Why We Love Mock Con

From Lee Greenwood to the iconic balloon drop, the contested 27th Mock Convention was an unforgettable weekend.

Tanajia Moye-Green

For students, professors and alumni alike, their love for Mock Convention stems from how meaningfully and extravagantly it portrays Washington and Lee University’s dedication to student self-governance.

Mock Convention is a 112-year tradition, with an objective to predict the presidential nominee of the party currently out of power in the White House. They have accurately predicted the nominee 20 out of 26 times.

“I am truly in awe of what you have all created; give yourself a hand,” said Washington and Lee President William Dudley, in his speech during session 4 of the 27thMock Convention.

Cameron Kasky, a founder of the #NeverAgain gun control movement and the March For Our Lives, spoke during session 3 and joked that Mock Convention is more organized than the Iowa Caucus.

One of the most impressive aspects of Mock Convention is that it is entirely student-run. Students hire other students, perform research, raise and manage a million dollars, build the floats, and book the speakers.

“My favorite part and a really special part is this is done by students. Every single thing is run by students,” said Fran McDonough, ’22, the New York State Chair.  But it is a stressful process, she added.

For Christina Savory, ’22, the most challenging part of being a security guard for Mock Convention is “visualizing what we are doing in our trainings before this, then getting into the area and thinking about how to apply what we’ve been learning.”

Wesley O’Dell, a former politics professor was particularly excited for Mock Convention this year since he taught many of the students who ran the convention.

“It’s one of the most Washington and Lee things you can imagine because it is run by the students and the faculty step back,” he said.

Pennsylvania State Chair Sofia Cuadra ’20 said her favorite part of this entire process has been “talking to people on the grounds in Pennsylvania and hearing how their perspectives have changed over the past year on who they think the frontrunner will be for Pennsylvania.”

Connecticut State Chair Nick Mosher ’22 loves “the politics of it. The late-night meetings in the Mock Con office, going over the demographics of each congressional district, and looking at how policies will affect each congressional district.”

However, keeping with the overall sense of appreciation for how teamwork was crucial in making the dream work, Mosher said that he was meticulous about dedicating a lot of thought and time to ensuring “every person in [the] delegation has a role to play and is getting involved and has a certain experience in Mock Con that is really fun for them.”