"The loud noise of traditional clapping and whooping pose an issue to students with anxiety or sensory issues."


The University of Manchester's Students Union decided to ban clapping to avoid triggering people who suffer from anxiety. Instead, students will be asked to express plaudits by shaking the wrists silently, also known as "jazz hands."


The English University's Students' Union voted to ban clapping, cheering and whooping during the first Senate session of the academic year on Thursday, according to the ​Mancunion

"It was argued that the loud noise of traditional clapping and whooping pose an issue to students with anxiety or sensory issues," the student newspaper reported last week. "BSL (British Sign Language) clapping – or, jazz hands – would be a more inclusive form of expression."


Liberation and Access Officer Sara Khan, the student behind the "Making Senate More Accessible" motion, told the ​BBC the ban encourages an "environment of respect" at the democratic events.


"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," she said


The motion, which received little opposition in the Senate, aims to “encourage student groups and societies to do the same, and to include BSL clapping as a part of inclusion training.”


The Manchester Students' Union is just the latest student body to ditch clapping in the name of inclusivity. As the Mancunion noted, the National Union of Students (NUS) switched to BSL clapping back in 2015.


News of the clapping ban has caused outrage among British conservatives. Many, like UKIP London Assembly Member David Kurten, have deemed the ban an extension of "snowflake" culture. 

Some have expressed concern that increasing coddling of students in academic settings will produce a generation that lacks coping skills.

Predictably, British TV personality Piers Morgan was one of many commenters who did not take news of the clapping ban well.

Many just got a laugh out of it.

However, others showed support for the measure, arguing it does promote inclusivity.

A spokesperson for the British Deaf Association told ​The Guardian it welcomed the Student's Union move.


“For many people, [sign languages] are also languages of necessity and of access," the associated said. "The uptake of the ‘wave’ applause used by many sign language users shows us that access measures can have positive knock-on effects for an even wider group.”


Germania is a staff writer at Pluralist.

You can reach her on Twitter.