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U. community discusses Sunshine Protection Act, daylight saving time

The proposed Sunshine Protection Act would end daylight saving time in the U.S. – Photo by Courtesy of Brielle Fedorko

University students, faculty and staff discussed their thoughts on daylight saving time and the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill that would stop the clocks from changing in the fall and allow the sun to set later in the day.

The bill was first introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in March 2021 and passed through the Senate this past March, declaring daylight saving time as the permanent standard time. The bill has yet to be reviewed by the House of Representatives and President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

If the bill passes, Americans will no longer have to change their clocks twice a year and have more daylight instead of the sun setting in the early evenings.

David Love, a teaching instructor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, said changing the clocks every year for daylight saving is irritating and its purpose is outdated for today’s world.

“I think that the transition you have to go through is too bothersome and too much of an inconvenience,” he said.

Love said he thinks the concept of daylight saving time seems to work against some people’s internal schedules and can lead to individuals feeling irritable and less focused.

He said he would be happy if the Sunshine Protection Act passed due to the impact daylight saving has on people’s attitudes, including his own.

Aditi Nandan, a Rutgers Business School senior, said she likes daylight saving time because it means having more sunlight added to her day. 

“Having more hours of daylight allows me to do more during the day and decreases the amount of electricity I use around my apartment,” she said. “I naturally feel more energized and motivated to be more active and productive during daylight hours.” 

Nandan said that if the Sunshine Protection Act were passed, she would have more time and energy during the day to stay busy both in her academic and personal life. She said that the bill will be beneficial to everyone if it can preserve a few more hours of sun. 

Aidan Flynn, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said he feels indifferent about daylight saving but thinks the decision to have it or not should be standardized.

“I think it should just be picked one way or another and have everyone commit to it instead of having some places do it while others don’t,” he said.

Flynn said he would appreciate passing the Sunshine Protection Act if it meant that everyone followed the same time schedule.

Kendra Damoah, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said daylight saving will affect her more now than as a college student.

“Now that I am in the big girl world and getting a big girl job, it will affect me more because I will be working a 9-to-5,” Damoah said. “Waking up at 8 a.m. and it’s dark outside versus waking up at 7 a.m. and it’s dark outside — (that is) a big difference.”

Though, Damoah did not mind daylight saving as a college student because she enjoyed doing work at night. It also did not affect her in the morning because she did not have to wake up early for classes, but in this new stage of her life, daylight saving raises some concerns, she said. 

Amy Benner, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, said that daylight saving time disrupts her sleep schedule. 

“Even though I usually wake up before the sun rises, I find I don't really ‘wake up’ until the sun is out,” she said.

Benner said that the 1-hour change has once taken her almost a month to readjust and she finds herself shutting down much faster when the sun sets sooner. She said she is welcome to the change that the bill may bring but is curious as to how her sleep schedule will be affected. 

If passed, the Sunshine Protection Act will make daylight saving time the new standardized time starting on November 5. 

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