10:49 AM

Learn to speak with your hands! Hand sign begins new Hawk tradition

Do you know how to speak with your hands? Hand gestures, accompanied by spoken words, can significantly increase the value of our message. All the most energetic and charismatic speakers know the impact of combining hand movements with the right words.

Leaders are known to use certain hand gestures to add impact to their statements. That's why University of Houston-Clear Lake is joining a long tradition of Texas universities and creating its own special hand sign incorporating the mark of its mascot, Hunter the Hawk.

"UH-Clear Lake is instilling more spirit and tradition into its culture with The Claw sign," said Shelby Kuepker, coordinator for Organizations and Activities. "Our Hawk Spirit and Traditions Council is a student organization that came up with the idea over the years. This year, we put our energy and effort into this initiative and came up with a hand signal."

The sign is made by holding up a hand with fingers pointing up, then bending the fourth and fifth fingers down while curling the thumb, index and middle fingers. The signal is finished with the words, "Go Hawks!"- preferably yelled with enthusiasm.

Associate Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Erika Njoku said that in 2019, students were asked for submissions and feedback about hand sign options.

"We had a committee that included students, faculty, staff and alumni to evaluate the various hand sign possibilities," she said. "Last year, we asked everyone to complete a survey and The Claw was the selection."

She added that with the new hand sign, UHCL students know how to welcome each other. "This means so much for school spirit," she said. "Students will learn about this when they come to campus, and they can learn about it in orientation sessions in addition to the other information they'll get."

So, for those moments when you're unsure of what to do with your hands, and you're not sure what to say, nonverbal communication can be very effective.

For more information about The Claw, go online.