The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Jazz hands prevail amidst clapping anxiety


Imagine, today someone decides to walk to school, and a motorbike zooms passed him on the street, causing him to jump and spill his tea on his brand new jacket. 

Perhaps, motorcycles should be banned from Rohnert Park. 

Next, as a girl approaches the Student Center to purchase her daily Yerba Mate, her friend pops up behind her and scares her. Her friend was just greeting her, and didn’t mean to spook the poor girl. 

But perhaps the victim of the intense friendly greeting should get a petition going to have her friend expelled anyways. 

Finally, just as an elderly woman makes her way to Salazar Hall, a bird poops on her shoulder. 

The good God above knows that this elderly woman is an animal rights activist as staunch as they come, but obviously the lesser of two evil decisions here is to ban birds from campus. 

That said, the student union of the University of Manchester might believe that eradicating these things is the only way to achieve total tranquility on a campus, as they took action into their own hands—pun intended—to ban clapping from their school grounds. 

According to BBC, Ms. Khan, who stands as the union’s current liberation and access officer, says, “Traditional clapping can cause issues for students with autism, sensory issues or deafness.” 

Khan, believes using the British Sign Language equivalent of clapping, known as “jazz hands,” might make for an “environment of respect.”

Some people of our generation are actually taking these seemingly unnecessary and excessively inflated steps for our own protection. 

Others of us are just blind followers to this modern-day philosophy that if we have a problem with something in the real world, we can delete it as quickly as we can delete an obvious Instagram repost before anyone sees it. 

The University of Manchester’s student union needs to re-evaluate their motivations for removing clapping, and perhaps folks at home should decide whether or not this would be a form of censorship upon the right to freedom of speech in America. 

This is not to say that the underabled should not be considered when organizing events. 

For example, wheelchair ramps are built alongside stairs for easy-access. However, stairs were not removed completely to accommodate a specific group of people, but rather stairs and ramps work together to get everyone into the same room safely and efficiently.

British broadcasters and television personalities alike shared their thoughts. 

Piers Morgan of Good Morning Britain claims “Britain’s losing its mind.” 

According to the New York Post, BBC host Jeremy Vine begs the question, “how does that prepare them for a world of football matches, concerts, marches, festivals, conferences?”

Think about what we are doing here. 

Most people have fallen off a skateboard or two in their lives, but instead of calling on the city council to outright ban anything with a flat surface on four wheels, the vast majority usually just stands up and gets back on the board. 

So too should it be with challenges in life; there is no council that can vote away hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters, so let’s stop pretending like it’s the right thing to do.

Someone who is deaf will be able to look around in a room full of clapping people and understand immediately that something obviously just happened that everyone agrees with.

If the goal really is to prohibit the triggering of a student’s anxiety or discomfort, the student union should definitely not encourage an entire room of people to explode in a flurry of jazz-hand waves. 

After all, the jazz-handers could poke someone’s eye out!

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