Mirror Lake has been drained in an effort to discourage the “Mirror Lake jump,” according to an email from Ohio State’s Department of Public Safety.
“The safety of our campus community is always our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution and with the university’s focus on safety at top of mind, we are sharing that Mirror Lake has been temporarily drained,” said the email, which was co-signed by Jay Kasey, senior vice president of the Office of Administration and Planning, and Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, senior vice president of the Office of Student Life.
The email reminded students that the Undergraduate Student Government called for an end to the jump, which traditionally occurred on the Tuesday before the Ohio State v. Michigan football game, three years prior.
“In 2015, Undergraduate Student Government approved a resolution calling for the end of the ‘Mirror Lake Jump,’” the email read. “The recent lake restoration, as well as this week’s draining, supports the university’s compelling commitment to end the Mirror Lake jump.”
USG’s decision to end the jump came after an Ohio State student died from jumping into the lake on Nov. 25, 2015.
Austin Singletary was found underwater just after midnight after participating in the jump. He later died at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center from a broken neck.
Mirror Lake had been under a major renovation that started in late 2016, and the district reopened with Pomerene Hall before autumn semester 2018.
USG Vice President Shawn Semmler said the focus has always been on student safety, and he and USG President Shamina Merchant felt the decision to drain the lake is the best way to prevent students from attempting the jump.
Semmler added that he felt there was rhetoric in the student body that suggested the jump would return in 2018 since the lake was back after an extended absence, but said there should be other ways to celebrate the week of Ohio State’s rivalry game against Michigan.
“There will be future traditions and celebrations of ‘Hate Michigan Week.’ The Mirror Lake jump is not that,” Semmler said. “The focus is on student safety forever and always. The decision to drain the lake really affirms that.”