Cal Poly’s Student Leadership Institute is a one-day leadership conference focused on empowering students through providing educational experiences that support and challenge students to build and apply leadership skills to effect social change. The theme for SLI is “This is What a Leader Looks Like” and we will be highlighting all types of leaders across campus with a focus on expanding the notion of leadership while helping each student see the leader they have inside them. The Student Leadership Institute (SLI) is an open and free opportunity for all Cal Poly students to engage in leadership development opportunities and learn from and with their peers.

Cal Poly’s Student Leadership Institute is made possible by collaborations with some of the Center for Leaderships key campus partners - Cross Cultural Centers, Fraternity & Sorority Life, University Housing, and New Student & Transition Programs.

SLI 2020 will be held virtually on Friday, October 16th! Stay tuned for program proposals, dialogue spaces, & more!



Student Leadership Institute (SLI) is an open access student leadership conference for the Cal Poly community. This is a great opportunity to learn something new or share your leadership journey or a skill you value with the campus community. Students are provided breakfast and lunch and will get to hear from an inspiring keynote speakers during the meals. The conference will allow emerging leaders to build essential skills while also allowing more engaged student leaders to network and develop skills to foster leadership in others. SLI is held on a Friday and students are encouraged to come as they can with their class schedule.

We want to challenge and inspire students with engaging sessions and have faculty, staff, alumni, students, and community partners present on an array of leadership topics. Past topics include conflict management, identity development, inclusive language, being an undoculeader, teambuilding, mentorship, and more. Additional some breakout sessions are focused around sharing space and have discussion about leadership with individuals who share similar experiences, identities, or passions.

Click here to see the schedule from SLI in October 2019.




During the first two years we offered SLI there was a day-two component on Saturday that was an application-only student leaders retreat. Students from across campus came together to tackle issues around campus climate. Students are provided breakfast and lunch and had the opportunity to learn from diversity leaders on campus. Students collaborated in small groups during the day to create and then present action plans - you can read about the 2018 and 2019 action plans here. Given feedback from our campus community, we have decided to move this student leaders retreat concept to be a collaboration with the Center for Service in Action's Change the Status Quo social justice leadership conference held every February. We are excited for this collaboration and hope you will join us for this great event to be an agent of change for our campus!

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