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Frequently Asked Questions

What is RHA and why do they host HLI?

The Residence Hall Association at UCF (RHA) is the leadership, advocacy, and social programming branch of the Department of Housing and Residence Life. The annual Housing Leadership Institute (HLI) incorporates all three pillars of RHA through exciting leadership workshops, community-building philanthropy, and evening socials. HLI has a rich history. First started as the Residence Leadership Institute, it was eventually rebranded into the Residence Leadership Conference. As a part of RHA’s rebranding during the past academic year, the Executive Board decided to change the name of the conference to the Housing Leadership Institute to truly represent the intent and nature of the week-long program. We hope that by participating in the first Housing Leadership Institute you will gain valuable insight into your community, meet new friends, develop new skills, and find a home at UCF.

What is the Housing Leadership Institute (HLI)?

The Housing Leadership Institute, or HLI, is a regional award-winning program that the Residence Hall Association at UCF has developed. It is a leadership institute that is created by students for students. Those who attend HLI’s “Spy Academy” will be able to enjoy a week-long immersive leadership experience. The institute serves as a crash course on leadership and how to get involved on campus. It is also an excellent way to meet new people before the academic year starts. Throughout the five days of HLI, there will be fun programs, guest speakers, nightly entertainment, and delicious food for all participants. Different events will take place on different parts of campus, so you can get to know campus before classes begin!

What can I expect?

HLI will provide free breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all participants. Students are able to choose from a wide array of fun and entertaining leadership, social justice, self-care, and college readiness sessions that last throughout the day. In the evening, students attend dinner and a nighttime social program that feature fun activities like tie-dying or lip syncing. This gives students the opportunity to forge friendships that last throughout college and helps to grow their support system in order to succeed in college. In a campus as big as UCF it is easy to feel lost or small, HLI provides a great opportunity to learn how you can impact change in the world, make connections both socially and professionally, and allows students to explore their beautiful campus before the rush of classes begin.

Does it cost money?

No! HLI is absolutely free the only thing between you and the time of your life is a short application!

What are the application deadlines?

Early Decision Deadline: June 30th

Application closes: July 21st

The application will open May 13th, 2019 and close July 21st, 2019. There will be two waves in which we will be accepting applicants. The chance to apply and be considered for early decision is June 30th. The first wave of decisions will be sent out shortly after. For all regular decision applicants, the deadline is July 21st.

What are the dates for HLI 2019?

HLI will begin on the night of Sunday, August 18th and end on Thursday, August 22nd.

How will I move in a week early?

Thanks to your participation in this institute, you will be allowed to move into your residence hall a week early! Starting at 9 am on Sunday, August 18th, those selected to attend the conference will be able to beat the move in rush and move in almost a week before everyone else! This is made possible by HLI’s chosen philanthropy. This year, those attending HLI will be completing a shift as a move-in volunteer as part of their leadership journey and as a way to give back to the community! Keep in mind, HLI is only open for students who will be living on-campus at UCF for Fall 2019 and early Move-In is not offered for Knights Circle.

What is a program session?

Program sessions are hour-long workshops presented by professional staff members and other students. The topics range from self-care activities to personality tests to finding out how to be a proper ally and recognize your privilege. Whether you want to learn how to survive the first years in college, learn how to impact others through leadership, explore social justice concerns, or simply engage in fun programs before the start of school; there is a program for everyone. The best part HLI is that various programs are offered per session, so students have free range to pick and choose what programs best suit their interests.

What is a social?

The social is the time of night where you let loose and have fun after stuffing yourself with free dinner. Every night the theme and the activity will be different. We don’t want to spoil the surprise for this year so that’s staying a secret, but examples of past socials have included lip syncing, tie-dying, puzzling scavenger hunts, and many other exciting events. Whether you like to chill in a comfy chair or lead your team to victory there is something for everyone at every social.

What is HLI’s philanthropy project this year?

This year the Housing Leadership Institute has partnered with the Department of Housing and Residence Life to give HLI participants the choice to have their early move-in fee waived by serving as a Move-In Ambassador. During move-in, a Move-In Ambassador assists the community and community staff with running a smooth move-in process. Tasks can range from helping students move things to their rooms to talking to families about involvement opportunities on campus. Those who move into the residence halls early for other purposes than attending HLI must serve 8 hours as a Move-In Ambassador to waive their fee, but to align with their commitment to leadership development, the Department of Housing and Residence Life will waive the early move in fee for HLI attendees who serve one 4 hour shift. To serve as a Move-In Ambassador HLI participants do not need to fill out any additional forms, they only need to attend the Move-In Ambassador training that is already built into the institute schedule. Please fill out the contact form below or email the conference staff at with any further questions.

Is there a theme?

Absolutely! As students, those working to create the Housing Leadership Institute each year take into account the need to be in a stress free and entertaining environment before the busy school year starts. Bringing back the adventurous and sometimes fantastical scenarios that students only dreamed of experiencing is our way of bringing a more comfortable and fun environment to leadership.

As a child being the next Spy Kid or the next Kim Possible was all we could dream about! But before we knew it we went grade by grade and the possibility of enrolling into a super top secret spy academy slipped through our very fingers; until now. The theme of this year’s HLI is Spy Academy.

Where will HLI take place?

HLI will take place in multiple locations around campus to help participants acclimate to the campus environment. Locations will include the Student Union, classroom buildings, community facilities, and other locations. Prior to the start of the institute, participants will receive a detailed schedule via email including the times and locations of all programs.

I have more questions. Who can I talk to?

Do not hesitate to reach out to the conference staff at One of the Institute Co-Chairs will reach out to you within 48 hours of receiving your message.