Bells are fine, just maybe turn em down?

Bells are fine, just maybe turn em down?


Students have a tendency to become fixated on whatever is most important in their lives. Presentations, papers, work, upcoming finals and applying for graduate schools are on everyone’s mind right now, but surprisingly something else has managed to weasel its way into the collective conscious of the student body.

Even if for only a few minutes every hour.

Students, teachers and faculty members all seem to have their own opinions on the return of the Woodruff bells.

“It seems like everyone in Woodruff hates them,” one student claims. “If I make it before the last bell rings, I’m technically not late!” one teacher justifies as she hurriedly enters the room. Perhaps the most telling of all, students have timed the 4:30 tolling of the bells at seven minutes long.

The school has immense pride in these bells, particularly at midday when they chime the school’s alma mater. They seem to harken back to a time when life was simpler and not everyone had immediate access to the time on their cellphones. Maybe the fact they are now seen as an annoyance to some indicates how much time has changed, literally and figuratively.

The bells are part of our school’s heritage as one of the oldest institutions in the country, and their ever-so-slightly-but-distinctly-out-of-tune chimes point to the fact that time has changed things, but that we have met the challenge of keeping up with those changes.

This idea of pride in our long-standing academic traditions would be undeniably valid, were it not for one fact students point to: the bells are not actually bells, but a large speaker. This in mind, it seems very strange that the bells are intentionally tuned slightly off. Are we trying to mimic times past with the new tools technology has given us? Is the return of the chimes not a monument to the advancement of the college, but a wish for the return of the old days?

No matter how much depth or shallowness you view the bells with, one thing is for certain — they are incredibly loud. Teachers have adapted by either talking louder over them or simply waiting until they finish to continue the lesson. Is it a good thing that the chimes have become a bother?

We at the Spartan appreciate very much what the college is trying to do here in keeping alive a tradition that is dying out. The chimes should remind us all that we didn’t always have immediate access to everything, a fact we have absolutely taken for granted. The sense of nostalgia is irrefutable, but it unfortunately seems to have aggravated some. Perhaps students and teachers alike should take this as a lesson to stop every once in a while and focus on something outside themselves. Maybea simple decrease in volume would be all it would take for this shift to occur.

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