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.
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.
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.