Mirror Lake Jump Turns Tragic — Ohio State University Ending 25-Year-Old Annual Tradition After Student Dies

The Mirror Lake jump, a 25-year-old tradition where students dive into the lake as a good luck omen, turned tragic when a young man died. Identified as a student of Ohio State University, the young man reportedly suffered from cardiac arrest after jumping into the frigid waters of Mirror Lake.

A young man, identified as Austin Singletary, a third-year student from Dayton, Ohio, who was participating in the annual Mirror Lake jump on campus, died after suffering from cardiac arrest, reported the Columbus Dispatch. Singletary was described as an “African American with medium build with tattoos on his left upper chest and right upper arm,” reported College Spun.

The Mirror Lake Jump is an annual tradition held on a Tuesday night before the University of Michigan football game, shared OSU spokesperson Christopher Davey, reported USA Today. To ensure victory over Michigan, enthusiastic students dare to plunge into the cold waters of Mirror Lake. Though it is an unsanctioned event, hundreds of students participate in the jump, which has become a tradition after almost 25 years.

Though the Mirror Lake jump is supposed to be a fun and harmless event, the event is wrought with dangers for multiple reasons. Since it is an unsanctioned event, there is little likelihood that there are enough lifeguards to ensure the safety of the boisterous crowd of teenagers.

For some reason, the Mirror Lake jump is held during the night, which exponentially increases the risk factor. Despite the precautions that the students might take, the biggest risk is Mirror Lake’s water. During this time of the year, the water temperature of the lake dips to near zero or below freezing. By jumping into such frigid waters, students are willingly risking their lives. While hypothermia is the obvious risk, water at such temperatures can cause seizures.

Singletary was a third-year human nutrition major. He was found under the water and wasn’t breathing. Paramedics later confirmed Singletary suffered cardiac arrest. He was pulled out of Mirror Lake at 12:20 a.m. local time and rushed to OSU’s Wexner Medical Center in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead.

The university gave a revised statement Wednesday afternoon from university president Michael Drake, which read as follows.

“We are heartbroken over this horrible tragedy. We have identified the young man as Austin Singletary, a third-year student from Dayton, Ohio. I know that the thoughts and prayers of all of us are with his family and loved ones. During this difficult time, counseling services will be made available throughout the holiday weekend for those who seek support.

“In spite of significant efforts taken to make this event a safer one, this tragedy has occurred. We must come together and acknowledge that while this is a student-led tradition that has been passed down through the years, we cannot risk another tragedy. University leadership strongly agrees that we will work with our campus community to end this annual event.”

As evident from the statement, officials from OSU intend to stop the rather dangerous tradition of students jumping into the frigid waters of Mirror Lake in the middle of the night. Many students on the campus agree, saying the death of student wasn’t worth it, reported WCMH.

With the university and student government agreeing to stop the annual tradition, the annual Mirror Lake jump might not take place next year.

There have been several unsuccessful attempts in the past to get the Mirror Lake jump regulated, reported Yard Barker. Owing to the tragic death of a student, it looks like the tradition will end. The university confirmed it is offering counseling and consultation services throughout the Thanksgiving weekend. Do you think cancelling the Mirror Lake jump is the right choice?

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