The Utah Legislature shut down a proposed bill which would require the state to observe Mountain Standard Time throughout the year. Changing clocks twice a year can be a pain and adjusting a schedule can also be cumbersome, but are we really concerned with maintaining a consistent time?
Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time was extended one month and begins for most of the United States at: 2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March and lasts until 2 a.m. on the First Sunday of November. Federal law promotes the observance of the “fall back and spring forward” time changes but Arizona is currently the only state that does not observe the time change.
Arguments against the bill discuss consumption of energy and lights running for longer periods of time. Daylight Saving Time reportedly saves electricity and by moving the clock ahead one hour more time can be spent outside. During the winter people tend to spend more time at home, school is in session and families maintain a schedule but the day seems shorter. Therefore others argue more electricity is consumed during the darker mornings, canceling out any savings from not using as much power at night.
Based on a small question poll, consisting of about fifteen SLCC students, the same number of students who would prefer Mountain Standard Time, lose an hour, would also like to continue observing the Mountain Daylight Time, and gain an hour. Two students did not care one way or the other and claimed undecided. One student preferred Central Time but was quickly reminded she currently lived in Utah. Some students want to maintain a consistent schedule but others enjoy the longer days in the summer.
Utah sees four distinct seasons and therefore the time change adjusts accordingly. Observing both time changes provides a true feeling for a calendar year during the seasons. Summer offers extra light and prolongs a nice warm night, allowing for more time at the lake or the course. During the winter the sun rises in the morning and sets early in the evening but skiers can still enjoy a day on the slopes.
Consistency is a good rule of thumb but it doesn’t always apply. The legislature’s decision to keep Utah’s time schedule in sync with the rest of the country does make sense and provides a balance for the residents. Even when Utah falls back or springs ahead, we are still left with twenty four hours in the day. Our decision is how we use them.