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Becoming an Advisor

img_1438.jpgAre you a member of the Northwestern faculty or staff looking to connect with and support the student experience beyond the classroom? Are you a graduate student looking for a unique developmental role connecting with enthusiastic and ambitious Northwestern undergraduates? Learn more about the benefits of becoming an advisor here. If you have further questions, please email Hayley Kretchmer.


  • Any full-time faculty, staff, or graduate student (full-time enrolled only) is eligible to advise a registered student organization. Other representatives of the Northwestern community (e.g. alumni, part-time employees, graduate assistants) may be eligible at the discretion of Student Organizations & Activities staff.
  • The time commitment involved with advising a student organization varies greatly. In some cases, the obligation may only consist of a few face-to-face meetings per academic term. In other cases, advisors attend the student group's regular planning meetings, attend the group's events, and co-lead retreats for group officers or new members.

Org Sign-Up

  • Please email Hayley Kretchmer to express your interest in advising a student organization. If you have already been in communication with a specific student group about taking the advisor role, you will have an opportunity to mention that. If you are generally interested in advising a student group, the Student Organizations & Activities team will review and contact you with information about groups in search of an advisor to maintain their active status (likely newer groups, established groups whose advisor recently departed, or groups that are temporarily advised with the intention of an advisor transition in the near future).
  • A full list of registered student organizations (in addition to other campus entities) is included in Wildcat Connection. Feel free to browse or use search terms to see which organizations are established on campus. Many groups also have links to social media channels available from their Wildcat Connection page.
  • Once you match with a registered student organization, check with the student for any SOFO documentation that needs to be updated with your information. There is also an Advisor Acknowledgement Form for you and the student to review. Please check each term and email Hayley Kretchmer with any questions about it. The form is updated each year and is part of the organization's re-registration process.


  • Advising should be a fulfilling and low-stress commitment. If you advise a group, student members may have a financial account with the student organization finance office (SOFO), use institutional resources to travel (such as Motorpool or service vans), and plan events with contract procedures. Student Organizations & Activities staff is here to answer your questions regarding campus policies and guidelines. The staff offer optional trainings/sessions throughout the academic year on topics advisors express concerns or learning gaps. In addition, you will have access to online resources such as messages through the advisor LISTSERV and more.


  • Get to know students who you may not have otherwise interacted with in your role
  • Serve as a mentor for students as they seek guidance and advice
  • Support the leadership development of undergraduate students
  • Get invited to fun events led by your student org!