12-0 season, accidents, Obama visits make Fall Semester memorable
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 00:12
Ohio State’s Fall Semester is almost in the books and while the transition went as smoothly as many students could have hoped for, there were of course a few notable moments. The Urban Meyer-led undefeated football season, the Park-Stradley water main break, a string of safety accidents and the creation of the university Safety Task Force, a joint jurisdiction agreement between OSU Police and the Columbus Division of Police, and two visits from President Barack Obama all stuck out as memorable.
Buckeyes Go Undefeated
Despite facing a BCS postseason ban in 2012, the Buckeyes exceeded expectations and clinched the sixth undefeated and untied season in program history.
The undefeated season, climaxing with a win in Ohio Stadium against Michigan on Nov. 24, was a fitting outcome for the first-year coach after excitement surrounding the hire.
Meyer stressed the importance of this team’s seniors throughout the entirety of the season. “It’s almost like you’re losing some of your children when they go away to college,” said Meyer after the team’s season-ending win. “Our house is going to be empty.”
Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller totaled 28 touchdowns, but did not receive an invitation to the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He will soon turn his attention to next season where Miller and the Buckeyes will likely be ranked highly in the preseason.
Park-Stradley Hall water main break evacuates students
About 2,000 students were evacuated from Park-Stradley Hall, Baker Hall East and West and the Ohio Union following a water main break on Sept. 16. Students found their own places to sleep or spent the night in the RPAC.
“It’s a major water leak, and it started filling up the basement. And it’s also filling up all the tunnels, so it’s a pretty major leak under there,” said Jim Cannell, deputy chief of Columbus Fire on the day of the incident.
Residents of Baker halls were able to return to their dorm the next morning, students living in Park-Stradley were not permitted to return to their rooms until three days after the incident for longer than the time to grab a few items.
Park-Stradley residents returned to their building without access to hot water, drinking water, heating or air conditioning in their rooms on Sept. 19, and received $90 in compensation for the inconvenience.
Joint Jurisdiction driven by students
University Police and Columbus Police reached an agreement in September that gave University Police the authority to respond to emergency situations in the off-campus area.
The University Police was previously unable to act off-campus without the permission of the Columbus Police.
While University Police is still not permitted to patrol off-campus, it has the authority to stop and investigate if they see something suspicious going on to or from university property.
“This was a student-driven initiative from last fall,” said University Police Chief Paul Denton after the Sept. 19 meeting. “Undergraduate Student Government felt it was important to enhance officer presence and responsiveness around the neighborhood and particularly crimes that happened on the borders, where sometimes there were some limits on where officers could and couldn’t go even if they witnessed a crime.”
Safety accidents and creation of the Safety Task Force
A student was hit by a dump truck near a construction site on Woodruff Avenue in a Sept. 5 accident. James Daniel Hughes, a first-year in chemical engineering, had his right leg amputated.
First-year student Rachel Stump was involved in an Aug. 19 car accident that led to a coma. She is recovering in her hometown of Troy, Ohio.
Several other accidents occurred on and off campus involving bicyclists and pedestrians, leading to the creation of a Safety Task Force announced to students and staff in an e-mail on Sept. 7. The task force was created per the request of OSU President E. Gordon Gee.
The task force announced in October that they would be making sign changes, begin requiring students to dismount and walk their bikes across the Oval, and work to achieve “a campus culture that is accommodating and respectful of all modes of transportation,” according to the email.
Obama Visits OSU
Obama visited campus for the fifth time in the past two years during the most recent election cycle. He and will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas hosted a Oct. 9 grassroots event on the Oval.
The event caused mixed emotion among students due to the cancellation of some classes and limited access to building entrances on the Oval.
Gee postponed his own address to faculty.
“In the spirit of not wanting to upstage our national leader, I have rescheduled my own address for next Thursday, Oct. 18,” he wrote.
Obama made a surprise visit to campus on Aug. 21 when he stopped for a bite to eat at Sloopy’s Diner in the Ohio Union.