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Sarika Mirchandani ′12

Major: Religious Studies; pre-Dentistry
Minor: French
Fun fact: Sarika was the youngest contestant to compete in Miss Teen India USA 2004 at the age of 14!

Congratulations on your new position as Honor Council President! How did you decide to get involved with the Honor Council?
Thank you! I’m really excited to take on the responsibilities that are coming my way! My brother was actually a member of the Honor Council while he was a student at Rhodes, and he had nothing but great things to say about it. Even as a little girl, I saw how much he gained from it and how much he loved it, so I definitely came in knowing that it was something I was interested in learning more about.

What was your first election like?
It’s pretty safe to say that my first election made school history. Five girls ran for the one position, and I actually had the highest number of votes that time—almost half! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the necessary 50.1% of the votes to win the election right off the bat. When it came down to another girl and myself, both of us really, really wanted the position. We ended up having three runoffs! For the third election my friends and I made t-shirts; one guy even made one that said “Tired of runoffs? Vote for Sarika!” After the third time, the members of the Honor Council decided to determine the winner with essays. And after all that, I didn’t win it. I wasn’t happy to say the least, but in hindsight, the way it all happened made me realize how much I really wanted to be a part of the Honor Council. I ran for the position again the second semester and won.

What have you taken away from your years on the Honor Council?
Above all else, I value the perspective I have gained from being on the Honor Council. Being a member of the Honor Council has also taught me not to take our honor system for granted. People come in for hearings and the council makes decisions that can permanently affect their lives. I am proud to be part of an organization that is such a staple to the college, and, furthermore, I am proud to be a member of the Rhodes community, where I know I can trust those around me to hold themselves and others accountable for their actions. I see the Honor Code being upheld on a daily basis—whether students leave their laptops unattended in the library, leave their backpacks in the Rat, or take unproctored tests in an honorable manner. I love it.

What other leadership positions do you hold on campus?
I am a Peer Assistant leader, a Rhodes College Diplomat, a member of the Rhodes Indian Culture Exchange, a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, and co-founder of The LynxPack.

What is the best advice you have for the upcoming Class of 2015?
My best advice would be to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to say hello to a random stranger. Those strangers will become your Rhodes family in the next four short years. Meet as many people as possible during your time here—Rhodes faculty, staff, and administration included. They are just as much a part of the Rhodes community as your peers. Involve yourself in things and surround yourself with people that will make you a better person. Lastly, do not be afraid to change. You’ll come to learn that change can often be a great thing, and there’s no better time to experience change than in college.

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