Letter to the editor:
I am not ignorant to the dangers associated with the Mirror Lake jump, including the potential legal liabilities Ohio State could face if something tragic happened. But unlike the administrators who passed the single-entrance wristband policy, I have jumped five times and know that these policies will create more inconveniences and dangers than they will prevent.
First, the policy requires a valid BuckID to obtain a wristband. This excludes recent alumni and friends of OSU students from closely observing the festivities. What university officials do not realize is that these are the people who frequently hold the belongings of jumpers (e.g., keys, towels, etc.) and otherwise make sure their friends get home after jumping.
Second, allocating just three days to obtain a wristband is going to create an administrative and temporal nightmare for students. The Union will distribute wristbands for a total of 39 hours between Sunday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. I would conservatively guess about 25,000 students usually jump or watch the jump. That means there will be an average of about 641 wristbands distributed per hour. In other words, actually obtaining a wristband is going to make going to the DMV seem like a trip to Cedar Point.
Third, the single entrance policy will create very dangerous conditions that are not currently present. What makes the Mirror Lake jump function is its anarchy. Students from all different parts of campus descend from different angles and at different times, meaning that not too many students gather at any single spot at any one time.
But now, everyone will be forced to a single-entrance at the South Oval. This will expose students to the cold conditions for a longer period of time, and as a result, will almost certainly create a lot of tension, impatience, and maybe even a stampede.
Fourth — and most importantly — the university is attempting to fix a now firmly established tradition that is not broken.
OSU separates itself from most other schools because of its respect for tradition. When my grandpa was still in good health, I called him every Wednesday from the Oval so he could hear the chimes of Orton Hall, just as he heard them when he was a student in the 1940s. At every home football game, I watch the band perform the incomparable Script Ohio, just as they did when my mom marched in TBDBITL from 1975-78.
Wherever I go, OSU constantly provides me with the feeling that it was here before me, it will be here after me, and I’m just lucky to be a part of it. The Mirror Lake jump is part of that special feeling. I envisioned my son or daughter eventually attending OSU and calling me in November: “Dad, that was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.” And I would not have been happier for them.
Unfortunately, university officials seem to be incompetently stumbling toward stepping in and eradicating the tradition. In my opinion, they should have been required to jump first.
2010 alumnus with a degree in political science and strategic communication
Third-year law student at the Moritz College of Law