The Jambar Editorial: Congress protecting our sunshine?

Each year as we hurtle through space on this giant green and blue rock, we are faced with the consequences of the social construction we call time. Time is what we base nearly every decision of our lives on. Twice each year, in our little corner of the universe, we find ourselves faced with a deconstruction of our realities in the form of daylight saving time.

It’s entirely possible that the extra hour of sleep we gain in November is what keeps us coming back to this arbitrary tradition, as if we were beholden to it by a Stockholm syndrome-esque sense of loyalty. But many of us would agree that the pitch-black night sky before our evening classes even begin quickly breaks any illusion. 

The United States first adopted daylight saving time March 19, 1918, but even then it faced disapproval. It was pushed aside until former-President Franklin Roosevelt implemented “war time” from February 1942 until September 1945 as a way to cut fuel costs. It wasn’t until the passage of the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that what we know as the 2 a.m. switcheroo came into fruition. 

It seems that our on-again, off-again relationship with time will soon come to a close yet again. On March 15, the Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act which, when enacted in 2023, would make daylight saving time permanent. Supporters of the bill cite “brighter afternoons and more economic activity” as benefits to the act, according to an article published by Reuters. However, the bill’s struggling in the House of Representatives as Congress members view the matter as trivial in the wake of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

There’s nothing stopping us from crossing our fingers on the matter, regardless of which side you’re on. While there hasn’t been congressional mention of how this extended evening hour will impact those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, the extra golden hour certainly stands to help those who struggle with a perceived winter bedtime of 5 p.m.

Gone will be the days of waking up disoriented because the sun’s not in its usual spot in our windows, of chasing down every last clock in our homes to ensure time is relatively synced. While our winter mornings won’t see light until nearly 9 a.m., at least the faintest tint of blue will linger in the sky as we crawl out of classes and work at 6 p.m.