If you think that the sex and speech climate at U.S. universities has gone awry, U.K. college campuses are becoming downright dystopian. Remember last year, when British student leaders declared clapping too triggering and requested that students show approval with jazz hands instead? Now students have moved on to tackling another menacing movement: the raised hand.
Granted, raising one’s hand has long been the universal symbol of “I have a question,” especially in educational environments. But sometimes hand-raising can denote disagreement with a speakers’ position, or even exasperation, and that’s where we get into dangerous territory, say University of Edinburgh students. The move could be viewed as disrepsectful—and thus a violation of the school’s “safe space” policy.
Last week Imogen Wilson, vice president for academic affairs with the student association, was threatened with removal from her position after she “raised [her] arms in disagreement” during a council debate and shook her head disapprovingly.