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Ohio Wesleyan’s Mock Convention is a tradition more than 130 years in the making. Students held a mock Democratic National Convention on Feb. 21-22 and chose a presidential candidate. OWU student and Delaware Democrat, Mallorie Watts, wrote about her experience as co-executive director of the convention.

I want to first thank the Delaware Democrats who came to Mock Convention! I had always heard about Ohio Wesleyan’s Mock Convention, but I never knew much. I remember talking to Dr. Ashley Biser (a Politics and Government Professor and the adviser to Mock Convention) about the ways I wanted to be involved. I told her I wanted to serve on the platform committee or maybe be the chair of the platform committee, but nothing too much. Then Dr. Biser and I sat down to chat, since we didn’t know each other, and I told her about my past involvement with the Democratic Party. Somehow I left the meeting accepting the position of Co-Executive Director! 

I really had no idea what I was signing up for, but I was incredibly excited and honored to be part of this tradition. Reflecting back, the skills I learned from volunteering for the party were VERY useful in organizing Mock Convention. Things like canvassing and being persistent were helpful in recruiting people to come to Mock Convention. The knowledge I had from working with the party was incredibly useful in helping the Platform Committee with policy hearings and writing the platform. Planning Mock Convention was very much like organizing, which the party gave me ample experience to learn from. The Central Committee meetings taught me how to lead a group, where we all have a similar goal, but we disagree on many things, but being able to redirect people’s energy to accomplish our common goal. 

Also, it will always blow my mind how much work goes into setting up a stage (or other tasks we see as “small”). After two days of working seven hours each day on the set-up, I am thankful to belong to a party that values workers and fights for strong unions. 

But nothing compares to the day of Mock Convention. It will truly be one of my favorite memories at OWU. It was so much fun and very awesome to see the community and students come together! It was even more awesome to be part of OWU Mock Convention history, in nominating the fist woman for president and vice president!! 

I am beyond thankful that Dr. Biser took a chance on me to lead Mock Convention. And thankful for the Delaware County Democratic Party for taking a chance on me, when I was just a 16-year-old young woman, looking to get involved. 

Participants choose Sen. Elizabeth Warren as their presidential nominee. You can read more about the convention in this article from The Columbus Dispatch.