This academic year, I-House residents have been able to enjoy many events where they all shared special nights together including three Sunday Suppers; two Resident Concerts; and many fun Coffee Hours. On Saturday, April 22, the Resident Council and especially Prom Committee — Liv Agnew, Abby Pope, Manal Siddiqui, and Bryant Larson — made possible a final special event: The International House Prom.
After a year together making memories, the opportunity to attend a semi-formal prom was well worth it. For many of us who will return home or graduate in May, this event symbolized a beautiful closing of our experience at International House.
“It was the perfect chance to share one last fun event with all the amazing people we have encountered during our experience in I-House. I will miss these moments so much after we leave,” said I-House Resident Laura Hernandez Lopez
Residents showed enthusiasm leading up to Prom with some even proposing to a partner in very original ways. A few residents sent their videos and pictures of “Promposals” to the Prom Committee for the chance to be chosen as dance royalty. Among them were Alex and Manal; David and Victoire; Sandy and Wendy; Lauren and Dina; Shannan and Tengerleg; and Haikun and Brianna.
When Saturday rolled around, the residents dressed in their best outfits and prepared for the evening. Some even followed the theme of the Prom, “Roaring 20s” and wore elegant outfits of the time period. After getting ready, many residents went down to our recently opened front steps to take pictures with friends under the name of International House. It was the golden hour for photos as the sun was just starting to set over the San Francisco Bay.
Lucky for us, we didn’t have to travel far at all! The Prom took place right next to I-House on the top floor of the University Club at Memorial Stadium. Members of the Resident Council greeted us at check-in. The space had Roaring 20s-themed decorations and delicious snacks and desserts.
But what surprised all the attendees the most were the marvelous views we enjoyed from the balcony of the Stadium: the International House dome, the Golden Gate Bridge, and UC Berkeley Campanile aligned together. The residents didn’t hesitate to take many photos as the sun descended to the horizon. The colors of the sun mixed with the yellow and blue lights of our dome, as we posed in formal attire.
Inside the space, the dance was so much fun for everyone! A DJ kept the music going, while a photo booth allowed friends to take pictures together. There was also food available and an incredible aura that invited everyone to enjoy the evening.
After a few dance moves, Bryant Larson, the Vice President of the Resident Council, announced the start of the Prom Royalty voting. The voting was based on the original Promposals that the residents submitted during the week. Attendees cast their votes, and eventually, we had our winners: Victoire and David. Their “Promposal” had been particularly special. On Victoire’s birthday, David surprised her with a birthday cake during lunch. After blowing out the candles and making a wish… David opened up his shirt and asked her to go to prom with him! The moment was captured by friends in the photos below.
It was a very funny and lighthearted proposal that had a happy ending.
The newly crowned Prom King and Queen took center stage for the first slow dance of the night, accompanied by the rest of the residents who joined dancing around them. Friends twirling in a circle, couples tenderly embracing, residents with their guests — we all lived that moment with goosebumps!
At the end of the Prom, with our feet tired from so much dancing and our faces hurting from laughing together once again, we said goodbye to that very special place. For those who are still here and for those who will soon be welcomed into I-House, we hope you continue making beautiful memories of your International House experience.
In summary, the Resident Council members gave us a few words about what Prom meant for them:
“Last week marked the first time that I-House hosted a prom for its residents in several years. It truly was a joy seeing all the students experience a staple of the American high school experience and get to live it out after requesting that we wanted to host one since last semester. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of key Resident Council members, who sat in hours worth of meetings, searched the city for the perfect venue, and drove all around Berkeley to find theme-appropriate decorations. In the end, seeing residents’ enthusiasm and listening to their positive feedback really made the extra effort worth it.”