Posts Tagged “clock hands”
A new pair of clock hands may be on the face of the Healy clock tower, but questions remain unanswered. Certain figures were thrown around in the past week about the actual cost of the clock hands, and Vox attempted to delve deeper into this issue.
On Tuesday, the University replaced the clock hands with a set in storage, according to Pugh. She also sent an email to Vox today saying that this year, the damage amounted to $9,000.
In 2005, the Healy clock thieves supposedly incurred $25,000 of damage. According to Director of Media Relations Rachel Pugh, both clock bodies were damaged when the students removed the hands from both sides, and that “additional expenses included replacing the hands and the security system.”
Healy clock thief from 2005, Drew Hamblen (SFS ’07) , alleges that this number, along with the $9,000 number, are misleading. During the time of his meeting with Code of Conduct office, the two students were not suspended. Their actions resulted in less than $500 worth of damage, which was not enough grounds for suspension and classified as a Category B violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Their sentence involved disciplinary probation, work sanction hours, and a reflection paper.
Pugh cites the damage costs to “the clock and the surrounding area,” but in 2005 this wasn’t enough to prosecute the thieves as responsible for all the damage.
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Update (5:00 p.m.) : The hands were re-installed on both faces of the clock this morning, Pugh said in an email to Vox. One of the hand sets was previously in storage, and Pugh added that “the missing hands have not been recovered.”
Update (3:00 p.m.): According to Director of Media Relations Rachel Pugh, the hands were replaced by the University.
Some time late last night or early this morning, Healy clock tower’s hands were returned to their original place, safe and intact.
It is unclear whether the University replaced them or the thieves.
The clock hands were missing for eight days. The thieves sent an email to the Georgetown community last Wednesday, May 2, claiming the hands were en route to Vatican City.
Vox had the opportunity to speak with one of the former Healy clock thieves from 2005 who preferred to remain anonymous. He alleged that the clock hands are very easy to take down and do not weigh more than five pounds.
He also stressed that the administration should be more accepting of this tradition. “We like to talk about it on student tours, maybe we could actually harness [the tradition]. We could open one of the doors of Healy and have somebody symbolically steal the hands, [the University] could embrace it … but instead they are acting like its unsafe. But the truth is it’s not unsafe at all,” he said. ”To me it’s one of the least dangerous things I’ve done in my life, it’s more dangerous to drive to work each day.”
The damage done in 2005 was under $500 and the two thieves were not expelled for their actions.
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Finals week has taken a toll on Vox lately, but Comments of the Week will be running regularly. This past week, we saw the disappearance of the Healy clock hands and the selection of commencement speakers.
Last Monday, Georgetown woke up to a handless Healy clock face, continuing a longstanding prank. Fortunately, according to Benjamin Gates, the heist was only part of a greater storyline:
No current students were involved in the clock hand theft, only a well-meaning alumnus on the hunt for history’s greatest lost treasures. But what do the clock hands have to do with history’s greatest lost treasures?
It all started when a rival treasurehunter accused my great uncle Theodore Gates of that my great uncle Theodore Gates sunk the battleship Maine and started the Spanish-American War. I had to defend my family and find the truth, which somehow led me on a chase for the lost platinum hoard of the Committee of 300. One clue led to another until I discovered that the latitude and longitude coordinates were sealed into the Healy tower clock hands after they survived the British burning of Washington in the War of 1812 and were eventually given to Georgetown as a gift for harboring America’s founding documents during that troubling time. The clock hands form a sort of puzzle that only a master historian/treasure hunter/puzzle enthusiast/Georgetown alumnus/somehow both dashing and approachable man such as myself could figure out.
Maybe Mr. Gates will use Native American gold / Masonic treasure to pay for the repairs. Read the rest of this entry »
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Yesterday, the Healy Clock thieves posted on CollegeCraig, a website for students to buy, sell, and trade items, offering to return the clock hands in exchange for the tall order of Jack Jr. and a negotiable two cents USD. The ransom, posted at 2:50pm on Thursday afternoon, is written as a poem.
“We have your key to make Hoya history/ And since we’re not much for the publicity/ we’ll give it back in double, but don’t want any more trouble. The semester is getting late so stand down/ bring us the dog and wait wait wait,” the poem reads. But he’s just a child!
Jack Jr., also known as J.J., came into the world of Georgetown in late March, and is a mere five months old. He currently resides in New South with Jack the Bulldog and caretaker Rev. Christopher Steck, S.J., and reportedly has a “mellow personality.” Jack Jr. is the mascot-to-be of Georgetown.
Whether or not the university will cave in to these demands is to be seen. For now, the clock hands remain under the stewardship of Reaper, Goliath, and Juliet.
Photo: Julian De La Paz
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At 2:36 a.m. today, the Voice received an email addressed to “the faculty, staff, and students of Georgetown University” from three people claiming to be the thieves of the Healy Clock hands. The senders, who went by the names “Reaper, Goliath, and Juliet” and sent the message through a hushmail email address, told of how they “gained access to the restricted area above Healy Hall” despite “a series of countermeasures and obstacles.” The email also included a screenshot (again, covering their tracks) of the hands, pictured left, as proof of the senders’s validity.
And for those of us concerned with tradition, the thieves assure us that the hands are currently on their way to the Vatican. Hoya Saxa, Pope Benedict.
The full text of the email is below:
To the faculty, staff, and students of Georgetown University:
Early in the afternoon of Sunday, April 29th 2012, Reaper, Goliath, and Juliet gained access to the restricted area above Healy Hall. After overcoming a series of countermeasures and obstacles, they entered the clock tower. In the early morning hours of April 30th the crew extinguished the lights and carefully removed the hands from the eastern clock face. After the fifteen hour operation, all three safely exited the building and removed the hands to a secure location. All may rest assured that the clock itself was not damaged in any way during the operation, and the hands are now safely en route to Vatican City to receive the blessing of Pope Benedict XVI.
Reaper, Goliath, and Juliet
P.S. The view from the top is truly phenomenal.
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