The University of Manchester has voted to replace audible clapping with “jazz hands,” or, as the BBC described it, the “British Sign Language (BSL) equivalent – a wave of both hands”
Student union officer Sara Khan said clapping needed to be banned over fears the noise could cause issues for autistic students and those with hearing and anxiety issues. The new “jazz hands” will be enforced at school-sponsored debates, panels, and talks and student groups will be encouraged to put aside clapping at more private and independent events.
Khan told reporters the “jazz hands” will encourage an “environment of respect.”
“I think a lot of the time, even in Parliamentary debates, I’ve seen that clapping, whooping, talking over each other, loud noises, encourages an atmosphere that is not as respectful as it could be,” she said, adding it will make events more inclusive.
The National Union of Students, which banned clapping in 2015, said, “We should all aspire to improve our public spaces so that all members of society feel comfortable and able to contribute fully.”
Not everyone in Britain has met the change with much respect, however; commentator Piers Morgan bluntly stated that Britain is “losing its mind.”
Morgan said it was a sign of Britain “losing its mind,” while Vine posted a picture of soldiers in the trenches during WWI, suggesting they had managed to “ignore the difficulties caused by sudden noises 100 years ago”.