Chilean universities move forward in respect for social name of trans students

The universities of the Américas, of Chile, Católica and Santiago have created protocols to respect the social name of their trans students. The measure, which the Américas university began, it has been backup by the feminist movement among the university students.

In 2017 the institute of Public Issues of the University of Chile created the “Mara Rita decree” to respect the social name of the students though, the university of the Américas was the first one of publishing an institutional protocol. The general secretary, Paulina Hernández, in a conversation with OTD Chile, said that the measure began this year because two students formalize the request to internally use their social name. Now, they will be called by the name they feel as own in the course lists, intranet and other internal documents. “Beyond a legal issue, it is a matter of will and happiness,” she said.

The second publication was from the University of Chile, which since 2016 have been working with different student authorities, the idea of recognize the social name obtaining favourable results. Nevertheless, nobody did a formal request until this year.

“We conclude that we could do it on the frame of our anatomy, but also it was primordial for the respect to the human rights”, said the general counsel of the university, Fernando Molina. In the practice, in the course lists, intranet, library ID, health care and in the school pool, the students will have their social name.

Chile have been shaken during this first semester with the feminist student mobilizations for a non-sexist education and free of harassment. The university of Santiago and Católica have jointed to the mobilization. In the Católica University, the Student Affairs Office communicated them by email, the possibility of amend the student card and the institutional email according to their social name. While USACH (University of Santiago) approved a resolution to do the same with their internal documents.

For Rafael, a literature student of the Católica University, this answered to a request did in 2017 and the process was accelerated because they took the headquarters. “The process can be hard and rough especially because the lack of information, but I appreciate the measure, this can be a big change for the empowerment, many people can become visible and the UC (Católica University) becomes a space for the personal development. At least we are not going to have to pursuit teachers to explain them”.

Alejandra is a trans student of pedagogy in English of the Católica University of Valparaiso and leader of the Students Federation. She has used this position to build a round of discussions with competent authorities and to create a protocol of respect to the gender identity of their students.

“One of the most violent things that transgender people experience in their lives is the marginalization and the denial of the gender identity,” says Alejandra. “Recognizing gender identity is a duty of establishments and a measure more than effective for true insertion and inclusion.” So, what today depends on the goodwill of teachers, can be transformed into a recognition and respect of trans identities.

Tranlation: Javiera Saavedra R.

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