Legal Liability of the Advisor
One of the most frequently asked questions about advising students groups concerns the legal liability of the advisor. In general, the advisor has accepted the position of advisor to a student group as “part of the job.” The advisor would probably not be held personally liable for mistakes as long as the organization is not engaged in an activity that is illegal and as long as there is not negligence involved in the performance of the advisor’s function. The use of common sense is one’s best guide to determine what needs to be done in the event that an activity is potentially dangerous or unethical. An advisor who utilizes appropriate techniques to insure the safety of the participants will usually not be judged liable should a participant become injured.
Special guidelines apply when students groups travel off campus and participate in activities that may have some element of risk.