Clock Tower Bell Set to Chime On the 47th Minute

Yesterday at 5:47 p.m., the bell in the Bixby Plaza clock tower at Pomona College rang for the first time since 2000.

This marked the first official ringing of the bell since it was silenced after student complaints. Associate Dean of Students Neil Gerard said that the ASPC Senate is trying to avoid similar complaints by ringing the bell only during the workweek and avoiding late-night or early-morning rings. In a nod to the special place the number 47 holds in Pomona’s culture, the bell will continue to ring every weekday at the 47th minute of each hour from 9:47 a.m. to 5:47 p.m.

Vice President for Campus Life and Activities Frank Langan PO ’11 said that the motion to begin ringing the bell was introduced two weeks ago after Bob Robinson, Assistant Vice President and Director for Facilities and Campus Services, mentioned that the bell still functions. This comment was met with enthusiasm by some members of the ASPC Senate, and last week, Commissioner of Communications Alex Rudy PO ’11 formally introduced the motion to begin ringing the bell again.

This new tradition has generally been met with either support or indifference from the student body. Stefan Castellanos PO ’11, who lives on the east side of Clark V, very close to the bell, said that he didn’t care much whether the bell rang.

Regina Bauernshmidt PO ’11, anothr Clark V resident, was more enthusiastic about the new tradition.

“I love traditions,” she said, “and I think the bell-ringing will be really cool.”

Langan said that some students, mostly from the east end of Clark V, are skeptical about the new tradition and concerned about the amount of noise the bell will make. Alison Frost PO ’11 said that although she “loves traditions” and is “glad that we are starting one … I think that all those hours every school day is overkill.”

Bauernshmidt, on the other hand, said that there should be no problem with the bell ringing at 9:47 a.m.

“It’s not even nine o’clock,” she said. “It’s 9:47—the only reason people are against ringing it is because they’re drunk and lazy and don’t want to get out of bed.”

The ASPC Senate is aware of student concerns, and Langan said that it will be experimenting with different rings and volumes.

Music, snacks and piatas were provided at the inaugural bell-ringing, and the first 47 guests received a free clock necklace. The bell-ringing was followed by an after party in Eversole Courtyard.

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