While Yale Bulldogs may not have as much to complain about as their mascot friends in Des Moines, Iowa, I am convinced that no college is perfect. Students across America will complain about campus dining until the end of time. Dorms will always be a little shitty.

Admittedly, Drake is imperfect. Our sidewalks don’t drain properly and our student body lacks team spirit because, well, our teams aren’t worth getting that excited over. Regardless of what you think of it, D+ happened.

Drake has been through a lot since I got here three years ago. Hell, Drake has been through a lot since last year. Hazing, alcohol poisoning, fraternity charter suspension, a student suicide and multiple sexual assaults littered my junior year.

My senior year started with the death of a floormate from freshman year and a friend, Ryan Henderson.

No one should die at 21. Parents shouldn’t have to bury their children. A school shouldn’t have to grieve the loss of a classmate, student, fraternity brother, peer and friend — especially not a school of 5,000 undergraduates.

I walked with Kari and Allie to Ryan’s vigil tonight. We were met in the parking lot by Scott and Collin, and met at least six other second floor kids inside. Our first-year seminar professor — my favorite professor from all of college — showed up because Ryan respected her and enjoyed our class. Our president, dean of students and vice provost were sitting among a full room of students.

“It is at times like these that we must be able to rely on one another for solace and comfort,” said President Maxwell when breaking the news to us. We’ve gotten e-mails like these throughout the years before, but it’s never meant the same to me as Sunday’s did. An e-mail or news has never hit me like a ton of bricks like Sunday’s did. I’ve never actually needed solace or comfort from strangers or a group; I’ve never been directly affected by the problems that hit Drake’s campus. I’ve never needed my “Drake Family” like I needed them tonight and this week.

Drake is imperfect. I’m not convinced that Hubbell North will fix Sodexo or that the new drain in front of Olmsted will actually do any good. (And for the record, I thought D+ was great.) But despite its flaws, Drake comes through when you need it. So tonight, this university has the same unconditional love I give my family at home.

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