Ben Keith / Lantern reporter
The Mirror Lake jump left its mark – again.
About 16 people were treated at the Wexner Medical Center emergency department and 12 people were arrested in connection with the Mirror Lake jump on Nov. 20, said Ohio State Deputy Chief of Police Richard Morman.
“Far too many students use the occasion to drink alcohol to excess, increasing the danger to themselves and everyone around them exponentially,” said Javaune Adams-Gaston, vice president for Student Life, in a Nov. 19 email to students.
The arrests were “mostly all alcohol-related offenses,” Morman said in an email to The Lantern.
In the aftermath of the jump, the surrounding area was littered with used duct tape, flip-flops and articles of clothing. Most of this evidence was cleaned up before the next morning, at an unknown cost to the university, said Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs.
But for students, the Mirror Lake jump was about fun and friendship.
“We came from a party and there was a lot of drama, people who were way over their limit,” said Austen Madden, a second-year in computer science and engineering. “Then you came (to Mirror Lake) and everyone’s having fun and enjoying themselves. Instead of fights, instead of arguments, people are just there to be there. It’s a lot more fun being here just because of that.”
Madden said Adams-Gaston’s email mischaracterized the jump.
“I understand this from a safety perspective, but for the most part this wasn’t that crazy, any crazier than a concert would be,” Madden said. “OSU sponsored a concert during the pep rally week, and honestly I saw people being a lot more caring, a lot more safe (at Mirror Lake).”
Madden said students were aware that “the edges (of Mirror Lake) were a little slippery,” and as a result, students watched out for each other.
“People were concerned,” Madden said. “There was a lot of empathy.”
Kelsey Spahr, a fourth-year in human development and family science, jumped for the first time this year and noticed the same thing.
“We’re a body, and we love each other,” Spahr said. “I can’t believe I didn’t jump my first three years.
“When we’re 50 years old, we’ll be able to look back at this and tell our kids about it.”
Morman estimated about 12,000 students were at the Lake at midnight, when the crowd was at its largest.
During the jump, Student Life staff volunteers patrolled Mirror Lake and the surrounding areas. Isaacs said more than 55 staff members were equipped with two-way radios and glow sticks.
Students began jumping in Mirror Lake before 9 p.m. Nov. 20. The jump continued until about 1 a.m., when officers of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus Division of Police and the University Police mounted unit ushered students away from the lake. The Columbus Division of Fire and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were also present at Mirror Lake.
Isaacs did not have a cost estimate for the police presence, and Morman did not return a request for a cost estimate. Lost items found during the clean-up after the jump were taken to the university Lost and Found Office in 035 Central Service Building, where they will be kept for 90 days.