- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The student union at Manchester University in England voted last week to ban clapping and whooping in favor of more inclusive “jazz hands” to pacify anxiety-prone students.

The University of Manchester Students’ Union voted Thursday to use jazz hands, or the BSL (British Sign Language) sign for clapping, instead of traditional clapping and cheering at its sponsored events, the union’s newspaper, The Mancunion, reported.

“This union notes that since 2015, the National Union of Students (NUS) has been using British sign language (BSL) clapping (or ‘jazz hands’), as loud noises, including whooping and traditional applause, can pose an issue for students with disabilities such as anxiety or sensory issues,” the motion read, The Guardian reported.

The union resolved “to swap audible clapping out for BSL clapping at SU events in order to make them more accessible” and “to encourage student groups and societies to do the same, and to include BSL clapping as part of inclusion training.”

The Mancunion said the motion, put forth by Liberation and Access Officer Sara Khan, received little opposition in the student senate.



“I think a lot of the time, even in Parliamentary debates, I’ve seen that clapping, whooping, talking over each other, loud noises, encourages an atmosphere that is not as respectful as it could be,” Ms. Khan told the BBC.

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