December 10, 2018

University Bans CLAPPING To Avoid Triggering Anxieties

03 October 2018, 11:29 | Max Haynes

Modal Trigger The University of Manchester Getty Images

College Buildings Of The University Of Manchester

Clapping has been banned by a student union to make it more inclusive to those with anxiety or sensory issues.

Titled "Making Senate More Accessible", the motion demanded the softer method be introduced to protect students who suffer from sensory disabilities.

The National Union of Students in the United Kingdom also introduced BSL clapping at its events in 2015 in an effort to ensure that "all members of society" feel comfortable and able to contribute.

In its first meeting of the 2018-19 academic year, the union passed a motion to ban regular clapping in favour of its British Sign Language (BSL) equivalent, where applause is expressed by waving both hands in the air, The Guardian says.

She said many people with autism, sensory issues and deafness had been "discouraged" from attending events because of loud clapping and cheering.

Many others on Twitter were also skeptical about the move, with one suggesting it sounded like something from "Mao's China" and another writing that having a room full of people staring at you and doing jazz hands would probably be a very uncomfortable experience.

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Khan said that using jazz hands instead of traditional clapping would also optimally be a part of "inclusion training".

She said students were not consulted on the decision to display Kipling's poem and took action because, according to a Facebook post written by Ms Khan: "We, as an exec team, believe that Kipling stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights - the things that we, as an SU, stand for".

Khan said that noisy clapping can "discourage" some people from showing up to democratic events and that the implementation of the jazz hands alternative would help to foster an environment of respect. "This policy has no bearing on those events which make up the majority of a packed calendar at the Students' Union".

"We should all aspire to improve our public spaces so that all members of society feel comfortable and able to contribute fully", they said.

"Not cool, University of Manchester".

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