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Two students to appear in court after running into Mirror Lake

Signs are posted around Mirror Lake, which was drained on Nov. 10, warning students not to enter the lake basin. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Ohio State University Police Division issued two summonses for Ohio State students Monday afternoon to appear in court after a video was posted online showing the students running into Mirror Lake, Ohio State spokesman Dan Hedman said in a statement.

The students received the summonses for criminal trespassing Monday afternoon following a video post that went viral showing the students running into the rain-filled basin early Sunday morning. The video was posted on the Instagram of Barstool Ohio State, a sports and pop culture blog.

“Mirror Lake is not intended, or approved, for recreational use of any kind or at any time,” Hedman said in a statement. “Entering the lake, or empty lake basin, is both destructive and hazardous and is considered criminal trespassing. The safety of our campus community remains our number one priority.”

The video shows two girls running into the lake that was relatively dry with only a few puddles of rainwater as another student watched from the side of the empty basin. As of Nov. 19, the video had more than 36,000 views.

Hedman did not specify how the two students were identified, but said the police “began an investigation” after becoming aware of the incident from Barstool Ohio State’s social media post.

On Nov. 10, Ohio State’s Department of Safety said in an email that the lake was drained in order to discourage the “Mirror Lake Jump,” a tradition for which students run and jump into the lake the Tuesday night before the Ohio State-Michigan football game.

In the email, students were reminded that jumping or running into the lake is considered trespassing and that the lake would continue to be monitored.

“The Ohio State University Police Division will continue to monitor the area, and public safety officials have discretion to determine appropriate enforcement action,” the email said.

In a previous interview with The Lantern, Undergraduate Student Government Vice President Shawn Semmler said he felt there was rhetoric among the student body suggesting the return of the jump in 2018 given the reopening of the lake this year.

Construction on Mirror Lake began in November 2016 and did not reopen until prior to the start of the 2018 fall semester.

USG voted in 2015 to end the tradition after an Ohio State student died from a broken neck after diving into the lake.

“In 2015, Undergraduate Student Government approved a resolution calling for the end of the ‘Mirror Lake Jump,’” the email said. “The recent lake restoration, as well as this week’s draining, supports the university’s compelling commitment to end the Mirror Lake jump.”


  1. The university and administration should be ashamed. These two girls were reawakening the spirit of Woody Hayes. If President Drake had his way, he’d likely apologize to that team up north and give them the W, similar to the way he hands out admissions to applicants with lower test scores. This PC culture is a bad joke. The statistics show one fool’s death does not justify the millions of buckeyes who participated in the jump with some responsibility and were not robbed of their college experience. Hell, Drake may be as corrupt as a former IFC President I knew who embezzled. Sing Ohio’s praise, don’t squash tradition.

    • From one journalist to another: Regardless of whether or not they did a dumb thing, please don’t refer to them as “girls.” (“The video shows two girls running into the lake . . .”)

    • I disagree. I feel that the administration is finally doing something beneficial, for once. OSU has long neglected student safety. Ever tried crossing College Road South, West Lane Avenue, or any of the intersections near High Street? What about Olentangy River Road? The latter doesn’t even have a SIDEWALK. Neither does West Lane Avenue…

      With so many reckless drivers (especially the CABS bus drivers and COTA bus drivers) around, student safety is pretty low. Combine this with the drug addicts and homeless hanging out near High Street, and you got a somewhat scary campus.

      However, this Mirror Lake jump ban could be the FIRST real step towards improvement. After all the harmful traditions are banned, traffic and urban planning would be the next step.

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