Jackson Sharman ’22
Mock Con at Washington and Lee is a storied tradition. However, this history has not stopped the 2020 election cycle team from seeking out ways to improve the overall experience of every Washington and Lee community member.
For 2020 Convention coverage, Mock Con is releasing “MockCast,” a podcast exploring different aspects of Mock Con. Mock Con’s General Secretary, Layne Smith ’20, is spearheading the effort along with the Director of Communications, Annie Lentz ’20.
“We were looking for an accessible way to highlight fascinating and fun parts of the Mock Con organization, its history, its projects, etc., and we wanted to do so in a way that could keep up with people's busy schedules,” Smith said.
Podcasts, especially political ones, have grown increasingly popular over the last few years, and the Mock Con team views the platform as a useful way to help spread information about the Convention.
By both listening to the podcast and engaging with the Convention Weekend app, Washington and Lee students and interested members of the public will be able to stay more up to date on the work of the political team than possible during past election cycles.
“Spreading Mock Con’s work to off-campus audiences is a priority for the Communications Team this cycle,” said Lentz. “We’ve been working on the 2020 Convention for almost three years and want to ensure that our efforts are accessible to anyone interested in them; such a presence strengthens our mission and our message.”
John Harashinski ’20, Mock Con’s Political Chair, echoed Lentz’s message. “We are excited to be the first convention cycle to do [a podcast]. We believe that MockCast is a great way to bring together the Convention, the student body, and the community at large.”
The first few episodes of the podcast provided an introduction to Mock Con’s six departments, talking to each department head and asking them about their goals and passions. Smith said she plans to vary the topics of each episode as the podcast develops.
Smith also said they are going to explore the political and research aspects of Mock Con in future episodes. “In our brainstorming sessions for future podcast episodes, we've talked about doing deep dives into political strategy, tidbits about Mock Con's storied history, and the like,” Smith said.
Smith hopes the podcast will act as a platform for Mock Con to reach students, professors and faculty and promote the convention as a distinctive and inspiring experience at Washington and Lee. However, the team also hopes the podcast will play an even more meaningful role.
“We also believe we can use the podcast to accrue a wider national audience to show that there are some really brilliant young people interested in the bettering of politics and the political climate,” she said.
Season two of MockCast is now streaming on the Mock Con website. The podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.