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The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Gavin Garcia wants to “make Carnegie great again”

Senior+Gavin+Garcia+marketing+his++campaign+slogan%3A+Make+Carnegie+Great+Again
Gavin Garcia
Senior Gavin Garcia marketing his campaign slogan: “Make Carnegie Great Again”

If there are 4 words that summarize Gavin Garcia’s campaign, they would be: Make. Carnegie. Great. Again.

A senior, Garcia had never had prior Student Council (STUCO) experience. He described himself as an outsider, a man whom no one expected to contest in the first place. When asked why he initially decided to contest, he stated that he wanted to remedy the faults of the previous Student Council and that his goal was to “bring the Student Council back to the people.” In other words, Gavin Garcia strived to “Make Carnegie Great Again.”

And it was no easy task, with Garcia’s campaign being an uphill battle from the start. “The poll we lost was actually the juniors,” Garcia stated, chalking his initial lack of support to his status as the “only junior presidential candidate without a cabinet and support system.” Gavin’s sentiment was affirmed by the votes of students such as STUCO Treasurer Devan Chadha, who stated that he voted for opposition candidate Hester Huynh for president. 

“I was part of a team when I ran for STUCO, so I voted for the person [Hester] who was running for president on our team,” said Chadha.  

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Furthermore, Garcia’s lack of previous Student Council experience was a visible disadvantage. He was the only candidate with no STUCO experience. This influenced the opinions of some student voters. 

“Simply because it was his first year running for Student Council, I did not vote for him,” said senior Sophie Geurts.

 However, this did not deter Garcia, who quickly got to work on his campaign. Despite his newcomer status, Garcia increased his outreach efforts. Garcia also attempted to portray himself as a unifying and inclusive candidate who could aptly represent the various grade levels and diverse students that make up Carnegie. He did so through an intensive social media campaign under the Instagram handle @presidentgavgar, in which he posted pictures of himself with the various demographic groups that make up Carnegie. Black, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, you name it. Garcia also stressed female representation in his campaign, with his “Women’s Appreciation Post” garnering over 150 likes.

Senior Gavin Garcia marketing his campaign slogan: “Make Carnegie Great Again”

“A big thing about my masterful campaign is the outreach that I conducted. You’ve never seen a candidate in the history of Carnegie go to every classroom and deliver speeches. I held massive rallies in the cafeteria, rallies which hundreds of students showed up to,“ Garcia said. “We took many photo ops with various groups because we showed that we were for the people and that the Student Council would go back to the students. We were able to get attention from every grade level to show that we were a uniting party.”

Another major distinguishing factor of Garcia’s campaign was his openness to engage in debate and discourse, even with students who did not necessarily agree with his viewpoints. 

“I wasn’t afraid of conversing with students who did not like my agenda. I spoke with students who did not vote for me, and even offered to debate my opposition, an offer which they rejected,” Garcia said.

Garcia says that his multi-pronged campaign strategy of utilizing social media and delivering rallies proved to be successful in convincing voters. Ultimately, Garcia says that his victory came down to his genuine nature. 

“People know that I am an open book, a candidate who says it how it is. I’m a very truthful person, and I am not afraid for people to see who I am. People know that I pursued my campaign not for my college apps, but simply because I had the intention of making Carnegie Great Again.”

Gavin Garcia

It was with this intention that Garcia won his landslide victory, winning over 50% of the vote in a tight presidential election with three other candidates. While Garcia states that he lost the junior vote, he credits his outreach efforts for polling “significantly high with freshmen and sophomores,” even claiming that he could have won the senior vote had seniors been allowed to vote. 

“It was only a matter of time. I’ve never lost anything in my life because I’m a winner, right? I’m a winner. Everyone knows that,” Garcia said. 

Evidently, Garcia has a plethora of promises to fulfill, and he is already setting high expectations, stating that the years “2023-2024 will be regarded as one of, if not the most memorable and successful years in Carnegie.” To that extent, Garcia has already reinstated off-campus lunch for seniors, one of his main campaign promises, and has also brought back COPA Carnegie. Garcia intends to plan several school field trips, stating that they will be “tremendous” and “huge.” Furthermore, he is also trying to increase Student Council promotion of in-school events such as the Senior Committee’s Boo Bash, the first dance of the school year. Garcia ultimately hopes that his transparent approach to implementing such initiatives will boost STUCO’s outreach efforts.

“Many people are not familiar with the outreach that we could possibly have, and that we will continue to have. I strongly believe that STUCO needs to go out there and tell people what we’re doing, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that we are the most transparent administration in the history of Carnegie,” Garcia said. 

This sentiment was appreciated by Geurts, who hopes that the Student Council “listens to the student population a little bit more.” To that end, she already feels that Garcia is doing a good job of reaching out to CVHS students.

“I think he kind of is friends with everybody and so I think he does a good job of sort of representing everybody. He’s friends with people that I’ve never talked to, so it’s like he can get everybody’s perspective,” said Geurts.

Finally, Garcia wants his example to serve as an inspiration to CVHS students, and to let them know that they are not alone. 

“I was an outsider. I know what it’s like to feel alone and yet, I went from nobody to somebody. I want students to know that they’re not alone and that they can always reach out to someone, myself included. If there’s one thing that I would want students to know about me, it’s that I will do everything in my power to make sure that they feel included.”

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About the Contributors
Siddharth Dasari, Staff Writer
Siddharth Dasari is a junior at CVHS. An aspiring diplomat, he is fascinated in learning about the world around him and meeting various global leaders through the World Affairs Club. In addition to his interest in international relations, he also loves to run, bike, and travel. Siddharth is excited to write about his community and provide a fresh perspective to Upstream News.
Esteban Gallardo, Staff Writer
Esteban Gallardo is a Junior at CVHS. In his free time he enjoys to open and sell Pokémon cards as well as drive and view cars. Additionally, he puts a lot of work into sports, spending on average 1 hour a day running and working out to prepare for the Cross country and Track seasons. He is very ambitious in his goals, as well as very direct with what he wants/achieves. He often works hard to improve himself, and is willing to go the extra mile to get there. He hopes to become a more sophisticated writer, to further his skills and knowledge in journalism.
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