Special Message from Dr. J
We have so many ways of showing our Buckeye Spirit, from O-H-I-O to events such as Convocation when you first arrived on campus to the Candlelight Ceremony just before spring commencement.
Clearly, Ohio State has many wonderful traditions. The Mirror Lake jump is not one of them. And I strongly encourage you not to participate.
The problem with the jump is that it's dangerous. The water and the air are cold, meaning hypothermia is a significant risk. The Lake is too shallow for diving, and being pushed into the water could mean a serious injury. The bottom is rocky, leading to cuts. Garbage also accumulates underwater, and you don't even want to think about what you might be stepping on.
And if these concerns weren't enough, far too many students use the occasion to drink alcohol to excess, increasing the danger to themselves and everyone around them exponentially.
I'm sorry to risk sounding authoritative, but there is great risk that someone is going to get hurt.
The combination of cold weather, alcohol, wet clothing, and the slippery lake bottom can lead to lots of bad things: hypothermia, frostbite, upper respiratory infections, sprains, and broken bones among others.
My strongest advice is to skip the jump. There are no classes the next day, so take the opportunity to spend extra time with friends, family, and loved ones. I promise that your Ohio State experience will not be diminished for missing this. And the football team doesn't need you to jump in order to beat Michigan.
There are plenty of other ways to show your spirit. The Beat Michigan website lists a number of events and activities.
But, if you insist on jumping, at least take precautions. Don't drink to excess, wear shoes, don't dive or push anyone into the water, and get out and dry off quickly. But again, even being careful doesn't eliminate the risks. You are still putting yourself and others in possible jeopardy, and everyone would be better off without this dangerous activity.
Let's celebrate Ohio State's rich and beautiful traditions. This event is neither, and I encourage you to direct your enthusiasm elsewhere.
Javaune Adams-Gaston, PhD
Vice President for Student Life