Snow, fences and wristband requirements did little to deter thousands of Ohio State fans from taking the annual jump into Mirror Lake Tuesday night.
Approximately 10,000 to 12,000 people participated in the Tuesday Mirror Lake jump, said OSU Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs.
Jumping in Mirror Lake the week before the OSU football game against Michigan is a university tradition, but it is not officially university-sanctioned.
This year’s jump, however, brought new enforcements from the university. OSU officials announced Sunday several restrictions for Wednesday’s jump. Students interested in attending the event, whether jumping or just watching, were required to wear red wristbands for admittance to the area. Additional fencing was placed around the lake, with certain gates designated as entrances and exits.
After hearing about the new restrictions, some students took to social media to voice their disapproval.
A student-organized jump into the lake Monday night was planned after the new restrictions were announced and drew about 1,500 people. Though police did not stop people from entering the area around 11:45 p.m., some people also knocked down the fences surrounding Mirror Lake.
Those fences were back in place by Tuesday evening.
It was 32 degrees as of midnight Tuesday, with snow on the ground as OSU fans jumped into the lake.
Four OSU students were arrested for disorderly conduct at the jump, OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said in an email. In 2012, 19 arrests were made at the event.
Lewis also said there were “minor injuries and nine medical transports.” He added there were 12 medical runs in 2012.
Some students at the official Tuesday jump had mixed feelings towards the university’s new regulatory measures.
“(The regulations) are for our protection,” said Scott Vanko, a fourth-year in political science who has participated in the Mirror Lake jump four times. “The tradition is still here and that’s the whole reason why I’m here.”
Nick Pietryga, a third-year in political science, said he wasn’t happy about the restrictions.
“The regulations are unwarranted,” he said.
Pietryga participated in the jump as a first-year student, but attended both the Monday and Tuesday jumps solely to watch others take the plunge.
Pietryga said while the “energy (of both jumps) was about the same,” he felt Monday night’s jump was “a little better.”
Isaacs said in an email approximately 13,500 wristbands had been distributed as of 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Once students sporting wristbands entered the Mirror Lake area, they were free to jump into the more shallow end of the lake. A line of floating buoys strung across the lake prohibited jumpers from swimming too far towards the deeper end.
Despite the increased regulation, some students said they hope to continue the Mirror Lake jump tradition.
Zack Pezzner, a second-year in accounting and finance, participated in his first jump into Mirror Lake Tuesday night.
“It was better than I thought it would be,” Pezzner said.
Eun Bae, a first-year in biomedical engineering, also jumped for the first time Tuesday and said it was worth it.
“It was exhilarating. I didn’t know what to expect,” Bae said. “(The water) felt cold, but the love from everyone kept us warm.”