Reno resident Jeanmarie Walsh found signs from the 2018 Associated Students of the University of Nevada Senate elections dumped in a lot on the south end of Pinehaven Road – which is located on United States Forest Service land – on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Walsh posted on Facebook on the same day calling out ASUN and the Senators for not properly disposing of the signs. The post asked for the signs to be cleaned up and called for the disposers of the signs to be held responsible.
The signs found belonged to ASUN Senators Claudia Feil, Dillon Wilcox and Hayden Grant. The Facebook post has since then received 6 shares and 16 reactions. Comments from the post asked for permission to share and make the issue public.
“To the UNR students responsible for disposing of campaign signs, the U.S. Forest Service land at the end of Pine Haven is not a dump,” Walsh posted. “This is a disgrace and sign of pure laziness. Please pass this around until this mess is cleaned up by the future of our community! Please hold your peers responsible for their poor decisions.”
Walsh said she posted the incident on Facebook to make sure proper action was taken to remove the signs.
“I was just amazed someone would just take those signs and dump them there on U.S. Forest Service Land,” Walsh said. “I thought it was the best way to get the picture out there and for someone to say ‘so and so was supposed to get rid of those signs properly, and they dumped them.’”
Mimi Krohn, who lives just down the street of the disposal site commented on the post.
“This is right up my street-PICK IT UP,” Krohn said.
Walsh added no one from the University of Nevada, Reno has contacted her on the issue.
According to Sen. Grant, the signs were being held at his home in the event an individual would like to reuse them if they are running for reelection and in the past, the house has been used to store signs.
According to Sen.Grant, Sen. Feil, Sen. Wilcox and himself are unsure of how the signs got there and do not know who moved the signs.
“We didn’t have intentions in throwing them in the trash,” Senator Grant said. “We have intentions of just keeping them there behind the house. We kept them there in case someone wanted to use them for future use.”
Senator Grant said he was shocked reading the post and was unaware of what occurred until ASUN President Hannah Jackson informed him of the incident. President Jackson contacted the three Senators and informed them of what Walsh had posted.
“I was really amazed,” Grant said. “I felt bad because we [Sen. Feil, Sen. Grant and Sen. Wilcox] were really unaware that those [signs] were dumped. We wanted to make sure they were picked up as soon as possible.”
After reading the post Sen. Grant said he wanted to clarify that the signs were not intentionally dumped there.
“It [the Facebook post] did make it sound like we did it,” Grant said. “All three of us wanted to make sure people understood we would never want to do something like that. We wanted to clear things up and make sure people knew what happened even though we aren’t really sure what happened.”
Since the incident, Sen. Feil, Sen. Grant and Sen. Wilcox sent out a statement apologizing and thanking the individuals that brought the issue to their attention.
“On behalf of ASUN, we sincerely apologize for the election signs that were dumped on the land at the end of Pine Haven,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, we were unaware that the signs were removed from their original location. Once we heard about this incident, all the signs were immediately picked up and taken from the location where they were disposed. We apologize to those who had to find them and to those in charge of the land area. Thank you to those who immediately brought it to our attention so we could make things right.”
Currently, the ASUN Election Code states individuals running are responsible for removing their signs from campus after elections are over but do not state how to dispose of the signs.
“As far as the ASUN Statutes, there is no regulation on how a sign should be ‘disposed’ of,” ASUN Election Chair Daniel Little said. “To clarify neither the Statutes nor Election Code do not determine the ‘disposal’ of candidate signs. Rather, the Statutes detail that there is a required ‘clean up’ of the signs from campus, but does not define how to, or if to, ‘dispose’ of the signs.”
The way the signs were disposed of, according to Little, is currently a violation due to improper disposal and the Judicial Council is then responsible for deciding further action taken.
Since the incident, President Jackson made a statement apologizing to the community.
“We were unaware that the signs were removed from their original location,” President Jackson said. “The signs were immediately picked up once this came to our attention.”
Andrew Mendez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.