Safe Space Student Leadership Initiative (SSLI)
2016-2017 SSLI Cohort
The Safe Space Student Leadership Initiative (SSLI) is a leadership program available
on campus with a strong focus on leadership in identity based contexts, particularly
the impact of sexual orientation and gender identity on leadership identity. In conjunction
with developing leadership skills, Safe Space Student Leaders (SSLs) will receive
training in the areas of communication, conflict management, identity development
models, peer education, diversity, and inclusion in order to prepare them to effectively
interact with the campus population and educate others on LGBTQ issues. SSLs will
utilize their developed skills to co-facilitate Safe Space trainings, panels, and
discussions to students, staff, and faculty across campus.
Apply for the 2018-2019 SSLI Cohort
To create opportunities for LGBTQ and ally identified students to expand and develop their leadership, communication, and conflict management skills while participating in civic engagement and peer education activities aimed at improving the campus climate for the LGBTQ and ally identified community.
PurposeThe unique focus of this program will provide engagement opportunities to a variety of students who may not otherwise view themselves as, or have opportunity to be, a leader. Leadership development in college students has shown to have a positive impact on learning and development outcomes. LGBTQ college students can face a multitude of conflicting expectations on how to embrace their sexual and/or gender identity while being a valued contributor to their community. In focusing on the unique needs and challenges faced by LGBTQ and ally identified students, students will be better equipped to synthesize a leadership identity with a LGBTQ identity (Renn 2007). SSLI will offer an outlet to explore these divergences in a safe environment while providing the necessary tools to be able to think critically about their place within the campus community and society as a whole. It is through these efforts that we will be able to produce well-rounded, confident, and competent graduates who are able to take these skills into the real world and challenge expectations and stereotypes and improve the climate for themselves and others.
While the primary purpose of this program is to enrich the experience of SSLs, this initiative aims to expand upon the Safe Space Initiative and provide tangible services to the campus community and increased visibility, outreach, education, and campus climate on LGBTQ related issues. These tangible services, provided by SSLs, include:
- Peer-facilitated Safe Space training for students
- Classroom presentations on the services of LGBTQ Student Programs
- Classroom workshops covering topics related to sexuality, attraction, and gender
- A speaker bureau available for panel presentations to the campus community
- Advisory board to LGBTQ Student Programs
Apply for the 2017-2018 SSLI Cohort
If you are interested in being a part of the 2017-2018 SSLI cohort, please fill out an application:
Application Process and Timeline
- Applications will open on March 1st and close at 5:00pm on April 13th.
- Applicants will be contacted within three (3) business days of their application to schedule an interview.
- Interviews will be conducted between April 16th and May 11th. We anticipate interviews will last between 25-40 minutes.
- Successful candidates will be notified of their acceptance on May 18th via their student email account.
- Mandatory SSLI training retreats will be hosted on the following dates:
- July 11th and July 12th (Wednesday and Thursday)
- July 25th and July 26th (Wednesday and Thursday)
- August 8th and August 9th (Wednesday and Thursday)
- Details on SSLI training retreats will be shared with successful applicants at the time of their acceptance notification.
SSLI Cohort Selection Criteria
Successful SSLI candidates will meet the following criteria:
- Full-time undergraduate student
- Minimum adjusted GPA of 2.5
- Adequate availability for presentations, workshops, and bi-weekly cohort meetings
- SSLI works, to the extent possible, with student schedules
- Students are asked to facilitate workshops based on their availability at that time
- SSLI members are expected to facilitate at least one presentation per semester
- Bi-weekly Cohort meetings are scheduled around the general availability of the cohort
- Monthly professional development and skills workshops are mandatory for the entire cohort
- SSLI candidates are not expected to have existing knowledge of leadership, gender and sexuality, or diversity and inclusion concepts.
SSLI Cohort Testimonials
- "SSLI has given me the opportunity to give back to my community and be a part of opening
minds. I have learned something from every presentation, from public speaking skills
to conflict management to learning more about my community. I have become more aware
of everything LGBTQ encompasses and more confident in myself, both as an LGBTQ person
and as an advocate." - Dani, 2016-2017 Cohort
- "SSLI has been the first LGBTQ+ group of its' type that I have ever joined. The presentations
we give have helped me develop my public speaking and leadership skills. Not only
am I giving presentations to my peers, I am also showing them a different perspective
and learning with them. " - Elias, 2016-2017 Cohort
- "I joined SSLI to help me develop confidence and leadership while at the same time give back to my community. Not only have I become a more effective public speaker, but I have also been able to use the experiences from what I've learned in other areas of my life. I've become more assured and have even found direction as to where I fit into the bigger picture." - Andrew, 2016-2017 Cohort
"To me, SSLI was an opportunity to teach others about the community I am apart of. It's helped develop my communications skills and given me the confidence to talk about tough issues surrounding the LGBT community with others." - Valerie, 2016-2017 Cohort
"SSLI gave me the opportunity to learn more about what the letters within the LGBT+ really means and the content behind them. SSLI also gave me the confidence and knowledge to share this with the community around me. In my time in this cohort, the knowledge and stories I share with others and the genuine interest and thanks that people give me, are a few of the many things that makes me feel proud to be a SSLI cohort member." - Nathan, 2016-2017 Cohort
- "I remember being recommended to Safe Space by a professor and thinking, this is a
brilliant initiative. My initial thought was supported as I became immersed in the
organization as a cohort alongside peers with a shared dedication to promoting the
strength and beauty of difference." - Simon, 2016-217 Cohort
- "SSLI means the world to me. It has helped me better understand myself and others. This has been a journey of self-exploration as well as an eye-opening experience in terms of the rights. I have used the information I learned here to help others understand themselves and present information Without a doubt it will help me aid and understand with my future students. " - Katie, 2016-2017 Cohort
- "SSLI has given me the opportunity to give back to my community and be a part of opening minds. I have learned something from every presentation, from public speaking skills to conflict management to learning more about my community. I have become more aware of everything LGBTQ encompasses and more confident in myself, both as an LGBTQ person and as an advocate." - Dani, 2016-2017 Cohort