Mock Con gears up for state chair appointments

Alexandra Seymour, Staff Writer

The Mock Convention staff is ready to more than double their team with the appointment of 55 state chairs.

These chairs are the “fundamental aspect of the research project,” said Political Chair Katherine Hodges ’16. Some of their responsibilities include making contacts within the state and announcing and leading delegates at convention.

“It’s not only just a leadership and a responsibility position, but it’s also a fun position,” said Hodges.

While applicants are not required to have an extensive political background to apply, they must exemplify leadership skills, a willingness to partake in the research and an enthusiasm to learn.

“You don’t have to be a political junkie, but there’s got to be some sort of spark or fire that gets you a little bit hyped up,” said General Chair Andrew McCaffery ’16.

The Mock Con chairs emphasized that anyone should consider applying because they want a wide-range of personalities from all majors and class years. This is part of their goal to ultimately reach 95% student involvement.

There are currently 37 students involved with Mock Con, many of which are excited to expand their team with state chairs.

“It’s certainly going to make [Mock Con] feel a little more real,” said Chief Political Analyst Joe Kimbell ’17. “Once we have all the state chairs in place we can really hit the ground running and delve even further, make even more progress than we already have.”

About two to four more students will also be hired for the Speakers Committee this week. These students will aid Speakers Chair Charles Correll ’17 in researching, as well as help make connections and accelerate the entire process.

“It’s a very adaptable job. You have to bring a lot of people skills but also sort of a gut knowledge of politics,” said Correll. They hope to bring about 26 speakers to campus in total.

Overall, the Mock Con team is pleased with their progress. They have created profiles for about 12 potential candidates and have tested the Regional Chairs’ prediction abilities by having them project the outcome of the senate midterm elections.

“To draw from the way my Organic professor puts things, we’re at an ‘anxiety level’ of 4, which I think is good,” said McCaffery. “We’re not overly stressed out and freaking out but we’re not sitting on our laurels.”

Hodges said that the great sense of cohesiveness and ability for everyone to “fall into their roles” has allowed them to do so well.

“Looking back at other conventions, I wouldn’t say that we’re ahead of where they are, but we are on schedule—If not doing better than where we thought we needed to be at this point,” said Hodges.

Rather than focusing on polling data, which Kimbell said at this point is “pretty limited in it’s utility”, they track potential candidates’ actions, such as if they’re making trips to Iowa and New Hampshire or are trying to build a fundraising base.

New this year, the Mock Con team will hire a security team of students that will be trained by public safety. These positions are geared toward cutting costs and creating more opportunities for students to participate.

A premiere for a new documentary about Mock Con is currently in the works for this February.