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Daylight Savings is being abolished: students and faculty weigh in

(Photo courtesy of Freepik) “The Sunshine Protection Act has been passed by the U.S Senate and will soon go affect in most of the United States.”

Kaysha Perez
Connector Contributor

The Sunshine Protection Act, which would make daylight saving time permanent and basically take away the need to change the clocks seasonally, was passed by the U.S. Senate earlier this year with a unanimous vote. Students and professors have strong feelings about how this will impact the environment at UMass Lowell.

This act is set to become effective on November 5, 2023, meaning all states except for Hawaii and certain regions of Arizona will effectively stop changing their clocks at the beginning of each season.

Business major Alyssa Perin says, “When it gets dark early, people seem really tired. I definitely [feel] the same way. When it gets dark out, all I want to do is sleep, even though it’s only 4 o’clock.” 

Biology major Julia Driscoll had a similar response, saying, “Honestly, I want them to change daylight [saving time]. I never even understood why it was a thing. No one wants to watch the sun go down at 4 p.m. It’s depressing.” 

Professors notice a similar attitude in students. Dr. Bridget Marshall from the English Department says, “When the time changes and the sun sets earlier, the change in students’ attitudes is very notable. You can see that the students aren’t as engaged, and the energy in the classroom is noticeably low.” 

The students were very enthusiastic about the idea of the change. Perin says, “I think Massachusetts ending daylight savings will be good. I think student engagement will be a lot better, and everyone’s energy [level] will be much higher. I know I feel a lot better when [the] time is consistent and when the sun is out longer. I have a lot more motivation.”

Driscoll had a similar response, saying, “I think it will help students stay consistent throughout the semester and not feel thrown off. When students have to go through the process of losing sleep and gaining sleep, it throws us off track. I think with this change, myself and other UMass Lowell students will feel more engaged and energized.”  

Some drawbacks to the change were noted. Dr. Marshall says, “I think it would be fine, but I’m concerned about what it would mean for neighboring states. Would it be a different time over there? I like the idea of the time not changing, but does that mean if I go somewhere—like New Hampshire—the time would be different? That’s the only thing that concerns me.” 

Students and faculty then shared whether they believed that putting an end to daylight savings would overall improve the learning environment at UMass Lowell. Driscoll says, “Yes, I definitely do believe this will improve the learning environment at UMass Lowell. I think with consistent time there will be a lot more energy in the classroom. Sunlight makes people happy.” 

Perin says, “Honestly, I’m not sure if it would really make a difference engagement-wise, but I know when it comes to fatigue, things will probably improve a lot.”  

Dr. Marshall says, “As long as there is no inconsistency with neighboring states, I think it definitely will make a difference at UMass Lowell. The sun is known to enhance energy, so I think it will help a lot of students with their mood.”