From presidential visits to 100,000 screaming fans cheering the football team to victory, the Ohio State campus was a witness to history this year. Here’s a look back on some of the most newsworthy moments throughout this academic year.
Park-Stradley Water Main Break
On Sept. 16 a water main break flooded the basement of Park-Stradley Hall, leaving about 2,000 students displaced. Students were evacuated from the Ohio Union, Park-Stradley and Baker halls East and West as a result of the break. While many students were directed to stay at the RPAC, some stayed with friends until they could return to their dorms.
Students were able to return to Park-Stradley three days later, but did not initially have hot water, drinking water, heating or air conditioning.
The university has paid about $3 million to repair the issue, including the cost of the clean-up, debris removal and the repair of the water line and other equipment.
Election season in Ohio
President Barack Obama made a habit of visiting OSU during election season. In less than a year’s time, Obama came to OSU three times. He stopped by OSU Oct. 9, the last day to register to vote in Ohio, to give a speech on the Oval. In his 20-minute speech, he focused on the importance of education and how he planned to reform the education system.
He was introduced by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, who performed for the crowd of about 15,000 before Obama’s speech.
Obama’s kicked off his re-election campaign at the Schottenstein Center on May 5.
Because Ohio was a battleground state, Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney visited the state on numerous occasions. While Romney never formally made a visit to OSU, he spoke at other areas of central Ohio, including Westerville and Powell.
There was a lot of anticipation surrounding Urban Meyer’s debut season as OSU football coach, and he did not disappoint.
Despite a BCS postseason ban after NCAA sanctions stemming from the “Tattoo-Gate” scandal, which landed former head coach Jim Tressel and several of his players in hot water two years ago, Meyer and the Buckeyes made their way to a 12-0 record. They finished off the season with a defeat of Michigan, 26-21, in Ohio Stadium.
This marked the sixth undefeated season in the program’s history.
Accidents around OSU became salient after a few transpired during the early part of Fall Semester, leaving some with questions about safety on campus.
The first of the string of accidents began Aug. 19, three days before classes started for Fall Semester, when first-year student Rachel Stump was struck by a drunk driver near the South Campus Gateway and subsequently fell into a coma. She is recovering in her hometown of Troy, Ohio, and plans to come back to OSU in the fall.
On Sept. 5, James Daniel Hughes, a first-year in chemical engineering, was riding his bicycle on Woodruff Avenue when he was hit by a dump truck that was backing up near a construction site. As a result of the accident, Hughes had one-third of his body amputated, including his right leg and hip.
Just a day after Hughes’ accident, OSU student Yifan Gu was struck by a bicyclist near Chumley’s on High Street. She is still recovering at the Wexner Medical Center.
There were other campus-area accidents, but they have only resulted in minor injuries.
This string of traffic-related accidents prompted OSU President Gordon E. Gee to call for the creation of a Traffic Safety Task Force, an initiative that aims to create a safer campus in regard to all modes of transportation.
Unopposed USG Election
Undergraduate Student Government President Taylor Stepp, a third-year in public affairs, won the USG election for the second consecutive year, but this time he was unopposed.
This marks the first time a candidate has run for USG president unopposed in almost 50 years, and the incumbent Stepp, who received 70.6 percent of the vote, is the first two-term president in nearly 10 years.
Starting their own campaign against Stepp and his runningmate Josh Ahart were Jacob Coate, a second-year in political science, and his running mate James Prather, a second-year in finance. The two ran as write-in candidates and captured 412 votes.
Graduation Ticket Controversy
When it was announced that Obama was going to give the Spring Commencement speech, many upcoming graduates were upset because they were only going to receive four tickets for any guests they wanted to bring.
This initially sparked an outrage because many students were worried about not being able to bring all of their family and friends to the ceremony, and having to choose who to bring.
Since then, the ticket allotment had been increased to six, and then up to seven tickets for their friends and families, which has alleviated stress for some graduating students.
Elite Eight Basketball
After a slew of ups and downs, the OSU men’s basketball team finished off the 2012-2013 regular season on a strong note – having beaten Michigan State twice, routing Indiana at Bloomington and knocking off Wisconsin to win the Big Ten title – and entered the NCAA tournament with momentum as a No. 2 seed.
With the No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 seeds in the West Region out of contention and No. 9 Wichita State, the last remaining “Cinderella” of the tournament as their Elite Eight opponent, the Buckeyes’ road to a second consecutive Final Four berth seemed like an easy one. However, the Wichita State Shockers were able to prove that notion wrong.
After back-to-back Buckeye games in which 3-pointers in the final seconds lifted the Buckeyes to victory, Wichita State came out swinging and beat OSU, 70-66. Wichita State advanced to the Final Four, where they lost to overall No. 1 Louisville, 72-68.