Cody Cousino / Multimedia editor
By the end of Fall Semester, freshmen have started to run out of firsts at Ohio State. However the Mirror Lake jump the Tuesday before the football game against Michigan is a first that is still anticipated.
At least for a few more hours.
The jump is an OSU tradition, but it isn’t sanctioned by the university.
Vice President of Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston sent an email to students Monday morning, urging them not to jump in the lake, as the event has been marked with illness, injury and arrests in the past.
“Ohio State has many wonderful traditions. The Mirror Lake jump is not one of them. And I strongly encourage you not to participate,” Adams-Gaston said in the email.
She reminded students of the rocky and garbage-lined lake bottom, shallow water and cold air to deter jumpers, but the annual email won’t resonate with some.
Holden Simon, a first-year in biology, said she’s concerned about the weather but plans to jump anyway because of the tradition.
“The biggest concerns I have are that it’s going to be really cold and duck poop for sure, but I’m not too worried,” Simon said. “I do plan on jumping. The school is big about tradition so it’s just one of the things we do here.”
Tuesday evening the temperature is expected to drop to 41 degrees with a 20 percent chance of rain, according to The Weather Channel. The weather is expected to be similar to last year’s Mirror Lake jump, when winds between 19 and 30 mph made the mid-50s temperature feel more like 43 degrees.
Evan Gifford, a first-year in business administration, said people can be reckless during the jump, but the stories he’s heard from fellow students have made him excited to participate anyway.
“I’m concerned if people are shoving and getting rowdy because that could be a problem,” Gifford said. “Even though I’ve never done it, my friends tell me how fun it is. I’m sure once I do it for the first time I’ll love it and will want to do it every year.”
Gifford will be joined by thousands of other students. More than 4,000 people have confirmed their participation via several Mirror Lake Jump 2012 events on Facebook.
More than 2,500 spectators watched as roughly 300 participants were in the lake at a time during the hours after midnight last year.
In 2010, an estimated 30,000 people came out for the event, which led to six arrests and several people being treated at Wexner Medical Center for a range of ailments, including hypothermia and sprained ankles. Three students were arrested in 2011 for disorderly conduct, and another for assault on an officer and resisting arrest, according to Lantern archives.
The tradition has persisted, despite the university campaign against it.
Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs echoed Adams-Gaston’s sentiment.
“I would certainly hope that students would choose not to jump. It is not a university-sanctioned event and it is a dangerous event that could lead to serious injury,” Isaacs said. “I would strongly urge students to not participate in it. There are many other great ways to show your Buckeye spirit and many other great ways to show the football team and this university that we care.”
Issacs said OSU Police will be on hand to monitor the jump and provide assistance as needed to students who choose to ignore the warnings and jump anyway.