The idea of silent clapping was put forward at the student union’s first meeting of the year on Tuesday at Oxford University.
Sabbatical Officers Roisin McCallion, Vice President for Welfare and Equal Opportunity, and Ebie Edwards Cole, Chair for Oxford SU Disabilities Campaign, passed the motion to mandate the encouragement of silent clapping. The ban on clapping would be at student union meetings and events where traditional clapping and cheering supposedly ‘presents an access issue’ to those with anxiety disorders (Daily Caller).
“Inclusivity is one of the Students’ Union’s founding principles,” students at Oxford argued. Alternatives to clapping already existed in some organizations and institutions since 2015, so they argued they should follow suit.
Ms McCallion said: “The policy was proposed in order to encourage the use of British Sign Language clapping.” Jazz hands is the British Sign Language expression for applause and is considered a more ‘inclusive gesture’ (Express).
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