When I heard Bryan Pata was shot to death, I was definitely sad. This was a person I didn’t know very well, but I was good friends with a cousin of his and thus was introduced to him this school year when I got here. I was so excited to meet him because this was the same Bryan that I have been cheering for in the green and orange for the past four years, the same Bryan I got to play against in high school four years earlier, and now I got to meet this marvel of the football field.

Now I may have seen him a dozen times this year, but he was definitely a sight on campus and a great member of the UM family. It was not his turn to go, so it’s sad to see a man with so much invested in his future be cut short like that-but that is not why I am writing this.

My roommate and I decided we needed to go to something for him and saw the Memorial Service scheduled so we decided to attend. He was such a mainstay in the UM community, one who gave four years of his life for this same school attended by some 10,000 undergraduate students, working endless days and nights and taking injuries in honor of this school and its students.

He was one of the reasons that many students could gloat about going to Miami and their great football team to their friends and families. He worked hard for this school and every person in it, so I thought for sure that I would see a mob of a few thousand students at his memorial service.

Well, it seems I greatly overestimated the intelligence of this school’s student body to see what an important person Bryan was to them.

When I get to the service there was an absolutely pathetic showing of students in the 600-person Gusman Hall. Littered with empty seats, there were maybe 450 people there, and at least half of them were not even students. This is a terrible way to honor a fellow student. I would have expected at least 1,000 students to show up to at least take one hour out of their days for this man. One hour was much less than the smallest amount of time Pata gave to us all while on this Earth.

Gabriel Elias
Class of 2010