Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Leitfaden: TIN Studierende in Lehrveranstaltungen

Discrimination-sensitive handling of trans*, inter* and
non-binary students in courses.
A handout for teachers at the University of Halle

Handout (PDF)

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2203 Handreichung TIN Studierende.pdf (169 KB)  vom 11.03.2022

Handout (Text)

The University of Halle attaches importance to discrimination-sensitive interaction and is committed to the principles of equality, equal opportunities and anti-discrimination in all areas. In its diversity statement, it underlines the appreciation of its members also with regard to their genders and gender identities in an understanding that explicitly includes trans* and inter*gender as well as other non-binary persons (in short: TIN).

Currently, it is not possible for TIN students at MLU to have their self-chosen names and personal statuses recorded in university systems before an official change of name and personal status has at least been applied for at the competent local court or has already been carried out in accordance with §45b PstG. However, these procedures are often lengthy as well as costly and are experienced as discriminatory and humiliating by many of those affected. As a result, many TIN students are recorded with names and gender entries in central systems at MLU that do not correspond to their identity. This not only leads to confusion, as individuals are known by other names and gender identities in everyday university life, but also repeatedly leads to very stressful, discriminatory, and retraumatizing situations that can significantly limit TIN students' ability to study and mental health.

Courses can thus become anxiety-ridden places. As a faculty member, however, you can take easily implemented steps to respond sensitively to this situation and allow these individuals to attend your classes:

  • Signal a supportive, sensitive approach and allow TIN students to contact you about this, e.g., by mentioning it in your course announcement.
  • Allow individuals to communicate their desired first names and pronouns so that you and other participants can address them properly. For example, you can combine the attendance check with a round of introductions: All participants state their names and pronouns and, for example, their specific interest in the course. Meanwhile, you can check off the people on your list and make a note of the correct names and pronouns. If sanitation permits, you can also simply pass around a blank list for students to sign themselves in.
  • Use only names and gender designations (e.g., pronouns, salutations) that match the person's gender identity. If you are unsure, simply ask nicely.
  • Avoid exposing TIN individuals at all costs, as this can be an additional burden or even forced outing.
  • Allow TIN individuals to submit academic records without having to provide their legal first name. Unique identification is ensured by providing the student's matriculation number.

Since inapplicable names appear in Stud.ip, student email addresses, and at MLU conf (if digital rooms are included directly in Stud.ip), the following alternatives can be offered:

  • Create digital rooms via the website and share the link to the room in a message instead of including it directly in Stud.ip. This allows participants to provide their own names.
  • Set the participation list in Stud.ip to invisible and instead create a distribution list with participants' email addresses that they can use to communicate with each other. Allow students to provide you with their email addresses beforehand if they are different from student addresses.
  • Allow TIN students to send you files and upload them to Stud.ip for them, rather than having them upload them themselves.
  • If you want to use wikis or forums, allow the use of external offerings that allow you to provide a different name.

Thank you for actively contributing to the discrimination sensitivity of our university!