By Emily Krause & Kelly Schmitz
With the Senate recently passing legislation that makes daylight savings time permanent, many students have opinions about what they feel about daylight savings time and how it affects their lives and learning.
The Senate passed legislation that would end the twice-annual changing of clocks in 2023. This move is promoted by supporters advocating brighter afternoons and more economic activity. The measure is called the Sunshine Protection Act. If approved soon by The House of Representatives and President Joe Biden, the change would help enable children to play outdoors later and reduce seasonal depression, according to supporters.
A survey was taken of students that go to UWGB (University of Wisconsin – Green Bay). The data showed that 94.7 percent of them have heard of daylight savings, and 5.3 percent of the survey respondents said maybe.
Daylight savings time was enacted and retracted from 1916 to 1966, with several government laws being ebbed and flowed across the years.
The daylight savings time that is currently applied started in 1967. In the U.S., daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November, with the time changes taking place at 2:00 AM local time. With a mnemonic wordplay referring to seasons, clocks “spring forward, fall behind.” By 1966, some 100 million Americans observed Daylight Saving Time based on their local laws and customs.
“It really only affected me for the day that it went ahead. I quite like having the hour of daylight more in the spring. It is nice to get out of my 7 PM class and still see a little sun,” said an anonymous UWGB student.
Today, approximately 70 countries utilize Daylight Saving Time in at least a portion of the country. Japan, India, and China are the only major industrialized countries that do not observe daylight saving.
There are also many misconceptions about why daylight savings time was put in place.
“There’s no point in having daylight savings time when the whole point was to give us more daytime in the summer, and in a decade or so, winter will be summer, and summer will be winter,” said an anonymous UWGB student.
“Daylight savings deals with farming and that every spring the time goes ahead one hour, and, in the fall, it goes back one hour,” said another anonymous UWGB student.
According to History.com, daylight saving time was, “suggested by President Roosevelt, was imposed to conserve fuel, and could be traced back to World War I, when Congress imposed one standard time on the United States to enable the country to better utilize resources, following the European model.” The article stated.
There are many pros and cons to daylight savings time as well. The most common pros are that longer daylight hours promote safety, that it is good for the economy to have more daylight due to increased sales, and that extended daylight promotes a healthier lifestyle. The most common cons are that daylight savings time is expensive due to changing clocks and labor time changes, that it drops workplace productivity when it gets dark faster, and that it is harmful to human health not to have a lot of sunlight.
Out of the UWGB students surveyed, 21.1 percent said that they agreed with the Senate’s decision to make daylight savings time permeant, 15.8 percent said that they were not in agreement with the decision, and 63.2 percent said that they were unsure.
“Only time will tell us if this is a good move on the Senate’s part at all. I think that it could be a good thing, but it will defiantly take some getting used to,” says an anonymous UWGB student, “no one in the new generations has lived without daylight savings time, so I think if the change is enacted, it will take a few years to decide if we like it better or not,” they said.
The House of Representatives is set to vote on the subject later this year.