Springing forward

Elizabeth Rund

Turning clocks ahead decreases electricity usage, has various effects on student life


Credit: Ron Soltys

Pop quiz: Something important happened at 2 a.m. Sunday. What was it?

Here’s a hint: It used to begin the first Sunday in April and end the last Sunday in October.

Still Stumped? The answer: daylight-saving time.

It’s the magical time of the year that allows adults and students alike to add an extra hour of sunshine to their days, in spite of the fact that an hour is “lost” in the process.

Brighter days

Daylight-saving — and the switch to it — can have diverse effects on students.

“From my experience, it doesn’t affect my schedule,” said Shawn Coffy, sophomore flight technology major.

Although Michael Moore, assistant director of the Kent State Psychological clinic, deals only with extreme cases, he said generally the switch to daylight-saving time is a good thing.

“There is more sunlight, the weather is warmer, more people are outside; it improves people’s moods and makes people happier,” Moore said.

With the extra hour of sunlight, increasingly warm weather and the prospect of summer a few months away, some students may find it difficult to concentrate on their studies.

But not Coffy.

“You can get more work done during the day,” he said.

Additional benefits

Studies have shown that during the spring and summer months, people plan more outdoor activities and consume less energy; additionally, daylight-saving time reduces the number of early morning accidents by 1 percent.

Moving clocks ahead one hour also reduces the use of electricity for lighting and appliances. According to studies done by the Department of Transportation, daylight-saving time lowers the entire country’s electrical usage about 1 percent each day.

Freshman pharmacology major Prathibha Chagantipati has yet to experience the effects, if any, of the time switch.

“This is my first time in the U.S. and my first semester at Kent, so I’ll have see how it works out,” Chagantipati said. “It’s a new experience.”

History of daylight-saving time

Daylight-saving time has a somewhat confusing history. In fact, it is only within the last 40 years that the United States has formally adopted turning the clocks forward an hour, only to turn them back in the fall.


Although Benjamin Franklin was the first to come up with the concept of daylight-saving time, it didn’t catch on in the United States until World War I.


Daylight-saving time is observed for seven months starting March 31.


Congress repeals daylight-saving time and only a few states continued to use it.

Feb. 2, 1942

President Franklin D. Roosevelt institutes a year-round daylight-saving time called ‘war time’ until Sept. 30, 1945.


No laws regulating daylight-saving. Individual cities and states choose if and when the time change will occur.


Congress passes the Uniform Time Act, which regulates Daylight Savings Time throughout the four time zones.


Congress passes a law requiring Daylight Savings Time start the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.

Contact features correspondent Elizabeth Rund at [email protected].