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Mock Convention Tradition Continues Nov. 9-10

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Westminster College's 19th Mock Convention, one of the oldest surviving collegiate conventions in the country, will take place Nov. 9-10.

A quadrennial event since its inception on the Westminster campus in 1936 - with the exception of 1944, when it was not held due to World War II - the convention is held for the party not currently in the White House. Thus, this convention and its candidates will be Republican.

"Whenever I speak to alumni, the conversation inevitably turns to the Mock Convention and their participation when they were students," said Dr. James Rhoads, Westminster professor of political science and five-time faculty adviser to the convention.  "This is an all-campus event that binds together generations of Westminster students.  It is truly a special event that comes along only once in a student's Westminster career.  I hope everyone takes advantage of the opportunity to be part of a Westminster tradition."

Westminster students, faculty, and staff will represent eight regions of the country rather than individual states, a change instituted at the 2007 convention that proved successful. 

New this year is the elimination of delegate fees to encourage greater student participation.  Nearly half of the 1,500 Westminster students are expected to participate.

The event opens at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening in Orr Auditorium with keynote speaker Christine O'Donnell, former U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware and author of Troublemaker: Let's Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again.  O'Donnell will be signing copies of her book in Orr Lobby following her speech.

Thursday's schedule begins at 3 p.m. in the Field House with students debating the issues.  Pre-convention entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the parade of delegates at 7:30 p.m., and nomination of candidates for president and vice president at 7:45 p.m.  All events are free and open to the public.

"This is a great tradition at Westminster College," Rhoads said.  "Students have a great deal of fun while also learning a lot about our political process.  As citizens of the United States, students should acquaint themselves with our political system, and the Mock Convention can play a part in that process."    

Contact Rhoads at (724) 946-7255 or email for additional information. Click here for more information about Westminster's Mock Convention.