Students will likely no longer clap during student union events at the University of Manchester in Manchester, England. According to a Sept. 28 issue of the university’s newspaper, The Mancunion, the students’ union passed a resolution that effectively banned clapping at student union events, favoring “jazz hands” instead. The students’ union voted to pass the resolution to “avoid triggering anxiety” during events.
According to the writer, Amy Wei, “It was argued that the loud noise of traditional clapping and whooping pose an issue to students with anxiety or sensory issues. [British Sign Language] clapping — or, jazz hands — would be a more inclusive form of expression.”
Sarah Khan, who is a liberation and access officer, authored the motion, and called it “Making Senate More Accessible.”
Khan said that using jazz hands instead of traditional clapping would also optimally be a part of “inclusion training.”
So is this a brand-new thing?
Nope. In 2015, a United Kingdrom feminist conference banned clapping at its events for the very same reason — to avoid triggering anxiety in participants.
Participants were also encouraged to use jazz hands in lieu of traditional hand-to-hand clapping.
The National Union of Students Women’s Campaign announced the ban at their 2015 conference after some people complained that the clapping noise was triggering them.
One Twitter user wrote, “@nuswomcam please can we ask people to stop clapping but do feminist jazz hands? it’s triggering some peoples’ anxiety. thank you!”
The organization tweeted back almost immediately, and wrote, “Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful! #nuswomen15”