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University of Oxford bans clapping, replaces with “jazz hands”

Student union leaders at the University of Oxford have passed a motion to ban clapping to make events more inclusive and to avoid triggering anxiety.

Clapping will be replaced by “jazz hands,” the sign for clapping in British Sign Language. The change comes roughly a year after a similar motion was passed at the University of Manchester.

“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,” Sabbatical Officer Roisin McCallion said. “Inclusivity is one of the Students’ Union’s founding principles.”

The motion was passed during the first meeting of the year for the university’s student union officers.