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University's Decision To Encourage 'Jazz Hands' Instead Of Clapping To Prevent Triggering Anxiety Sparks Debate

By Dennis Matthew Livesey

In an effort to be more inclusive to those with anxiety and sensory issues, Manchester University’s students’ union has voted to replace clapping at student events with the British sign language (BSL) version of clapping, otherwise known as "jazz hands."

But for an initiative attempting to bring down the volume, it sure is causing a whole lot of noise. 

According to the students union, the change applies only to SU democratic events, and not other student events such as gigs, theater productions or sports. In a statement, the union emphasized that the new policy is not a ban; it is only meant to encourage students to use BSL clapping, 

Inclusivity is one of the students’ union’s founding principles. We recognise that minority groups are underrepresented in political environments and we are working to address that. This policy is one way  of doing so inside our union. 

While the union says it has already received a positive response from disabled students, the new policy seems to be getting a flood of negative reaction from everyone else.