LGBTQ+

LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer/questioning and all other people who feel they belong to the queer community. The SUB highly values diversity and is committed to ensuring that all people can study at the University of Bern free of discrimination.

On this page you will find tips and tricks for everyday life at university, information on changing your name and the entry of your gender, as well as other useful links.

Good to know

University of Bern and the SUB

  • You can use your real name for receiving the bärner studizytig without any problems. Simply send an e-mail with the desired change to . Please make sure that the mailbox address is correct. Otherwise, we can simply use your initials and change the salutation.
  • Here you can find the building plans of the university buildings and the wheelchair toilets (unisex). In the SUB Hüsli you will find two unisex toilets and much more!
  • Here you can find the Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Language of the University of Bern.
  • The Office of Gender Equality is responsible for providing counselling in cases of discrimination.
  • Although it is written in a binary way, it still has helpful articles in it: Regulations for Gender Equality at the University of Bern. See: Art. 2 and 21.
  • SUB has an LGBTQ+ student group: queerstudents
  • Do you want to make university spaces for teaching and learning trans*, intersex and non-binary friendly? You can find a brochure for teachers, students and all other university staff below.
  • You want an inclusive approach to all genders at universities? You can find a guide on how to do it below.
  • Would you like to read more about the life realities and the general situation of trans people at the University of Bern? Below you will find an inter- and transdisciplinary project on sustainable development written by five students.

Going out in Bern

  • The women's room Frauenraum at Reitschule sees itself as a queer_feminist space as well as a shelter for women, lesbians, inter persons, non-binary persons, trans persons and other (queer) persons who are oppressed because of their desire and/or their gender identity. In the Frauenraum, all people should feel equally comfortable and respected. From dance classes to parties, workshops to lectures, there is everything here.
  • Viktoriaboys organise gay events at Club Du Théâtre, Bierhübeli and Café Marta in Bern.
  • In the pink pages - Rosa Seiten - you will find tips for lesbian-gay nights out, gay-friendly shopping and much more! Browse through the diverse offers in and around Bern!

More useful links

  • LOS Swiss umbrella organisation for lesbian, bisexual and queer women
  • Pink Cross Swiss umbrella organisation of gay and bisexual men
  • bern.lgbt the queer webmagazine of Bern
  • Transgender Network Switzerland Organisation by trans people for trans people
  • TGNS Jugend Swiss-German Youth Group of the Transgender Network Switzerland (TGNS)
  • InterAction Swiss Association for intersex people
  • Milchjugend Youth organisation for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, inter and asexual youth and for everyone in between and outside. 
  • du-bist-du.ch Counselling and information platform for young people on topics such as sexual and romantic orientation and gender identity
  • asexuell.ch Website for people from the asexual and aromantic spectrum
  • Asexual Visibility & Education Network Online community for asexual people
  • nonbinary.ch Website on the topic of non-binary gender
  • Humanrights Information on human rights and their implementation 
  • HAB Community for LGBTQ+ people which also offers counselling and advice
  • LGBT+- Helpline

Change of name and entry of gender

Transgender people are individuals who do not identify, or do not fully identify, with the gender assigned to them at birth. Therefore, a transgender person may wish to adjust the social and administrative assignment of their gender identity.

University members who are in the transition phase have the possibility to adjust their first name and gender entry (limited to male or female) administratively. University diplomas can be reissued retrospectively after an official adjustment. You can find all the information here.

Changing the gender entry is still only possible within the binary spectrum. That is why the SUB demanded the abolition or adjustment of the gender entry for non-binary persons in a petition with over 2000 signatures at the women*strike. The university took note of the petition but did not react to our demands. We are keeping at it.

Why is this important?

What concrete problems arise when a person is enrolled at university with a false (albeit official) name? A affected student shares his experiences:

Lecturers - Ilias - Attendance list

"For every single course, the lecturers have to be informed that my old name appears on the list of participants in ILIAS, but that I am trans* and have a different name. Sometimes they forget again or my old name still ends up on the attendance list because it is often taken directly from Ilias. That is humiliating. My old name is nobody's business and irrelevant to my fellow students."

Student card - Exams - Canteen

"It results in unnecessary stress during exams because I worry that the invigilator doesn't believe that I am the person on the legi (can also happen in the refectory). Also, I have to label the exams with the old name, often on each page, which is psychologically stressful as well."

Uni-external services - Student card

"If I have to identify myself with the Legi for Uni-external services (for example, databases needed for assignments), there are always problems and I have to explain myself."

University email address - Fellow students

"The university email address with full (old) first name is a big problem. It appears in group emails the whole class, so all fellow students can see it. It is practically not possible to use it to send mails. If this is nevertheless necessary, it is associated with great psychological stress."

Campus Account - Office 365 

"With the Campus Account, you can download Office 365 for free. That's great, because the programme is expensive. However, the programme is marked with the enrolment name (unalterable), and this is attached to all documents created with it. This makes it very inconvenient to even work with it, let alone send documents created with it."

In summary, a false name at university means unnecessary confusion and unpleasant circumstances for lecturers and fellow students, as well as humiliation and stress for those affected. The involuntary dissemination of their birth names is a massive invasion of their privacy. That is why the change has been possible since January 2018, also thanks to the efforts of the SUB.

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