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Mirror Lake jump draws about 11K people amid snow, new regulations

November 27, 2013

etchison.4@osu.edu

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.”


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Comments (8)

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  1. Matt Bible says:

    It's still tainted. The university still got its way. The jump will never be the same. They've taken the thrill away from it. I'm tired of the excuse from authority figures that they do everything for our "safety" and "security." To me, any time I hear that excuse, it translates to me as follows: 'We can't handle the fact that we are not in control and we are going to take the necessary steps to make sure that we are.'

  2. Jackie Poole says:

    All other media outlets are saying around 700? That seems like a big difference.

  3. Newt Zech says:

    When someone says something isn't sanctioned, it usually means they cannot be held liable for injury. Fair enough. But when that same someone organizes the participants and sets up boundaries for safety, it sounds sanctioned to me. I truly hope nobody was injured, but it they were- let the legal games begin! ( Did they make kids sign away their rights when they picked up a wristband?)

  4. woooooooooooooooooooh that's me in the water!

  5. Joe Jackson says:

    This adds new meaning to the old expression " Go jump in the lake!"

  6. That was like asking college sots to not drink. Duh.

  7. Daniel says:

    I think the students need to take the tradition back from the university. Change the day every year so they don’t know when it will happen – change it to a series of days.

    The new regulations are 100% stupid, and have no merit. Police should not be messing with people at the lake. “Safety” is not what this is about – it’s about control. This tradition is supposed to belong to the students, not the University, not the faculty, and not the police.

    People are becoming too complacent with the “government” (in this case the University), sticking their hands into every aspect of peoples lives. We don’t need the University protecting us from ourselves. They already participated in the destruction of the south campus night life, replacing cheap, student-budget-friendly bars and restaurants with a overpriced preppy-fied stores and overpriced restaurants. Traditions like Pappa-Joes and AC/DC-Cult night are long history due to misguided attempts to save students from themselves.

    Student government members who supported the new controlled jump should be fired, or voted out. They don’t serve the students, except as modern champions of the destruction of freedom, in the name of “what’s good for us”. The students need to stand up and tell the university that’s what’s good for them is to be free to do things without the university running, or in this case ruining, everything. We don’t need a rule for everything. We don’t need to be protected from everything. We need these traditions to be owned by the participants. We need to be left alone…

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