Home » Opinion » Letter to the editor: Mirror Lake night safety measures will make jump less safe

Letter to the editor: Mirror Lake night safety measures will make jump less safe

Ohio State fans jump into Mirror Lake. Credit: Lantern file photo

Ohio State fans jump into Mirror Lake. Credit: Lantern file photo

Letter to the editor:

Yesterday, I wrote The Lantern to explain why the new “safety measures” promulgated by the Office of Student Life will actually make the Mirror Lake jump more dangerous than it has previously been. I’ve calmed down, given the policies more thought, and I now realize that my criticism did not go far enough.

There are tens of thousands of adjectives in the English language, yet not one of them adequately describes the degree of ignorance our administrators possess with regard to the Mirror Lake jump. One only needs to take a closer look at  Javaune Adams-Gaston’s recent statements to bring this observation to light.

In her weekly Student Life letter, she wrote, “If you do choose to jump … I suggest you do not drink.” She might as well stand on her roof tonight before bed, shake her fist toward the sky and yell, “sun, you better not rise tomorrow!”

She told The Lantern that “we have student leaders and we consult with them and they give us their input and we appreciate it.” But there is a difference between “appreciating” feedback and “listening.” The Undergraduate Student Government released a statement saying the new policies are “misguided.” I also cannot find one positive statement about the regulations on Twitter or Facebook, either. Again, who exactly was she listening to?

Most notably, she said, “the wellbeing of Ohio State students is our top priority and we will take efforts to … (maintain) appropriate levels of safety and security.” If this was her – and other administrators’ – true motivation, the university would have taken reasonable and sensible safety measures Tuesday night.

Thoroughly salt the sidewalks and concrete surrounding the lake. Clean the lake before students jump. Increase lighting. Provide trained lifeguards. Place more first-respondent units at Neil Avenue, and keep those paths clear so they can have immediate access. Hell, maybe heat the lake for a night.

Is OSU implementing these solutions already? I don’t know. But as I noted yesterday, the new policies will actually increase the dangers associated with the jump.

And because I wrote about that yesterday, let me get to the real issue. These policies are not at all designed to increase safety. They are designed to discourage students from jumping and make the entire experience an inconvenience.

Think about it. Wristbands will not increase safety for jumpers unless they can inflate and prevent students from drowning. Instead, the obvious purpose of requiring a wristband is to waste a lot of people’s time and deter students from going.

Furthermore, having Student Life officers (instead of police) restrict access at the single entrance point will likely be as effective as sending a pack of Corgis to protect the Mexican border. As everybody knows, it will just cause a long line and expose students to the freezing cold for a longer period of time than usual. Again, a huge inconvenience that will deter some students from jumping.

I could go on, but it’s unnecessary. OSU constantly boasts how we are (statistically speaking) the smartest student body in the history of this great university. Most students reading this are fully capable of seeing behind the veil of all the “student safety” rhetoric and realize what the university is trying to do with these new policies.

OSU and Adams-Gaston would therefore be wise to actually listen to us. I might be graduating, but I hope this administration does not make this mistake again next year.


Adam Buente
2010 alumnus with a degree in political science and strategic communication
Third-year law student at the Moritz College of Law



  1. Take a chill pill!

  2. You are a 3rd year law student yet you sound like a high school kid ranting that mommy took ur phone away. Time to grow up kid

  3. If you think that the administrators are ignorant, maybe it's time to take a look in the mirror. It is, and never has been, a university sanctioned event, so of COURSE they're going to discourage students from participating. I understand it's a tradition, I have participated in it myself, but the outrage over this is absolutely ridiculous. There are far more important things going on in the world. It's sad that the one news piece that gets students up in arms and ready to do something is all about defending their ability to get piss-drunk and freeze their asses off on University property. Get a grip. Take a look at what's going on in the world around you, and maybe find a more worthwhile cause to fight for.

  4. LOL at Cassie^^

  5. I agree with you. Do the administrators understand that we are all students at a top-notch university, and we are fully capable of looking out for ourselves and being responsible?

  6. The problem isn't so much that the university has finally decided to tighten down every year until the event no longer exists. We could all have guessed that would happen at some point. The root of the problem is that instead of saying, "hey guys, this is really a foolish and dangerous tradition, so we're going to wean you off it for the next few years and replace it with something better for everyone, and we're going to do our best to take your input and implement something special that every Joe or Jane Buckeye can appreciate," they have sneakily implemented the whole thing. In other words, the administration has insulted the intelligence of most all students by halfheartedly disguising their efforts as merely increasing safety, while attempting to avoid mentioning their real intention. Through this, students that wanted to participate in the event will perceive they are being treated like children. Most people would generally rather have you tell them the truth and be up front than. Had Dr. J sent out an email a month ago and asked all students for help coming up with a school celebration to replace mirror lake jump that everyone could enjoy, there would be no outrage. That is why there is so much outrage: treat people like adults and they will respond like adults, treat them like children, and, well, you've seen the result 🙂

  7. This article is pretentious and whiny as all get out. And that paragraph listing things that OSU can do as safety precautions, doesn't that shit cost money? Does OSU even WANT people jumping in the lake in the first place? Like, I highly doubt that they would provide funds to heat the lake and salt the concrete and provide lifeguards for something they probably don't fully endorse in the first place, right? I'm not sure exactly how OSU feels about the Mirror Lake tradition but that paragraph just seemed very out of the question to me. And I think it's rude for you or any of the students to expect things like that, like you're entitled to OSU doing those things so you can be drunk and disorderly "safely" lol. Long story short, if the establishment of OSU didn't start the tradition or it is not a sanctioned event through OSU, then I feel like none of that should be their problem. But it almost sucks that they probably have to and DO have officers and safety things of the sort simply for the liability reasons because it happens on their property. It might be tradition but when something tragic happens then I think those against OSU doing the new guidelines (although a wristband is hilarious) might think twice. And if they don't then it's "lucky them, not me. Now let's get drunk and DO IT AGAIN" and they should be ashamed. I think people can have fun without being idiots and OSU is just trying to help that along so the tradition can continue. Because if something tragic does happen, it would probably stop the whole thing altogether. If college students were jumping in my friggin lake on my property every year, I would be worried that someone would get hurt as well and probably do something similar, but those participating don't have to worry if someone gets hurt because it isn't THEIR liability and they can go home at night. I'm not against drinking or the Mirror Lake tradition, I'm against the pretentious ones who think OSU owes them something or that OSU shouldn't be able to at least attempt (and this is their first try so obviously it's probably going to sound crazy or dumb) to keep it safe before something tragic happens. I mean at least they're being nice about it, they could fill in the stupid lake and ruin the whole thing if they really wanted to. Be grateful that they're still letting it continue at all.

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