The cost of daylight saving time

ANNA FRIEDRICHSEN | the Statesman As many people know, daylight savings was last Sunday. Though it’s understandable if it went under the radar because nowadays smartphones and most twall-clocks-534267_960_720echnology adjust the time automatically.

With that being said, the people who had to manually change their alarm clock, microwave time, oven time or even the hour hand on a traditional wall clock they may have, not only lost an hour of time to daylight savings, but also lost 30 seconds changing the time on whatever it is that didn’t adjust automatically.  

Daylight savings might not be a big deal to most people beyond the simple hour of sleep that was lost or gained.

Heading back to school after spring break and daylight savings is a double whammy and it takes extra effort for students to get back to school time and not stay on vacation time.

Students getting back into the swing of school may look at the clocks in their classrooms to see how much time is left before they can leave, exhausted from classes after only a week away from UMD.

Who’s in charge of changing the classroom clocks that so many students rely on? Who’s responsible for changing all the clocks on campus?

Chris Stevens of UMD Facilities Management helped to breakdown daylight savings on campus and the process it takes to change all the clocks

The 30 seconds it takes to change a clock is easy when there’s only one or two to change, but take the 30 seconds and times that by the number of clocks on campus, which is a lot (and trust me, I tried to find that number), and now there’s a lengthy and literally time-consuming task.

“It’s time-sensitive. The Friday before [daylight savings] we try to catch the bulk of clocks in classrooms and offices,” Stevens said.

Facilities Management staff are focused on getting to the clocks most people on campus would see.

Students in lecture classes may notice the clocks three or so stories up on a wall. How are those clocks changed?

“We have electrical crews that get on lifts to change the time,” Stevens said.

This great task of simply getting high enough to change the time on the clock is all for the 30 seconds it actually takes to add or subtract an hour of time.

The job of changing the clocks on campus is in the hands of 83 custodial staff and four electricians.  

Facilities Management is looking into getting clocks that automatically change time for the clocks that are hard to reach.

“The clocks can range from $700 to $700,000,” Stevens said.  

The clocks would run on WiFi, making it easier and safer to change time when daylight savings rolls around.

“I think we’ll get there,” Stevens said of incorporating these clocks on campus.

Because changing clocks is so labor intensive and there’s so many clocks on campus, Facilities Management asks that students and staff with offices change their own clocks, if able.

Understandingly, clocks around campus may sometimes be off.

“It’s a challenge to synch times, but we do our best. Sometimes we miss clocks,” Stevens said.

If you know of a clock that needs changing, Stevens asks that you simply email Facilities Management ( or give them a call (218-726-8262).


Put the phones down, UMD

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