Make the Sunshine Protection Act a Law


Courtesy of Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

Many Villanovans think the Sunshine Protection Act would benefit student mental health.

Joe Adams, Staff Writer

Last week, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent. Getting anything to pass unanimously in the Senate is unheard of in these polarized times.

I was also intrigued by the act because it would mean an end to changing our clocks and watching the sun set in the afternoon. Seasonal depression is very real, and something that I, and many of my peers, struggle with.

There’s nothing worse than the cold, dark days in the winter with so little daylight. So, after hearing that the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act, I was thrilled.

I strongly believe that this proposed act should become law, especially because so many Americans, regardless of political affiliation, are in favor. It makes no sense that we set our clocks back every year, meaning that this outdated tradition must come to an end.

Daylight Saving can negatively affect people’s health as well. Disrupting the circadian rhythm is never a good thing, but it consistently occurs every time we change the clocks. 

The Sunshine Protection Act must now pass through the House of Representatives, where it faces greater opposition. If it passes, though, it will be a game-changer. Millions of Americans will benefit from the sun setting later, as opposed to during the day.

Beyond this, the Sunshine Protection Act impacts us in a more narrow sense, as members of the Villanova community.

There is the possibility that, while the act would provide numerous benefits, there could be some downsides for Villanova.

For example, walking to our 8:30 a.m. classes in the dark might not be the best. Would, then, Villanova make adjustments to its academic scheduling following this act?

Senior Associate Registrar Carolyn Bruce provided her thoughts about the act and its potential to impact class scheduling.

“We in the Registrar’s Office are not aware of any discussions taking place in the University about adjusting schedule times in response to the proposed Sunshine Protection Act,” she said. “Decisions such as these would be made at a higher administrative level than our office.”

For now, it seems that the administration has not considered the implications of the act, but it will be interesting to see if, and how, things change at Villanova.

Villanova students also shared their thoughts, and the responses were similar across the board. Students are both happy and relieved to get longer daylight hours and to no longer be as seasonally depressed.

“I think it’s great,” one student said. “There’s no worse feeling than leaving a class and having it be dark out.”

As the weather gets nicer and there are 7 p.m. sunsets again, I can sense a shifted mood on campus. Everyone is happier, excited for summer and ready to hang out with friends outside in the sunlight again. 

Every year, I always look forward to seeing campus come to life in the spring, with people sitting outside, tossing around a football or taking a walk through campus.

The best times at Villanova come when people can hang out on those warm nights in the fall and springtime.

With the Sunshine Protection Act, students can have more time to spend outside while it is still light out, and I believe campus will be energized throughout the year.

Passing the Sunshine Protection Act makes sense. Congress, do the right thing. Make this act a law- it’ll make millions of people happier.