By Emmy Liederman
“Live ever die never” — this Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chant has taken on a deeper meaning as the campus community continues to mourn the loss of sophomore math major Michael Sot. Sot is widely known as the designated driver who was killed in the car collision on the night of Dec. 2, but for many students at the College, he is much more than just a victim. Those who knew Sot best continue to keep his memory alive and reflect fondly on the impact he touched their lives.
Sot is most commonly described by his loved ones as a young man with unwavering selflessness and a kind heart. Brandon Mejia, a sophomore communication studies major, was eager to comment on Sot’s character. Mejia lived with Sot in Decker Hall last semester and the two decided to pledge to the fraternity together in the spring.
“Sot was one of the most selfless guys I’ve ever met in my life,” he said. “When I didn’t have a family to celebrate this past Thanksgiving with, he extended his own family and an invitation to his Thanksgiving to celebrate. He told his family how much I’ve helped him and he’s helped me and that I was one of his best friends.”
Kayla Wolf, a sophomore history and secondary education dual major, grew close to Sot when she lived two doors down form him during their freshman year.
“When we became friends, we just got in this habit of doing everything together that lasted all the way until the last day he was here,” she said. “He was the most reliable and loving friend and I will always try to make sure he is remembered as that.”
Wolf’s fondest memory of Sot was a night last semester when she accidentally fell asleep in his twin-sized bed. He let her sleep until she woke up in his room at 4 a.m. when she seemed to be upset about something that happened the night before. Sot stayed up with her for for another two hours until he was convinced that she had cleared her mind.
“He wouldn’t let us sleep until I felt better about it, even though he hadn’t slept a minute yet that night,” she said. “He really was my best friend in the world, and I will always be inspired to try to be the kind of friend that he was to me.”
Senior health and exercise science major and Phi Kappa Psi brother Alex McClean echoed Wolf’s sentiment, noting that Sot would do anything to help out a friend.
“He is the kind of person who would stay up all night just to talk and listen,” he said. “He had the biggest heart I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.”
Junior health and exercise science major Brian Fardman remembers Sot dropping him off at his house before the accident, as he was assigned to be the designated driver for his fraternity brothers that night. One memory that stuck with Fardman is the way he said goodbye, which he believes to be a reflection of Sot’s character.
“He was the type of person that would come up to people without much reason and shake their hand, say that he loves you and that he wants to catch up soon,” he said. “That’s what he said to me 10 minutes before the accident, right before I got out of his car to walk into my house. It still breaks my heart every day, but Michael Sot impacted me so much and I will carry him with me for the rest of my life. His perspective on life, respect for everyone and love for others is something I will never forget.”
Many of his friends agree that because Sot was so likable, it didn’t take long to grow close with him. Although Mejia only met Sot in the beginning of the year, he felt as if he had known him his whole life.
Lindsey Della Rovere, a sophomore communication studies major, also met Sot this past semester. Della Rovere shared that after he offered a “simple hello” in their philosophy class, she knew they would become close friends.
“We bonded over struggling to understand our seemingly impossible philosophy assignments, late-night hangouts –– because we were always up until an unreasonable time of night –– and random Snapchat and text conversations,” she said. “I was only friends with Michael for a semester but somehow it felt like a lifetime.”
When Della Revere visited Sot in the hospital to say goodbye on the morning of Dec. 4, she knew that goodbye wouldn’t last forever.
“He cared deeply for the people in his life and is still one of the most selfless people I have ever met,” she said. “He will forever be remembered as the smart, genuine, fun-loving and caring boy he always was.”
Cole Parsons, a junior accounting major, shared that it was hard to have a conversation with Sot without being reminded of his love.
“Mike would often begin or end a conversation with, ‘I love you man’, when talking to his friends. That’s not something many people do,” Parsons said. “Mike was so full of genuine compassion and friendship, that he felt the calling to give comforting remarks to others whenever he could. He was the light in the room, and no one will forget that. We love you so much, Sot.”