidance for planning events and activities.

The Clubs Assistant is available to assist students by explaining policies, procedures and directing them in filling out the appropriate paperwork.

The Student Development Office is located in the Student Services Center Room 210.