The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday March 31st

Matthews Works To Install Clocks

Student Body President Brad Matthews says his pledge to install clocks in all classrooms has hit snags

The project -- an issue included in Student Body President Brad Matthews' platform -- has stalled due to a combination of political ensnarements and logistical problems.

"It's in the works," Matthews said. "As usual with anything in a bureaucracy, it always takes longer than you think."

The project is now in the hands of Charles Gallagher, the maintenance supervisor for facilities and building services. Gallagher said his responsibility is to sample different brands to select the type of clock best suited for the University. The clocks will be linked by radio signal and run on the same time.

"We've been doing some studies on some atomic radio clocks (that are automatically set to the atomic time)," Gallagher said.

In addition to the type and design of the clocks, there are other issues when deciding on a model, which include reception problems for radio-linked clocks. Gallagher also said they were looking at clocks powered by DC Lithium long-life batteries as opposed to the current clocks that run on AC power.

There is no date set as to when the clocks will arrive, but administrators are optimistic that they will come before the end of the spring 2001 semester.

"Right this minute we don't have a definite time-frame," Gallagher said. "Our goal is to have something in place by early spring."

Gallagher stressed the current unfamiliarity with the new technology.

"It's a whole new technology for us," he said. "It will be a lot better and inexpensive than the old Simplex system which covers a lot of North Campus."

Students who remember Matthews' student body president campaign are happy to hear about the progress.

"I was actually standing in my classroom today looking around, and I don't see any clocks," said Jim Doggett, a sophomore from Greensboro. "It makes me remember a Young Democrats forum this year when a candidate talked about people not keeping their promises.

"It feels good to know that this campaign promise will actually be lived up to."

Laura Shehan, a freshman from Burke, Va., said the clocks would have many practical applications.

"If you're taking a test and you don't have a watch on, it would be good to have a clock," she said.

"Also, my history professor keeps talking (after class ends), so a clock set to a campuswide time would help him let us go on time."

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