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Domers prepare to ‘spring forward’

Kaitlynn Riely | Friday, March 31, 2006

For years, residents of St. Joseph County have watched their clocks steadily click while the rest of the country sprang forward or fell back. But come Sunday, they will lose an hour with the rest of the nation when Indiana starts to follow daylight-saving time.

Senior Jocelyn Burum does not expect the time change to have a significant effect on her life.

“I’m fine with it really,” Burum said. “It’s kind of unique that we weren’t following any time changes when it was daylight-saving time.”

Most counties in the state of Indiana have not followed daylight-saving time since the 1970s, according to the Associated Press. Last April, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels encouraged the state legislature to pass a bill to force all counties to follow daylight-saving time. The issue stirred widespread debate during the past year as counties decided whether to follow Central or Eastern Standard Time.

St. Joseph County petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation to follow Central Time, but that request was denied by the Department of Transportation, so the county will continue to follow Eastern Standard Time.

University spokesman Dennis Brown said Notre Dame did not take a position on whether or not the county should institute daylight-saving time or which time zone it should choose.

“We are fine with following the policies that have been laid out by the governmental agencies,” Brown said.

The Office of Information Technologies (OIT) has been working for the past two months to make the transition a smooth one, said director of distributed support services Peggy Rowland.

“This is actually going to impact us more than Y2K,” Rowland said. “We did a lot of pre-emptive work before Y2K … but the impact that we suffered was minimal. This change is going to require everyone to change their desktop and their calendaring system.”

To prepare for the change, OIT has reconfigured and restarted approximately 300 servers with the correct time. Rowland predicts the biggest complication will come with the Corporate Time calendaring system. The approximately 2,700 faculty and staff who have Corporate Time accounts will need to manually change the times on their calendars.

“There was just nothing we could do to prepare the campus for this, because none of the software developers predicted that there would be the changes to daylight-saving time,” Rowland said.

On Monday, OIT sent an e-mail to all Notre Dame computer users reminding them to adjust their clocks.

Information about changing time and updating calendaring systems can also be found on its Web site. The OIT help desk will be open Sunday from 12-5 p.m. to help computer users with problems they may encounter.

Rowland said computer users should change the time on their computers from Indiana time to Eastern time. They should also program the computer to automatically adjust for daylight-saving time. Users of Corporate Time should print out their calendars from now until October to prevent confusion, she said.

Rowland said the next week will be “painful,” but said it is only an immediate problem – in the fall, when the time changes again, everything will roll over smoothly.

“There’s no easy way around this one,” Rowland said. “We’ve tried everything we can do to automate this so it wouldn’t affect anyone.”