Repairs to Mirror Lake and the surrounding areas will cost an estimated $24,600, said Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs. The public safety presence will cost an estimated $21,735, said Administration and Planning spokeswoman Lindsay Komlanc.
"This includes police and security personnel presence, including that of outside agencies such as Columbus Police Department, medical and EMS (emergency medical service) personnel and traffic control," Komlanc said in an email. Komlanc also said that the total cost is only an estimate and is subject to change.
I've heard a lot of different opinions on the Mirror Lake jump. Some students say that it's tradition and so the university should continue to allow it. Others say it's a waste of money, usually after hearing about the costs. Some alumni say that the jump is a new thing that wasn't celebrated when they were students. Other alumni say it's always been there.
The university has to pay money to prepare for, police and clean up after the jump. The university doesn't want the jump to continue, because it's a safety issue. They probably can't officially recognize it because it would invoke all sorts of hideous liability clauses in their insurance.
But students want it to continue, and will jump in Mirror Lake with or without permission. It happened in 2010, when Thanksgiving coincided with the traditional Thursday. A Facebook campaign got thousands of students organized to jump on Tuesday, and the university quickly arranged for police and cleanup. There's no stopping the jump short of fences, pepper spray, and draining the pond.
The solution, as I see it, is to have students fund the jump. It's a ripe opportunity for a student organization to collect donations, say $5 per person, to give to the university to help with the costs.
Is this a realistic plan? Maybe.