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Alumni Advisory Board Guidelines

General Guidelines


The purpose of an Alumni Advisory Board is to provide ongoing support and assistance to the collegiate chapter. Splitting the duties among several individuals will lessen the time commitment for each alumnus, as well as increase the overall support available to the undergraduate members.


Each member of the board works individually with one chapter officer to support his efforts, and act as a mentor to him. As a board, the members work with the collegiate officers to establish goals, monitor progress, and give support to the chapter as it grows and develops. At least one member of the board should attend each chapter meeting. By rotating which board member attends, it reduces the time commitment for each board member, and provides collegians with different perspectives.


Board members can be chapter alumni, faculty members, parents, men, or women. The most important element is to ensure that each board member serves to assist the collegiate chapter and help individual members develop into ethical leaders. Typically, the advisory board is comprised of local alumni but, other individuals should be sought for additional expertise.


Advisory boards should meet at least quarterly to discuss what is happening with the chapter and what specific focus or direction the board needs to provide. Individually, each board member needs to maintain contact with the officer whom they mentor and assist him as needed. Contact may be as often as weekly meetings, or as limited as periodic emails or phone calls, depending on what is agreed to by the collegian and the advisory board member, and what is needed by the chapter.

Role Descriptions

Each board should work with the collegiate chapter to identify the primary needs of the chapter and then work to meet them. The individual board members should work with the collegiate officer to determine what his goals are, what needs he has as an officer, and how the board member can help. Ensuring that the collegiate officer knows and understands his role within the chapter is crucial to his development as an officer and his ability to effectively serve the chapter. Assisting the collegian to develop beyond his role as a chapter leader and helping him prepare for experiences after graduation are also important aspects of being an advisor. 

Alumni Advisory Board Chairman Job Description

Chapter Advisor Job Description

Financial Advisor Job Description

LEAD Advisor Job Description

Social & Risk Reduction Advisor Job Description

Recruitment Advisor Job Description

Alumni Relations Advisor Job Description

Your Place in the Chapter

Advising is truly a two-way communication experience. Some helpful points to remember when advising undergraduate chapter operations follow.

  1. Be a role model. This should go without saying, but it is important to realize that the Chapter Advisor is a living illustration of the fact that fraternity affiliation continues after graduation.
  2. Hold the chapter to high standards. Help the chapter to develop high standards and advise the officers on holding everyone accountable.
  3. Clearly establish your role with the chapter. The chapter and the officers need to know and agree upon the roles of the Chapter Advisor within the structure of the chapter.
  4. Ask for the chapter’s input whenever you present a new idea or opinion. Presentation, approach, and delivery are important any time something new is discussed with the chapter. When presenting something new at meetings, end with the question, “What do you all think?” You will help free yourself from being accused of being pushy or a know- it-all.
  5. Give the chapter, and individual chapter officers and members the same respect you expect from them. If the executive officers are given your respect, they will be enthused and want to learn. The average chapter member will also want to learn.
  6. Work most closely with the chapter officers. Open dialogue between executive officers and the Chapter Advisor will enhance your relationship with the chapter and will also result in more business being accomplished.
  7. Be cautious about talking about the chapter’s, or the university’s, past. Chapter members rarely like to hear about “the way it used to be.” Glorifying the past or reminiscing about difficulties is usually a quick, sure way to lose your audience.
  8. Allow mistakes to be made. Easier said than done. But what distinguishes an adequate advisor from a good advisor is the ability to gauge the impact of the resulting disaster and determine what intervention is not only desirable, but necessary.
  9. Build on an officer’s strengths. An undergraduate’s personality is largely developed by the time he reaches college, but what can be developed are manners, behaviors, skills and knowledge. Look at performance, not at promise, and focus on strengths and not weaknesses.
  10. Function as a liaison. There will be many times when an officer will need assistance in contacting the appropriate school official, another alumnus, or a resource person in the community.


Mutual Responsibilities of Chapters and Alumni Advisory Board Members

Responsibilities of Collegiate Chapters to Board Members

  1. All alumni, and especially advisors, house corporation board members, and alumni assisting collegiate chapters, are always to be treated with respect and courtesy.
  2. It is the responsibility of each officer and chairman to contact their advisor on a regular, prearranged basis.
  3. Changes in meeting times, dates, places, etc. must be given to advisors or alumni involved at least 24 hours in advance.
  4. An advisor not able to be present for a meeting or event shall be contacted by a chapter officer in advance for guidance and suggestions and again after the meeting to discuss the details and happenings.
  5. All new member and chapter activities are to be planned with the aid and approval of the advisors.
  6. All reports so designated are to be signed by an advisor. Advisors may ask for and expect to receive copies of all reports they feel will assist them in their work.
  7. An advisor is responsible for giving guidance and assistance; he is not a dictator.  However, if he must give direction for the good of the chapter or to uphold The Law, or local bylaws, such direction must be followed.
  8. The chapter must provide the Chapter Advisor a copy of the most recent editions of The Law and each officer manual. The chapter also must give each of the other advisors a copy of the manual that pertains to his role.
  9. The chapter is financially responsible for incidental expenses incurred by advisors in the performance of their duties, e.g., postage and phone calls.

Responsibilities of Board Members to Collegiate Chapters

  1. Members of the collegiate chapter are to be treated with consideration, justice and understanding.
  2. It is the responsibility of the advisor to make himself available for consultation with a chapter officer by phone, e- mail, and/or in person at regular prearranged intervals. He is to be available whenever possible in emergencies.
  3. The advisor is responsible for increasing his knowledge through reading manuals and releases, corresponding with regional and national officers if necessary, and attending College of Chapters and Grand Chapter when possible.
  4. An advisor is to support officers in decisions that they have reached jointly.
  5. Advisors should be familiar with The Law and chapter bylaws, and support officers and chapters in upholding these rules.
  6. Chapter business is to be kept confidential between the chapter and the advisor/advisory board.
  7. It is the responsibility of an advisor to exemplify the ideals and standards of the General Fraternity and to serve as an example of continuing and dedicated brotherhood, to elicit pride as well as respect.

It is important for the Chapter and Board Members to remember that when RESPECT and COURTESY are shared, responsibilities to each other are easily fulfilled.

© 2015-2022 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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