Rush Mock Con: which state to join?

The final opportunity to join Mock Convention draws many Washington and Lee students to state delegation fair


Ashley Faulkner

What do ducks, beaches and cow suits have to do with each other? They all played a role as Mock Convention delegations persuaded students to join their respective states last week on Cannan Green.

Mock Convention invited both undergraduate and law students alike to join the 55 state and territory delegations who will come together in February to decide the Republican presidential nominee.

Each delegation had a booth set up representing its state’s pride and had incentives for students to pick that state over another.

“We have six islands, so the [island] State Chairs decided to build a beach,” Western Regional Chair Rachel Gallagher, ‘18, said.

According to Gallagher, the beach included 600 pounds of sand, palm trees and a mini pool.

Some states enticed students with food, decorations and promotions.

“We made a table cloth out of Texas Flags and put out cowboy hats, boots and bluebonnets,” Texas State Chair Wilson Miller, ‘17, said. “We also had cardboard cutouts of a cowboy and a cowgirl, as well as chips, salsa and guacamole.”

But Miller and some other state chairs said they weren’t all that worried about incentivizing students to join their delegations.

“It’s hard to turn down an offer to join a delegation for the best state in the U.S.,” he said.

Some students, such as Julie Malone, ‘18, decided to participate in their home state delegations.

“I love Idaho,” Malone said, “ [and] I’m excited to share my experiences and help to represent Idaho in the best possible way.”

According to Malone, she is the only one from Idaho in the Idaho delegation. This is because many students elect to join states they aren’t from.

Leigh Stauffer, ‘16, is from Georgia but decided to join the Oregon delegation.

“I had some friends who were working [the Oregon delegation], so I thought I would help out,” Stauffer said. “I’ve vacationed there and it’s a fun state.”

In addition to joining delegations, students were able to buy additional state shirts and Mock Convention memorabilia.

Ryder Babik, ‘19, said he joined Michigan because he thought the shirts “were among the top” of the selection.

Babik, like others, chose to buy more than one shirt, purchasing both Michigan’s delegation shirt, as well as Alaska’s.

“My friend and I did two laps and Alaska had the best shirts in our opinion,” Babik said. “It had a great slogan and was a cool design. I definitely don’t have any attire from Alaska.”

Mock Convention sold additional products such as water bottles, shot glasses and hats.

Now that delegations have officially been formed, members will work with their leaders to prepare for Mock Convention 2016.

“As a delegate to Mock Convention, students will get access to all of Convention Weekend’s events, including the debate on Thursday, the Friday Parade and all four sessions,” Political Chair Katherine Hodges, ‘16, said. “The delegate fee covers a student’s credentials for the weekend and is cheaper than a general admission ticket to the Convention.”