October 3, 2018
In an attempt to make public performances more “inclusive” for people with “disabilities” like anxiety and other sensory issues, the University of Manchester students’ union has voted to ban applause at student union events, and is asking students to use “jazz hands” instead.
The decision was made to keep the University of Manchester compliant with a 2015 vote in the UK’s National Union of StudeBut students also noted that loud noises like “whooping” or “traditional applause” can create problems for students with anxiety.
According to the Guardian, the MSU motion said that “this union notes that since 2015, the National Union of Students (NUS) has been using British sign language (BSL) clapping (or ‘jazz hands’), as loud noises, including whooping and traditional applause, can pose an issue for students with disabilities such as anxiety or sensory issues.”
One woman who was the leader of the NUS at the time of the 2015 vote admitted that using “jazz hands” was “odd” at first, but that she eventually came to appreciate it.
The NUS voted to start using BSL clapping in 2015. Speaking at the time, Nona Buckley-Irvine, the then general secretary of the London School of Economics students’ union, told the BBC: “Jazz hands are used throughout NUS in place of clapping as a way to show appreciation of someone’s point without interrupting or causing disturbance, as it can create anxiety.”
“I’m relatively new to this and it did feel odd at first, but once you’ve used jazz hands a couple of times, it becomes a genuinely nice way to show solidarity with a point and it does add to creating a more inclusive atmosphere.”
With the “jazz hands” trend apparently spreading throughout the UK university system, we think it’s important that readers become educated on the proper technique.
Because if you don’t do it…