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Unplanned patriotic plunge leaves Mirror Lake unscathed

Lauren Hallow / Lantern photographer

Thousands of Ohio State students flocked to Mirror Lake in response to President Barack Obama’s announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death.

Patriotic songs and chants filled the air around midnight Sunday as students showed their patriotism and plunged into the lake.

Deputy Chief Richard Morman of OSU Police said the crowd started with about 250 students but quickly swelled to thousands as the word spread about Obama’s announcement.

At the height of the gathering, Morman said there were almost 4,000 people in the crowd. Before calling in reinforcements, there were four officers and one lieutenant on duty.

“There was no additional cost,” Morman said.

OSU called in more on-duty officers to help with crowd control, Morman said.

At about 1:00 a.m. Monday, Morman said police shut down a few surface streets because of heavy pedestrian traffic.

Mark French, the assistant director of facilities management, said the spontaneous celebration left the Mirror Lake landscape unscathed.

“There’s no actual damage at this time,” French said. “There is a little damage to the pump in the fountain, but that’s from a previous incident.”

Morman said the campus police department had to bring in extra officers to help monitor the growing crowd. He said the campus police received a call at about 11:50 p.m. Sunday about fireworks and a large crowd.

French said he didn’t hear about the event until Monday morning. He said the activity was a spontaneous reaction to the news.

Coco Kneisly, an administrative support services manager, said no harm was done to the infrastructure at Mirror Lake.

“Overall, indications were that there was nothing damaged,” Kneisly said. “All of the reports from all the folks is there is no damage.”

On Nov. 22, The Lantern reported the clean up after the Mirror Lake jump during Beat Michigan Week usually costs OSU about $20,000.

“Typically, that draws a lot more people,” French said. “Some of the grass around the area is trampled, but nothing needs to be replaced at this time.”

Trent Barter and Jay Clouse contributed to this story.


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