The student union of the University of Manchester voted to ban clapping, whooping and cheering because some students might find these common forms of expression to be unwelcoming or alienating for some students. As a result, students are expected to use “Jazz hands” to show approval to maintain a welcoming environment.
The students are expected to use the British Sign Language (BSL) equivalent of a clap – a wave of both hands. The change was proposed Student Union access officer Sara Khan.
Khan said that clapping “encourages an atmosphere that is not as respectful as it could be.” Thus, it is now banned in favor of jazz hands to make for a more inclusive environment. Specifically, the environment is deemed more welcoming for “students with disabilities such as anxiety or sensory issues.”
The question is how far a university should go in accommodating such students by adopting major changes in common conduct for the student body as a whole. The measure reaffirms the view of an increasingly micromanaged society in England where speech is criminalized and bad habits banned by a patriarchal governing body.
The question is whether Nicole Kidman can still do her creepy clap: