"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
"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."
"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
Snowflake alert! University of Manchester Students' Union bans clapping in case it 'causes anxiety'. https://t.co/ogidYBgaIx— David Kurten ن (@davidkurten) October 2, 2018
University of Manchester doing their very best to completely unprepare their students for the real world. We should teach students coping strategies for anxiety vs take them out of situation completely #JazzHands #Clapping #Irresponsible— Ryan Williams (@WilliamsR_T) October 2, 2018
Many just got a laugh out of it.
I think a big round of applause for the University of Manchester Student’s Union for banning the repressive and racist act of clapping. pic.twitter.com/YlhLttD17j— Tony B (@RudeName69) October 2, 2018
However, others showed support for the measure, arguing it does promote inclusivity.
The University of Manchester SU clapping "ban" brings out the usual "snowflake" remarks but changes like this make the difference between accommodating Autistic people & simply paying lip service to disabled rights. https://t.co/XTy7sZNFbh— David J McDonagh (@McDonaghDJ) October 2, 2018
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.