Students who whoop, cheer and clap should face “consequences” because they are excluding deaf people, delegates at the National Union of Students conference said.
Audience members were repeatedly warned that they must cease whooping to express support for a speaker, because it has a “serious impact” on the accessibility of the conference.
Delegates at the NUS annual conference in Brighton were encouraged to use “jazz hands” instead of clapping - where students wave their hands in the air - as this is deemed a more inclusive form of expression.
Estelle Hart, an NUS elections committee member who was chairing a session on Thursday, told students: “No whooping, it does have a serious impact on some delegates ability to access conference.”
She later gave another “gentle reminder not to whoop”. Shelly Asquith, the NUS vice president for welfare, returned to the theme, telling delegates: “We’ve had a number of requests that people stop whooping”.
The Durham University student union proposed a motion at the conference that would see clapping and whooping banned at all future NUS events.
The motion noted that “access needs of disabled students are disregarded/overlooked in terms of conference member behaviour and NUS structures” adding that this can lead to the “safety and wellbeing” of disabled students being compromised.
The motion calls for “reduced cheering or unnecessary loud noises on conference floor, including whooping and clapping” and warns of “consequences for those who ignore this requirement”. In the past, NUS events have banned clapping on the grounds that it might “trigger anxiety”.
Critics say that such behaviour is typical of the “snowflake generation” of students, who are seen as over-sensitive and quick to take offence.
Last week it emerged that Oxford University's Equality and Diversity Unit issued guidance to students advising them that students who avoid making eye contact with their peers could be guilty of racism.
The University of Glasgow started issuing “trigger warnings” for theology students studying the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, whereby students are told they may see distressing images and are given the opportunity to leave.