Jan 15, 2014 08:36pm
Getting the 'right' time
January 13, 2014 - 5:18pm

Being late to class might not necessarily be your fault, because chances are the clock is making a “mistake.”

Yes, blame the clock.

Since most of the clocks on the campus are adjusted manually, it is not surprising for students to experience a difference in time in different classrooms. Just like Jasmin Chigbrow and Devin McCrary, EvCC students who said they have experienced time inaccuracy problems in classrooms in at least one class every quarter.

“Most teachers don’t care if you walk into a classroom a couple minutes late, so it’s not really a big deal,” said McCrary. “But if you have work after class and you are being let out late for more than five minutes, it can be an issue since you can get fired for that.”

While running a bit late to class might not necessarily be a problem, unstandardized time of the clocks on campus might create troubles for students when they are going to classes for tests or exams.

EvCC student Zuma Waddington said, “What if you have an exam and your teacher shuts the door in order to start early, or if you get (to the classroom) five minutes late because your previous teacher ran late as the clocks in Gray Wolf are two minutes faster than the clocks in Parks.”

Waddington said since not all clocks on campus follow the same time period, many teachers usually look at their personal cellphones for time reference, in which the time on their phones might be different than the others.

To settle the time inaccuracy problem of clocks on campus, one of the solutions is to have staff from the Facilities Department check every single clock on the campus to make sure they are all standardized. However, this might not be an efficient solution since doing so can be very time consuming.

A more effective solution would be to use wireless clocks that keep a single time. The clocks in Gray Wolf Hall and some of the clocks in classrooms of Liberty Hall were replaced with wireless ones over the summer.

Ed Alexander, Interim Associate Director of Information Technology, said, “The wireless clocks are all synced, meaning all of the wireless clocks connect to a single server, and that keeps their time, so everything is going to automatically update and our staff don’t have to manually change them.”

Alexander mentioned that 300 clocks were purchased by the University Center, but not all of them have been installed. He said more of the wireless clocks are going to be installed into the offices in Liberty Hall.

“The main thing is for years the students have wanted to have all the clocks on campus be the same time so that was really the push behind it to start the process,” said Alexander. “Hopefully the goal over next five or six years is to blanket the rest of campus so that every single clock on campus reads the same time.”

Another benefit of using wireless clocks is that they last longer than the regular manual clocks. While the batteries of a manual clock have to be changed twice a year or sometimes more, a wireless clock can last about three to four years on one set of batteries. Moreover, the wireless clocks would still keep running even if the servers in the I.T Department went down.

“In the long run, it’s going to cost less time for facilities to maintain them, to change out batteries, to move them an hour ahead and behind,” said Alexander.

Cynthia Clarke, EvCC faculty who has taught in Gray Wolf Hall for over three years thinks the introduction of wireless clocks is very helpfulsince the manual clocks that the classrooms had before kept losing time.

“It’s a total waste of our custodial staff’s time because twice a year they have to go through and change every clock in the building under the old system,” said Clarke.

Clarke thinks it is very important for all the clocks on campus to be standardized especially since the passing period is only ten minutes long, so making sure the clocks are on time is a good solution. And yet, she doesn’t think it is enough to satisfy the time issue.

“If you are over in Rainier and then have to be down to Liberty and if you have to go use the restroom, it sets you up to be late, so what we actually need is a long passing period now that our campus is getting larger,” said Clarke.


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