Mock Con tri-chairs look to 2020, begin stage of staff recruitment

The trio of sophomores is working to continue an important “W&L tradition”

Elizabeth Underwood

Mock Convention 2016 may have earned Washington and Lee its 20th correct presidential nominee prediction less than two years ago, but the university is not resting on its laurels. Preparations for the next Mock Convention are already underway.

Photo Courtesy of the 27th Washington and Lee University Mock Convention

The Mock Convention 2020 tri-chairs are three members of the class of 2020 who were selected as first-years and tasked with the responsibility of planning the political research project and beloved W&L event during their collegiate years. The tri-chairs are already at work examining the 2016 Mock Convention cycle while preparing to put together a research team and begin fundraising.

General Chair Jimmy Fleck, ‘20, explained that he became involved with Mock Convention because he was drawn to the student-driven aspect of the event.

“The idea that a group of students could come together and put on such an event and predict the nominee with such accuracy was astounding,” Fleck said. “I knew I wanted to be a part of this great W&L tradition and make this another great Mock Convention.”

The tri-chairs have their own individual duties in gathering and sorting information. Elizabeth Thompson, ‘20, handles the various tasks of Financial Chair.

“My role has consisted of gaining control of the Mock Con accounts, approaching the Executive Committee for our budget allocation and searching through the incredible amount of records the last cycle left us,” Thompson said.

Thompson admitted that the responsibility of sorting through the large amount of information has been a hurdle. But she says the information has been helpful, and she appreciates the guidance they have received.

As Political Chair, John Harashinski, ‘20, is also responsible for analyzing information from previous conventions and developing a political research strategy.

“The goal is to have a solid understanding of how to conduct the research, then to build the research team, so we can hit the ground running once we get closer to 2020,” Harashinski said. “We are trying to learn from the past in order to succeed in the future.”

Although the tri-chairs have individual duties specific to their positions, one of their current joint goals is to select and soon work with motivated and passionate students.

“It takes an army to put on this convention, and the three of us cannot do it alone,” Thompson said.

The tri-chairs encourage students interested in becoming involved with mock convention to attend the information meeting on Oct. 17, where students can apply for various open positions.

Fleck emphasized the bipartisan nature of the event for students interested in applying.

“Mock Con is not a Republican or Democratic tradition,” Fleck said. “It’s a W&L tradition.”