By Jackson Sharman ’22 and Katherine Berman ’22
Mock Convention kicked off its fall calendar on Sept. 4 with the Delegates’ Fair, where students had the opportunity to join one of 57 state, territory and district delegations. The fair’s primary purpose is to involve as many students as possible in Mock Con, and it did just that. The line of students waiting to secure their spot in Mock Con 2020 wrapped around Cannan Green. Elaborate displays of state pride convinced over 1550 students to join a delegation, and more students continue to join virtually from study abroad programs.
The Delegates’ Fair took place immediately after the Student Activities Fair, where Canaan Green transitioned quickly into a sea of state flags, every delegation with its own personality. Between popcorn machines, Hannah Montana impersonators and various state-specific goodies, undergraduates of all years circled the fair to select their favorite delegation to join.
The VP of Executive Operations for Guam’s delegation, Miles Renwick ‘22, said, “Each delegation table aimed to provide a place where prospective Mock Con participants could approach different delegations to learn more about them and hopefully join their state in this wonderful event.”
The chairs of each state, territory, and district set up a table that showcased their delegation’s notable characteristics and overall cultural identity.
Julia Batavick ‘22, New Jersey State Chair, looked to her own experiences in Sea Isle City, N.J.
“We wanted to find a theme that encapsulated the ideas and personality of New Jersey,” said Batavick. “I went to Sea Isle City every year growing up, so I always associate New Jersey with the beach.”
The New Jersey Delegation’s table displayed sand, sunglasses, shells, and miniature sand buckets; it also offered snacks like saltwater taffy and Italian ice.
“The saltwater taffy and Italian ices are both New Jersey classics,” said Batavick. “We also had a playlist with only artists from New Jersey because the state is home to a lot of amazing musicians. We just wanted to show people the best that New Jersey has to offer.”
Similarly, Georgia’s state chair, Austin York ‘20, made his presentation memorable by setting up the Georgia station in the back of his truck. The “redneck flagpole” flying two Georgia flags also made the delegation very visible.
“The Georgia state motto for Mock Con this year is ‘the best tailgate on the road to Washington,’ so we decided that it would be fitting to run Georgia’s delegate fair ‘table’ out of the tailgate of my truck,” York said.
The next step for most Mock Con delegations is research. North Dakota State Chair Emma Rabuse ’20 explained the process in which delegations talk with local people, newspapers, and sources to stay updated on the political climate in their respective state, territory, and district.
“We are currently doing a lot of research and meeting with our research team before our first report is due right before Reading Days (October 10-11),” Rabuse said. “Our goal is to hopefully figure out who North Dakota will choose as its nominee.”
With the Delegates’ Fair in the rearview mirror, the Mock Con community is looking forward to the Presidential Gala on Nov. 9.
Director of Operations, Kylie Piotte ‘21, said, “The purpose of the gala is to gather as much student support and excitement for Mock Con as possible. It is a fabulous opportunity for everyone to come together, dance and celebrate this amazing once-in-four years event.”
The fall gala gears students up for the centerpiece of every Mock Con, Convention Weekend, which will take place Feb. 14-16. On that Friday, every delegation will parade floats down Main Street to show off their state; past floats have included an elephant and a hot tub.
Texas State Chair, Rob Lahourcade ’21, summed up the convention as being the product of all 57 delegations’ dedication and commitment. “This is going to be the culmination of a lot of hours of hard work spent making sure we get this right,” he said.
*Edit made 9/24/19 to correct spelling of Cannan Green.
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