The University of Oxford students have decided to ban clapping and replace it with a silent wave named jazz hands, as some researchers point out that loud noise might trigger anxiety. Their idea got the majority in the university's student union, meaning that they will apply it at future student union events. If the experiment goes well, the next move is to use silent wave at other societies and events.
The Oxford students point out that alternatives for clapping already exist in other organizations, and that they are only following their initiative. One of them is the University of Manchester that replaced clapping in September last year. "Jazz hands" is the motion in the British Sign Language that expresses the applause, and it's considered more inclusive. Talking to the press, Sabbatical Officers Roisin McCallion explained that this is the right decision. As she said, this policy encourages using British Sing Language clapping on their events and will benefit not only hearing-impaired persons but also people who suffer from anxiety.sponsor
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The reactions of the public are divided, and outspoken TV personality Piers Morgan pointed out some of the problems that are not addressed. He claims that jazz hands are considered a racist gesture, and the other problem is the fact that it discriminates blind people, who won't know what is going on.
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Some of the former students are not so harsh, as they are sure that the University Student Union has only good intentions. Still, they think that this idea is ludicrous and will never be accepted. It should be noted that using jazz hands instead of clapping is still not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged. University Student Union has no intention to force this rule but is hoping that students will accept it in time so that it becomes the norm.