- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A U.K. student feminism conference is asking attendees to refrain from clapping and use “jazz hands” instead so as to not trigger anxiety in others.

The National Union of Students (NUS) Women’s Campaign announced the clapping “ban” at the West Midlands conference on Twitter Tuesday, shortly after receiving a request from the Oxford University Women’s Campaign.

“@nuswomcam please can we ask people to stop clapping but do feminist jazz hands? it’s triggering some peoples’ anxiety. thank you!” Oxford representatives wrote.

Within five minutes, NUS tweeted: “Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful! #nuswomen15.”

The tweets received a wave of criticism and mockery by people who argued political correctness has run amok, Twitchy first reported.

Delegates told BBC’s Newsbeat that jazz hands are “a nice way to show solidarity.”

“Jazz hands are used throughout NUS in place of clapping as a way to show appreciation of someone’s point without interrupting or causing disturbance, as it can create anxiety,” said Nona Buckley-Irvine, general secretary at the London School of Economics Students’ Union. “I’m relatively new to this and it did feel odd at first, but once you’ve used jazz hands a couple of times it becomes a genuinely nice way to show solidarity with a point and it does add to creating a more inclusive atmosphere.”

NUS sent out a similar tweet earlier in the day that also discouraged “whooping.”

“Whooping is fun for some, but can be super inaccessible for others, so please try not to whoop! Jazz hands work just as well #nuswomen15,” they said.

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