HKUMed News (Vol 27 | Issue 1)

a friendly environment favourable to learning. Towards this aim is a fourpronged strategy executed at the level of schools, departments and units: non-disclosure of legal gender information, genderinclusive language in Faculty communications, increasing the number of gender-neutral washroom facilties, and enhancing student wellness support in gender identity issues. ‘At the same time, we are also acutely aware of and averse to the radical concept of “dominant minority” advanced elsewhere like the United States. We are not pivoting to be “woke” or “revolutionary”, but only to take on this emerging issue in a realistic manner. Our goal is to foster a campus where individual and group gender diversity is recognised,’ Dr Shih pledged. Non-disclosure of legal gender information The Teaching and Learning team in the Faculty office has already removed gender indicators on all student lists in communications since December 2021, and a memo was sent to all departments and units to standardise the practice at all levels. Only under a needto-know basis, such as grouping, would legal gender information be disclosed. ‘We do understand and accommodate for instructors’ need to divide the class into groups with members roughly even in gender for practical reasons, and this information can be obtained should an instructor request for it,’ he said. Gender-inclusive language HKUMed’s other initiative original in the territory’s higher education institutions is the use of gender-inclusive or genderneutral language in all communications. Gender descriptive nouns like ‘Mr’ and ‘Ms’ are replaced by the addressee’s first or full name, or simply ‘student’, and presumption of gender based on appearance or voice is discouraged. ‘We believe that using a gender-neutral approach would be better suited to HKUMed than a gender self-identification approach advocated in some countries. For example, it would simply be impractical to require students to declare or confirm their gender identity on a regular basis,’ Dr Shih commented. ‘While we adopt these changes together as a faculty, it is important to foster and propagate an empathetic environment,’ he added. ‘We are considering extending these applications beyond undergraduate teaching to postgraduate programmes at HKUMed.’ Gender-neutral facilities The Equal Opportunities Commission has persistently advocated for extensive availability of unlabelled gender toilets for use by gender minorities. The University of Hong Kong set up its first gender- neutral washroom in 2016. Now gender-neutral washrooms are also present at the Laboratory Block, and on ground floor of William MW Mong Block. The Faculty is planning to expand gender-neutral facilities for easy access. Buildings under construction and renovation will also incorporate gender-neutral facilities. These include 3 Sassoon Road, expected to open in July 2022, and Madam S H Ho Residence for Medical Students by 2024 and 2027 in a twophase project. Expanded availability of infrastructure is only effective when it is widely known and accepted. The administration is collaborating with the Estates Office, clinical departments and Hospital Authority in consolidation of a location map of such washrooms and changing rooms in the campus, Queen Mary Hospital, and non-Queen Mary Hospital grounds, respectively. Dr Shih also suggested education ←Dr Kendrick Shih, Director of Student Affairs, HKUMed 港大醫學院學生事務 總監施愷迪醫生 →Workshop entitled ‘Connect with others: Tips of being a supporter’. Based on a short film with the theme of personal struggles, the guest speaker shared with participants tips and experiences in providing emotional support for one another. 「如何成爲他人的支持 者透 」過 工欣 作賞 坊一齣有關個人 掙扎的微電影,講者向 工作坊參加者分享有關 支援他人情緒的心得與 經驗。 29 HKUMed News Summer 2022