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Wristband requirement repeat for Mirror Lake

OSU students form O-H-I-O at Mirror Lake during the Mirror Lake Jump in 2014. Credit: Lantern File Photo

OSU students form O-H-I-O at Mirror Lake during the Mirror Lake Jump in 2014. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Students planning to make the 2015 Mirror Lake jump will be required to wear wristbands as part of Ohio State’s effort to regulate the event and enhance security.

The university announced on Sunday morning that the wristband and fencing system would again be in place this year. This marks the third year the system has been implemented.

The jump is an annual tradition at OSU, occurring the week of the football game against the University of Michigan. This year’s jump is expected to take place on Nov. 24.

With the wristband requirement, temporary fencing will be installed along the perimeter of the lake in an effort to curb turnout and limit participation to students.

Although the university has implemented the regulations, it is encouraging students not to make the jump out of safety concerns, including health risks like hypothermia.

But some students said they think the jump would be better with less regulations, such as Joey Merkle, a first-year in engineering.

“I think they should stop restricting it a little bit,” he said. “I think a lot of people would be happier if they just allowed it to be how it used to be.”

Clare Strickler, a third-year in hearing and speech therapy, said she doesn’t feel the fences have been completely effective in the past, and it will be the same this year.

“Anybody can just jump in at any time,” she said. “They tore down the fence last year. That can just happen again. It’s not going to change anything.”

The decision to regulate the event is an effort to enhance student safety in anticipation of what will occur the evening of the jump, said Dan Hedman, a spokesman for the Office of Administration and Planning.

“We understand that students want to do this; it’s a student-led effort,” Hedman said. “The Department of Public Safety and the university have a responsibility to try to enhance safety as much as possible. We don’t want things going on on campus that are unsafe. But at the same time, we have to be realistic about what our role is and try to enhance safety as much as we can.”

Last year, about 14,000 students jumped or watched the event from within the fencing.

Hedman said on top of the university discouraging alcohol and drug use, extra lighting and security will be on-hand on the evening of Nov. 24.

“I get what they’re trying to do, but I don’t see it fully working,” said Genevieve Ivec, a second-year in evolution and ecology. “You can have dangerous people, OSU students or not; just drunk people doing crazy things.”

Hedman said there were five disorderly conduct arrests during the Mirror Lake jump last year and four arrests in 2013, compared to 19 arrests in 2012, the last year without the fencing and wristband system.

Wristbands will be available to any student with a Buck ID at the Ohio Union Information Center and the RPAC Welcome Center on Friday from 2 to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m; Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Monday and Nov. 24, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Department of Public Safety’s guidelines and safety tips for the jump can be found here.

Ian Bailey contributed to this article.

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