Like its predecessor, Mirror Lake Jump Part 2 took place on a freezing evening. But this " official" jump last night was clearly much more coordinated by campus officials than the one that students organized on Monday. Signs proclaiming "Mirror Lake Jump" directed participants to the water. Floodlights kept the area out of the dark. Workers stood by with foil blankets to wrap around chilled kids. And ropes were floated in the lake to keep the crowds organized.
Like its predecessor, Mirror Lake Jump Part 2 took place on a freezing evening. But this “ official” jump last night was clearly much more coordinated by campus officials than the one that students organized on Monday.
Signs proclaiming “Mirror Lake Jump” directed participants to the water. Floodlights kept the area out of the dark. Workers stood by with foil blankets to wrap around chilled kids. And ropes were floated in the lake to keep the crowds organized.
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“It’s cold and it’s not deep, and I felt very, very safe the whole time,” said Ohio State University senior Meredith Leal of Cincinnati, tongue planted firmly in her cheek.
“It’s a travesty. A 100 percent travesty,” added Matthew Clark, a sophomore from Pittsburgh.
They were two of about 700 Ohio State students who gathered at Mirror Lake — the second night that students came to the lake for the annual Michigan Week jump.
View photos from last night’s "official" Mirror Lake jump
View photos from Monday night’s “unofficial” Mirror Lake jump
In years past, the jump has drawn up to 15,000 students and Ohio State fans, many warmed by alcohol.
Monday night was “so much better,” said Miranda Short, a freshman from Cincinnati who went into the water both nights.
And though students last night talked of a “jump time” of 11:45 p.m., there never seemed to be an organized jump. Instead, groups of students went into the water over an hour or two and got out, with no more than 50 kids in the lake at one time.
As of 12:30 a.m., a few injuries were reported. Most were falls, cuts and scrapes and, as one police dispatcher reported, people who were “just really drunk.”
On Monday night, several thousand students, alumni and others stormed the area surrounding Mirror Lake to show their disregard for the university’s attempt to regulate the tradition.
OSU student-life officials had announced over the weekend that — though they do not sanction jumping into Mirror Lake — they would issue wristbands and restrict the activity to students. The change was made to increase student safety, they said.
The university required students to pick up red wristbands to enter the Mirror Lake area, which was cordoned off by a temporary, 6-foot-high chain-link fence. And though more than 13,500 wristbands were distributed, there clearly weren’t close to that many students using them.
OSU officials said that Monday’s jump, which was cooked up on social-media sites by students and others who were upset about the wristbands, went as well as could be expected. Police estimated that a total of 3,000 students and others gathered at Mirror Lake throughout the night, with about 1,500 people assembled at any one time.
“There were no arrests, no serious injuries, and the crowd was not so large it caused problems,” said David Isaacs, an OSU student-life spokesman.
Deputies from the Franklin County sheriff’s office, who were at the lake along with OSU police, were told on Monday night that, “when push comes to shove, let them go swimming,” according to a deputy who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak about security.
Dispatch reporter Dean Narciso contributed to this report.