Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
About a dozen arrests were made on Ohio State’s campus Tuesday evening while thousands of students flocked to Mirror Lake.
“It’s really just a bunch of drunk kids saying how much they hate Michigan, getting cold, and jumping in a lake,” said Tyler Damian, a second-year in pharmaceutical sciences. “I feel obligated to participate. It’s a good time, and it’s a nice thing for the rivalry.”
The Beat Michigan Week tradition is important for many OSU students.
“It’s my last year in school and I’ve done it every year,” said Rick Taylor, a graduate student in business, who took his last plunge Tuesday.
Ohio State Police Deputy Chief Richard Morman estimated the crowd at Mirror Lake to have been about 10,000 to 12,000.
“There have never been that many people in the water at one time,” said Deputy Chief of Police Richard Morman, attributing this number to the warmer than usual weather.
At about 11 p.m. Tuesday night the temperature was 47 degrees.
This large crowd was not what OSU officials desired. Officials attempted to deter students from the jump.
“Clearly, Ohio State has many wonderful traditions. The Mirror Lake jump is not one of them. And I strongly encourage you not to participate,” said Javaune Adams-Gaston, Vice President for Student Life in a Monday email. “The combination of cold weather, alcohol, wet clothing, and the slippery lake bottom can lead to lots of bad things: hypothermia, frostbite, upper respiratory infections, sprains, and broken bones among others.”
Damian didn’t think the email was successful in convincing students not to jump, but he did think that it made people more careful and might have prevented some injuries.
Morman said about 12 arrests were made between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the majority being for disorderly conduct. He considered this number average in comparison to years past.
According to the University Police log at least seven students were arrested at Mirror Lake, the Faculty Club, and Park-Stradley Hall On Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
In 2010, an estimated 30,000 people came out for the event, which led to six arrests and several people being treated at Wexner Medical Center for a range of ailments, including hypothermia and sprained ankles.
Three students were arrested in 2011 for disorderly conduct, and another for assault on an officer and resisting arrest, according to Lantern archives.
“It’s a large gathering of people,” Morman said. “Anytime there’s a large gathering, you’re going to have some issues.”