Mock Con: A First-Year’s Guide


Katrina Lewis

With the recent Delegates’ Fair and the unveiling of the Presidential Gala’s theme, A Grand Old Party, the Mock Convention frenzy is well underway. Preparation, too, is surely in motion for February’s Presidential Weekend.

The website for Washington & Lee’s twenty-sixth Mock Con has been documenting the event’s progress since December 2014, so it comes as no surprise that students across campus are busy fulfilling political, communications, operations, general and financial positions.

As a first-year, I have but only a vague understanding of the convention. I am among the 95 percent of students who have historically taken part in the convention, having joined a state delegation alongside many other first-years. Yet, I am continually amazed by the commitment shown by participating upper division students.

Upperclassmen have been dedicating their time over the course of the last three years to carry on the W&L Mock Con tradition. For this reason, it can be easy to dismiss the potential of first-years to play a meaningful role in the creation of Mock Con.

We may have joined the fanfare later than most, but we are just as eager to take on what part we can in an event that is so quintessentially W&L.

“Mock Con makes our freshman year unique,”  Caroline Skidmore, ‘19, who joined the Guam delegation, said.

As is commonly heard among first-years, Skidmore is glad to have involved herself in the convention to do her part in a way that generations of W&L students have done before her.

“You don’t need to have a large position to be able to appreciate Mock Con and what it stands for here at W&L,” Skidmore said.

Mock Con’s 2016 General Secretary, Lindsay Cates, ‘16,  matches the enthusiasm that first-years are demonstrating.

“It’s been a long process,” Cates said, “So it’s amazing to see the first-years so excited about getting involved.”

Rather than viewing first-years’ newness to the process as a disadvantage, Cates said first-years play an important role in helping those students who’ve worked hard to prepare over the past three years.

“It has really breathed new life into the organization on every level,” Cates said. “ This year the campus finally gets to experience what we all have been working so hard to put together, and the first-years will be a huge part of that.”

Mock Convention’s website echoes Cates’ sentiment, boasting that “at every level, the organization’s students are committed to putting Mock Convention’s goal into action.”

Whether a first-year on a state delegation or a senior chair, student participation defines and distinguishes Mock Convention at W&L.