A.S. Elections: Elizabeth Garcia

Since her freshman year, the communications and political science double major has created quite the résumé. She’s been a member of Chicano/a student group MEChA, worked as a tour guide, orientation leader and resident advisor and currently serves as Muir College senator.
During her freshman year she ran to be a campuswide senator on what was then Students First, and is now the Student Voice slate. While she wasn’t able to win the bid, she was appointed chief of staff for former president Wafa Ben Hassine, where she learned the know-how of the office of the president.

Now in her third year, Garcia believes that this preparation makes her qualified to run for president on behalf of the Student Voice slate. With her experience, she would hit the ground running, Garcia said.

“I’ve sat in on various committee meetings and administrative meetings as a proxy for the A.S. president,” she said. “I know what it’s like to be in a room full of administrators and be the only student representative representing the student voice. That’s something I’d bring to the table.”

Garcia’s platform as a member of the Student Voice slate aligns with the “reclaim” rhetoric that, in Garcia’s words, seeks to create a positive student experience, especially through fighting fee increases and putting pressure on legislation to prioritize UC education. She hopes to organize more conferences, like the Student Lobby Conference that took place late Winter Quarter, to directly approach legislators.

As a current council member, Garcia continually sees other ways she’d like to influence the way A.S. runs right at home, including an effort to change current legislation that dictates that in order for a fee increase referendum to pass, 20 percent of the student population must vote “yes.”

“I don’t think that 20 percent of the students is very representative, especially when it comes to increasing fees in a time when people are struggling to pay for education,” Garcia said. “I want to change that number from 20 to 50.”

Garcia mixes her ideological values regarding higher education with pragmatic approaches to running council (on her candidate statement, she promised to facilitate UCSD’s transition to Division I if it had passed, despite her own oppositions) but not everyone has been a fan. Garcia’s campaign has recently been under attack by an opposing student from California State University Long Beach. Jason Aula, who has repeatedly posted on Garcia’s campaign event on Facebook, accussing the candidate of being racist, citing her involvement with MEChA as evidence.

“He started posting on my event page alleging that I was a racist and that I was going to reclaim the southwest and that I was an illegal immigrant,” Garcia said. “MEChA at UCSD and MEChA as a chapter does not advocate the things that he said.”

Garcia doesn’t seem too concerned with the allegations, confident that most people know they’re baseless.

“It’s not like I would get into office and suddenly say, ‘Illegal immigration, yes!’” Garcia said. “He’s kind of like a robot. He would keep posting [no matter what], and every time someone would post something positive he would write ‘No se puede.’”

Distractions aside, Garcia emphasizes what she thinks is one of the most important values an A.S. member should uphold, something she currently finds lacking: accountability.

“A lot of people throughout the year, they’ll go on about their business and then when it comes towards election time, they’ll start doing all these things they don’t normally do,” Garcia said. “They start being more active, they start being more outspoken on council. But the thing I want people to know is that I do this all the time, regardless of whether I’m running for anything.”

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