COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Mirror Lake jump is a long-standing student tradition during Beat Michigan week at Ohio State, one that the student government voted to ban after a student died during the jump last year.
For those hoping to continue the tradition despite that vote, new changes to the lake could make it impossible.
Renovation on the iconic Mirror Lake and its surrounding university halls started Tuesday, officials say the new Mirror Lake District is getting a makeover.
“One of the objectives we are trying to meet the university sustainability goals,” said Keith Myers, associate vice president of planning and real estate in OSU’s Office of Administration and Planning. “We tend to use the lake to treat storm-water prior to its release back into the system.”
When the renovation is complete the university hopes to have the historic area back to its wetland character from 1876.
The new look will come with a ten foot buffer zone to keep the lake clean, but students see this as a way to keep them from carrying out their unofficial tradition of jumping in the lake during Michigan week.
“No way they’re doing that, why would you fence it off and announce renovation when mirror lake is a staple of Ohio State culture you know,” said OSU student, Roy Smith.
Smith says he was amazed when he saw the fence around the lake, but he understands why the tradition needs to end. A student broke his neck and died after jumping in the lake last year.
“It’s kind of sad to see suddenly it fenced away and everyone is kind of sulking around it,” Smith said.
The renovation will be complete by the spring of 2018.