Western Courier

MPE turns ugly

Nicholas Ebelhack

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Sidewalk chalk advertisements supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency were found defaced on Wednesday across campus.

With the Mock Presidential Election (MPE) happening, the number of advertisements across campus for various candidates has subsequently increased. Some campaigns however have found their advertisements tarnished by opponents.

In response to the vandalism towards the Hillary Clinton advertisement, Richard Hardy, dean of the Centennial Honors College and organizer of the MPE said that he does not condone the action.

“We have subsequently asked all campaign leaders to avoid chalking in unapproved areas,” Hardy said. However, we have no proof that any of our participants in the MPE were involved in these actions.”

Dovile Svirupskaite, campaign manager for the Hillary Clinton MPE campaign, said that she is also unsure about who has defaced their chalk advertisements.

“The positive ones are ours, all the ones that are vandalized and defaced are not,” Svirupskaite said. “We aren’t really sure whose they are but I don’t want to point any fingers, so I’m not really sure.”

A number of the chalk advertisements that were vandalized had Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s name written over them. Josh Webb, co-campaign manager for the Donald Trump MPE campaign, said that his team is not responsible.

“Although I can’t stop Trump supporters from doing what they are going to do, I do not condone this activity,” Webb said. “But I can tell you that no one from the Trump campaign was responsible for that or even though of the idea.”

In addition to the vandalism against the chalkings, a number of campaigns have expressed that their posters have been torn off of the walls in the academic building. Svirupskaite expressed that she is disappointed that vandalism is occurring across campus.

“Honestly, it really upsets me because we all as a group want to represent our candidates in the best way possible and regardless if its people from the campaigns or not people put a lot of effort and money into putting up posters,” Svirupskaite said. “I just ultimately feel like it is not fair.”

Webb said that he believes the people who defaced the Hillary Clinton chalk advertisements are most likely not doing it because they want to contribute to the MPE.

“I can say that the people or the group of people doing these things aren’t here tonight doing what matters, supporting the mock presidential election, or voice their opinion the correct way.”

He also stated that he thinks the people taking these actions are not properly educated on the
political process.

“I think it is people who aren’t aware of what’s going on. It’s people who listen to media and social media around Facebook and Twitter who have ignorant views. They don’t really know the subject; they don’t know whose property they are tearing up.”

Hardy said that he wishes that the students use their best judgment in regards to making political advertisements on campus.

“Whenever something like this happens, there will be inevitable calls that we should close the entire operation because of the actions of a few,” Hardy said. “This is tantamount to the proverbial ‘heckler’s veto’ —where one person’s actions prevent the rest of us from exercising our constitutionally protected freedoms of expression. We strongly urge students to accede to reasonable, tightly drawn, evenly applied regulations.”

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MPE turns ugly