Broken clock

Sometimes classes feel like they drag on for hours. Students will look at the clock after what feels like thirty minutes, only to see that the clock has not moved. Has no time elapsed, or is the real issue the clocks, and not the students’ perception of time?

At UTSA, many students and faculty have complained that the clocks inside various campus classrooms have led to classes running over the allotted time, or starting late, while some believe that they have an effect on the learning environment.

Psychology professor Dr. Mary McNaughton-Cassil points out that, “When a clock is set five to ten minutes fast, it can cause students to think class is over, and they will begin to pack up early.”

“This packing-up process can be disruptive, causing students to lose focus,” explained Dr. McNaughton-Cassil.

Dave Riker, associate vice president for facilities, explains that the Facilities department checks all the clocks in the school twice a year, but that if a clock malfunctions in between those times, then it is up to the professors or faculty who work in the room to notify facilities.

He explains the process further, stating that, “When we (The Facilities Department) become aware that a clock is not working, a work order is issued and that work order is assigned to a Facilities tradesman to make the repair.”

Rikers continued, “It generally should not take more than a week to repair the clock once the work order is issued.”

“However,” Rikers added, “we have had some incidents where it takes longer depending on the availability of parts or resources.”

These incidents may be a thing of the past though, as an even more efficient system could be on the way.

Rikers revealed that, “Facilities is expanding its recently established quality-assurance program that provides additional quality inspections of campus facilities, and provides information on malfunctioning systems, including classroom clocks.”

Perhaps soon, all of the clocks on campus will be working.

Some students do not have a problem with the clocks malfunctioning.

The prevalence of phones in classrooms provides students with an instant clock any time they need one.

Some students don’t have a problem with the broken clocks, simply because they do not even use them to check the time.

Senior Mechanical Engineering Major Ryan Harbuck says, “The clocks tend to be behind us in the back of the room, so we really don’t even look at them.”

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