U.K. student union bans applause in favour of ‘jazz hands’ because clapping could ‘trigger anxiety’

LONDON — Clapping has been replaced with “jazz hands” at a British student union amid fears that the noise of applause could trigger anxiety among some students.

Whooping is also discouraged at Manchester University student union events on the basis that the loud noise may be a problem for those with sensory issues.

The use of “jazz hands” — where students wave their hands in the air — is the British Sign Language expression for applause and is deemed a more inclusive gesture.

At the union’s first meeting of the year, Sara Khan, who is Manchester University’s liberation and access officer, argued that traditional applause was not sufficiently “accessible.” The union resolved to ban clapping in favour of “jazz hands,” and urged “student groups and societies to do the same.”

 

U.K. student union bans applause in favour of ‘jazz hands’ because clapping could ‘trigger anxiety’