Message from I-House Executive Director Hans Giesecke

Dear Members of the International House Community –

This has been a challenging week of dialogue and debate about the subject of immigration. The vitriolic words and actions of many on this matter confront I-House’s role as a place of harmony and intercultural understanding.  While we are a non-partisan organization, we do take stands on matters that affect our mission.

As an historic multi-cultural residential education center serving students and scholars from around the world, International House Berkeley stands strongly for access, mobility and open doors for those who seek to expand their horizons through higher education.  We find any measure that restricts such mobility to be a threat to our mission, especially when certain countries, cultures, and faiths are targeted for reasons that have little rational justification.

Barring certain national and religious groups from entering the USA assails our mission of fostering intercultural respect and understanding, lifelong friendship and leadership skills for the promotion of a more tolerant and peaceful world. Now more than ever, we will work with our sister International Houses around the world and other globally-oriented organizations to expand our efforts to provide a welcoming place for those seeking scholarly opportunities and the chance to make their lives better in a country where diversity of thought and practice is a cherished value.

Simultaneously, we will remain resolute in upholding International House Berkeley’s inviolable role as a safe and inclusive space for students from the world over to live and learn together without fear that their time as students and scholars will be threatened or cut short for unfounded political reasons.





Hans Giesecke
Executive Director/CEO
International House Berkeley


About Laurie Ferris

As the Communications Strategist for International House at UC Berkeley, I share stories online and in our I-House Times Newsletter. I created this blog for alumni, residents, and staff to share the I-House experience with the UC Berkeley community and beyond. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please contact me at Share the I-House love! ♥
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