Clapping as been banned at a leading universty’s students’ union “to avoid triggering anxiety”.
The University of Manchester Students’ Union passed the resolution to ban clapping at student union events at the first Senate session of the academic year on September 27, according to student newspaper the Mancunion.
“It was argued that the loud noise of traditional clapping and whooping pose an issue to students with anxiety or sensory issues. BSL clapping – or, jazz hands – would be a more inclusive form of expression,” the paper said.
Jazz hands is the British Sign Language for clapping.
The Senate make decisions about what the Students’ Union should believe and take action on, according to the Student Union website.
Each motion needs 66% of the vote to be passed.
Liberation and Access Officer Sara Khan authored the motion, called ‘Making Senate More Accessible’.
It resolved to swap out audible clapping for BSL clapping at SU (Students’ Union) events, and to “encourage student groups and societies to do the same, and to include BSL clapping as a part of inclusion training”.
Piers Morgan tweeted: “Britain’s losing its mind.”
Dean Goddard quipped: “Send them to Old Trafford. They’ll never need to clap there!”
Another user said: “I have severe anxiety and major depression NO CLAPPING SHOULD NOT BE BANNED!!! How ridiculous, what next ban children from laughing? You’re just catering to the illness instead of helping people to get over it.”
Others asked if it was an early April Fools Day and another said: “What hope has anyone got if the sound of clapping sets them off? Our generation is a shambles.”
In April 2017, the University of Durham proposed a motion which said all clapping should be banned from future NUS events.
The “access needs of disabled students are disregarded/overlooked in terms of conference member behaviour and NUS structures”, it said, and called for “reduced cheering or unnecessary loud noises on conference floor, including whooping and clapping.”
In a statement to the Telegraph , a spokesman for the NUS said they don’t “actively stop our members from clapping, they choose to be respectful and enable other people to get involved.”
Meanwhile, Student council members at The University of Wisconsin-Madison are demanding the school change the ingredients in the official university ice cream, claiming that the current ingredients are discriminatory toward some minority students.
UW-M’s official ice cream, the Babcock, contains a beef gelatin additive, which according to the legislation, “renders certain communities such as the Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and vegetarian unable to enjoy it without violating their beliefs.”
The legislation, titled “Ice Cream for All,” is already has eight sponsors, including the Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary of the Associated Students of Madison Student Council. The ASM student council is comparable to a student government senate. The “Ice Cream for All” legislation will be voted on next Wednesday.
The ASM Student Council can only recommend changes to the university administration. Nothing that the ASM Student Council passes is, in fact, a definitive change.
The legislation states that the Babcock Ice Cream is an important tradition at UW-M, and “it would be a gross act of discrimination to continue to deprive some minority students” from eating the ice cream because of their religious beliefs. Sponsors of the legislation also added that issues like this play a part in the marginalization of students.
“Symbolic issues like these have always and will always play a critical role in whether marginalized students and people feel welcome, included, and connected to their community,” reads the legislation.
However, according to The Badger Herald, Scott Rankin, chair of the food science department, said the university ice cream shop, Babcock Dairy, offers an assortment of ice creams that are gelatin free, adding that it would be hard to replicate the taste of the gelatin-based ice cream.
Yogev Ben-Yitschak, co-sponsor of the resolution as well as ASM Vice Chair, responded to Rankin’s claim, stating that Babcock Ice Cream cannot taste that much different without the gelatin additive.
If passed by the Student Council next Wednesday, it would serve as an acknowledgment by the ASM that the university marginalizes students by “having the official campus ice cream not be inclusive to religious students on campus.”
If passed, the ASM would “condemn” events sponsored by the university which serve Babcock Ice Cream, and will not be hosting any events with the ice cream themselves. The sponsors claim that the possible Babcock Ice Cream strike shows “solidarity with religious students.”
In addition, if the resolution is passed, the ASM recommends that the administration, unions, and dining halls all “acknowledge” that the official ice cream of the university marginalizes religious students on campus.
A University of Wisconsin-Madison spokeswoman told Campus Reform on Thursday that the school already “produces and sells ‘super premium’ ice cream, sherbet and Greek frozen yogurt options that are made with a plant-based stabilizer and are gelatin-free, adding that there is also “lactose-free ice cream for people who are lactose intolerant.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 2nd, 2018