Liability Issues for Advisors

Serving as an advisor of a student organization requires knowledge and sensitivity to certain liability issues. Acting as the advisor to a student organization is part of your official duty as an employee of the University. Consequently, when you act in this capacity, you are acting as an agent of the University. As such, you are accountable to the University for your actions. Issues of liability are a reality and they should help us make good decisions, but they should not prohibit the organization from being a dynamic group that engages in activities that enrich the students' academic experience.

The rule of thumb for determining liability is the reasonable person standard, which is defined as "that degree of care which a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in the same or similar circumstances. . .endeavor should exercise under similar circumstances" (Black's Law Dictionary). In this matter, the law relies clearly on common sense.

Remember that there is always help available to you. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please contact the Director of the University Events and Student Programs. If this person does not know the answer, the University's legal counsel will be consulted to ensure that the best decision possible is being made.