05/01/2012 12:33 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Georgetown Healy Hall Clock Prank Called Unsafe By University

WASHINGTON -- The clock hands from high atop Georgetown University's Healy Hall spire disappeared sometime on Monday, an unauthorized act the university said raises safety concerns and involves "serious violations."

As Vox Populi noted Monday morning, the primary suspects are "mischievous seniors on the prowl in the night" in a suspected prank, a tradition last time carried out in 2005.

A second set of clock hands on the spire's western face disappeared later on Monday, the Hoya reported.

The removal of the clock hands is a tradition from the 1960s. According to the Hoya, the hands "were stolen so frequently during that decade that the university stopped replacing them in between thefts."

As The Washington Post points out, the university spent $25,000 fixing the clock following the 2005 prank.

Although the clock hands are currently missing, the spire's bells are still ringing as normal.

Healy Hall, which sits near Georgetown University's main gate at 37th and O streets NW, was built in the late 1870s and is named for Rev. Patrick Healy, who served as president of the university and was the first black American to hold a doctorate and serve as a president of any major U.S. university. The building is a National Historic Landmark.

WUSA-TV/9 News was on the scene on Monday, finding enthusiastic support for the prank among students interviewed.