Oxford Uni bans clapping for jazz hands to stop people being triggered
The policy is more inclusive for people with anxiety and sensory issues
Oxford Uni SU officers have passed a motion banning clapping at Union events, enforcing people to do jazz hands instead.
Jazz hands is the British Sign Language action for applause, and is said to be a more inclusive gesture, especially for those who have anxiety and can be triggered by clapping.
The motion was passed by Students’ Union officers on Tuesday. Sabb Roisin McCallion said: “The policy was proposed in order to encourage the use of British Sign Language clapping during our democratic events, to make those events more accessible and inclusive for all, including people who suffer from anxiety.
“Inclusivity is one of the Students’ Union’s founding principles.”
Oxford is not the first university to favour jazz hands over clapping at SU events. In 2018, Manchester Uni passed a motion to ban clapping, claiming jazz hands was more inclusive, especially for students who may have anxiety, autism and sensory issues.
Sara Khan, Manchester Students’ Union Liberation and Access Officer last year, told The Mancunian she would “encourage student groups and societies to do the same, and to include BSL clapping as a part of inclusion training”.
In 2015, the NUS adopted the same jazz hands policy at their annual conference. You can watch a video of the jazz hands in action at the 2017 NUS conference below.