Sheryl Soundar

Sheryl Soundar

Indian from Texas

What do you think about today’s Asian-American presence in U.S. politics?

I think it’s pretty limited, which is a pattern that’s very typical for immigrants. It takes us a little while to get into formal politics. Asian-Americans are starting to now, but it’s still going to take quite a while for them to be a strong presence. And I feel like the whole ‘model minority’ myth adds to this. Because Asian-Americans are generally seen as more ‘well-off’ than other immigrants, they don’t find the need to have as strong of a political presence. But as time goes on, I think they will become more involved.

How do you think this year’s election might shape Asian-Americans in society?

I feel like it will alienate them from the political system, or the political process, I should say. I feel like it’s not focused on a lot of issues that Asian-Americans care about very much, and also both candidates do seem ridiculous at points. [laughs]

Would you say you’re a politically involved person? Do you tune in to politics usually?

I do care about it, but I definitely don’t follow it as closely as a lot of people at Georgetown do. I mean, I’m a Government major, so obviously, it’s important to me, but the election hasn’t really made me excited to be a part of that world, to put it lightly. It’s just so ridiculous and over the top, and unkind and unsympathetic, it just doesn’t make you want to be involved in politics at all.

Do you have any thoughts about prominent Indian-American political figures like Bobby Jindal or Nikki Haley?

I think it’s great that they’re representing Indians, but I also think there’s a greater diversity of opinion in the Indian community than they represent. They’re both Christian and Southern, which does represent some Indians. After all, I am from the South and an Indian Christian, but there are lots of Indians who do not identify with either of those things. So I definitely think there is more work to be done on that front.

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