By day, Lakshmi Sivaguru is a champion of women’s rights, a dedicated television–viewer and an admittedly awful cook. By night, Lakshmi Sivaguru is Maria.
Street: So what do you do on campus?
Lakshmi Sivaguru: I’m a co-chair for Seniors for The Penn Fund, the Vice Chair of Finance for the Penn Consortium of Undergraduate Women (or PCUW), the VP of Risk Management for the Panhellenic Council, the Coordinator of the PENNacle Pre-Orientation Program, and a part of the Women in Leadership Series, Parliamentary Debate, and a couple other things thrown in.
Street: What’s your greatest fear?
LS: When applications are like, “If you were stuck on an island with a thousand bricks, what would you do?” Those questions always freak me out because am I supposed to be witty? Funny? I literally have no idea. I usually do something really boring like, “Build an SOS sign.” Thinking about it right now makes my head hurt.
Street: Who’s your alter ego?
LS: Oh god. Can I make a really weird confession? So freshman year, whenever I’d go out, I’d pretend my name was Maria and I would just introduce myself as Maria. I’m thinking about busting her out a couple of times senior year, just for old time’s sake.
Street: How would you best define your on–campus interests?
LS: “Women’s issues and rights.” Penn has exposed me to a whole different kind of culture, and I’ve been able to realize that it’s amazing how far we’ve come, but we still have a long way to go. A lot of people are like, “Well, maybe it’s not our fight.” But if we don’t fight for that, who’s going to? There are so many people who don’t have the capability. I think of it as our responsibility to be their voices, ‘cause we’re the ones who ultimately have the voice, because we’re privileged to go to this school.
Street: What’s your guilty pleasure?
LS: Television. In high school, I had 32 timers on my DVR, and I made time for all of them. Especially Food Network. I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t even use most of those recipes, but there’s something so mesmerizing about watching other people cook. Because I know I can’t cook. I can burn anything. I once burned tea. I don’t even know how that’s possible. I think the one thing I can do really well is cereal, and that’s because I eat mine dry.
Street: What shows should people watch tonight?
LS: Hmm… I watch The Vampire Diaries religiously. Wait, I saw that face! Don’t judge until you’ve seen it.
Street: Do you have your Halloween costumes planned out yet?
LS: I am the worst at Halloween costumes. Here’s the thing, like in “Mean Girls,” I’d probably be the girl who showed up with this big white gown and black hair and fake teeth. When I think of Halloween costumes, that’s what I think. I wanna look scary!
Street: But are you psyched for Homecoming?
LS: Honestly, I’m more excited for Homecoming. That probably makes me weird. But there’s just so much happening. It’s just a really great time to see people. Especially since, as a senior, I have so many friends who graduated this past year, that I’m so excited for everyone to just come back and have a big party with them.
Street: What’s something that really makes your day?
LS: I love colorful emails. Like, I won’t read an email if it’s not in color. When I’m sending out emails, I definitely hype up the color scheme and the emoticons.
Street: There are two types of people at Penn…
LS: People who carry around phone chargers and people who go around begging for them.
Street: Who’s your favorite old–school Disney princess?
LS: I wanted to be Pocahontas for the longest time. Like, my parents could get me to eat anything if they told me that my hair would become like Pocahontas’s. But here’s the thing: I thought that by becoming like Pocahontas’s, it was gonna grow sideways and be like that beautiful wind–ruffling–through–it. That never happened. I’m still a little bitter that my hair is not growing sideways.