Complaints by deaf people have been heard by Britain’s National Union of Students (NUS), which includes most university student unions, so clapping and cheering is now a conference no-no.
During the organization’s annual two-day conference on Tuesday, students were warned that they would face “consequences” for cheering and clapping, because such forms of expression have a “serious impact” on the accessibility of the conference for people with hearing problems, according to a report in Heatstreet.
Students were instructed to use “jazz hands” – just waving their hands in the air – instead of making a lot of noise during the group’s elections.
Committee member Estelle Hart reportedly told students, “No whooping, it does have a serious impact on some delegates’ ability to access conference.” When the students got out of hand, she’d say, “Gentle reminder not to whoop.”
According to Shelly Asquith, the NUS vice president for welfare, “We’ve had a number of requests that people stop whooping.”
Now, the Durham University student union has proposed a motion at the conference that would make clapping and whooping banned at all future NUS events. According to the motion, “access needs of disabled students are disregarded/overlooked in terms of conference member behavior and NUS structures.
In fact, clapping has been an issue with this group in the past, when some NUS events stopped the students from clapping because it might “trigger anxiety”.
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