Home » Opinion » Commentary: Ohio State is ruining Mirror Lake jump tradition

Commentary: Ohio State is ruining Mirror Lake jump tradition

Ohio State fans jump in Mirror Lake as part of a Beat Michigan Week tradition in 2012. For this year’s jump, participants will be required to obtain a wristband in advance and file through a single entry point in order to reach the lake.

Ohio State fans jump in Mirror Lake as part of a Beat Michigan Week tradition in 2012. For this year’s jump, participants will be required to obtain a wristband in advance and file through a single entry point in order to reach the lake. Credit: Daniel Chi / For The Lantern

Ohio State sends a notice to its students every year that basically says: “Don’t jump in Mirror Lake, but we know this won’t stop you.”

The school refuses to make the annual jump during Beat Michigan week a sanctioned event for obvious reasons, but it also refuses to keep its hands off what has become a beloved tradition.

Of course OSU will always have a police and medical presence at the jump, and absolutely should, but the regulations have now been taken to a new level.

The university issued a statement Sunday saying students will be required to have a Beat Michigan wristband in order to participate in, or even watch, the jump Tuesday.

I am all for the safety of my peers, but the school simply needs to relax about an event that really is not any less safe than typical festivities.

Undergraduate Student Government president Taylor Stepp does not support the regulations either. He tweeted Sunday “#LeaveMirrorLakeAlone” and, less than an hour later, “I have and will continue to be opposed to the Mirror Lake regulations. This is our school, don’t sanction then restrict the event” from his account @taylorstepp.

When you have the head of the student body publicly opposing sanctions, perhaps the school should realize its mistake.

I am not saying the event is the safest thing to do, but neither is binge drinking at your favorite bar every weekend. At the end of the day, just as college students are likely to drink for enjoyment, they are likely to do things that could probably be classified as “stupid.”

Of the countless activities individuals could be taking part in, jumping in Mirror Lake is honestly among the safer options.

I am also not forgetting that a man died after falling into Mirror Lake earlier this fall, as reported by The Lantern. The university should not, however, use that as a reason to regulate the Michigan week jump since the incident was completely unrelated.

As far as fatal situations are concerned, I have seen no record of one connected with the jump. Last year, The Lantern reported about 16 individuals received treatment at the Wexner Medical Center emergency department after the jump and an additional 12 were arrested. While these numbers are true, considering the number of participants, they are really no big deal.

In an email to students before last year’s jump, vice president for Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston said: “Far too many students use the occasion to drink alcohol to excess, increasing the danger to themselves and everyone around them exponentially.”

Yes, students drink before and after the jump, but that also happens on your average Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. There are also many students who participate completely sober.

The school seems to argue that students only drink because of the jump, when in reality, on a night before a day without class, many would still be doing the same thing.

I am not saying I support excessive alcohol consumption. I recognize the dangers.

I will not be participating in the jump this year, but I have in the past. At the end of the day, it has became an OSU tradition, and a fun one to boot.

It is time for the university to recognize the jump is really not that unsafe, and to let students enjoy it to the best of their ability.

One comment

  1. Our society doesn’t work like that. Our society tends to side on precaution. There are dangers when you mix pond, alcohol, and large crowds. Has something happened yet? Not really, but they are taking the right precautions to eliminate more risk of a tragedy. After all, when someone slips, trips, cuts a finger…the first thing they do it sue. We are a sue happy society. It’s not your fault you tripped over your own untied shoelace…it’s the business for having a side walk to walk on. I fully believe it needs to be monitored especially with the presence of alcohol and water deep enough to drown in.

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