Vinay is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in political science and history. He is an opinion columnist for The Daily Pennsylvanian and writes weekly articles focused on promoting dialogue especially centered around socioeconomic diversity at Penn. Vinay is also a member of the Penn Club Cross Country and Track teams. With varied research interests ranging from domestic polarization to the comparative politics of petrostates, Vinay is very interested in academic research and hopes to explore career options in academia through the SNF Paideia Fellowship.
As the United States becomes increasingly polarized along a variety of lines, Vinay sees the ability to maintain meaningful and constructive dialogue as increasingly important.
As a political science student both at Penn but also of the world, dialogue is undoubtedly crucial in bridging the divides between political parties, advocacy groups, and other communities.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Vinay was a student in the Baltimore County Public School system where he encountered a diverse community of students of all races, ethnicities, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. “It was as a public-school student that I witnessed how disinvestment in education and educational infrastructure impacted communities in different ways and, relatedly, the availability of opportunities. It was as a public-school student that I became good friends with people for which homelessness and food insecurity are a part of daily life. And it was as a public-school student that I saw the de facto segregation of classrooms and consequentially social communities.”
These experiences shaped Vinay’s understanding of what it means to be low-income in the United States, where society at every level holds implicit biases about low-income people. He also experienced the challenges of communication across racial, socioeconomic, and geopolitical divides and the self-perpetuating segregation amplified by a lack of constructive dialogue. Vinay looks forward to learning the skills, theory, and practice of dialogue across difference to help break down some of these socially constructed barriers.