Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Students filling the roles of campaign managers and committee members for Westminster College's Mock Convention were announced recently.
Westminster'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.
The students are enrolled in the political science course "Mock Convention" taught by Dr. James Rhoads, professor of political science and adviser to the convention. After signing up for the course, each student was asked to write a short paper on the role he or she wanted to play in the event. Rhoads made the assignments based on the essays.
At the beginning of the semester, the students decided as a class who the four Republican candidates should be, based on poll positions at the time and name recognition across the country. Their selections were: Michele Bachman, the first Republican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota; Ron Paul, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas; Rick Perry, governor of Texas; and Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts.
Senior political science and economics major Tyler Dever is campaign manager for candidate Romney.
She feels Romney's business experience makes him the best candidate for President. "He has worked in business so he knows how to fix it, which would help him do the best job in working to fix our economy."
Dever has learned a lot about the election process and has become more politically aware and active. "I accepted this position because it would be a valuable learning experience, it was a good opportunity, and it would be fun. So far it has been all those things."
Dever is a daughter of Leon Dever and Carolyn Nichols of Salt Lake City and a graduate of Highland High School.
Senior political science major Katelyn Moga is campaign manager for candidate Bachman.
Westminster's 2007 Mock Convention was in progress when Moga toured the campus as a prospective student. She has been anticipating this year's event ever since. "I knew I wanted to have a very involved role in the convention, as it plays a major part in Westminster's history. The campaign manager's role appealed to me because it entails a great deal of research and background work and offers a lot of hands-on learning through writing and giving speeches and face-to-face campaigning."
Moga feels Bachman's greatest asset is her unwavering commitment to the ideals on which the country was founded. "In the midst of a pool of candidates that has been continually charged with flip-flopping on major ideals and past decisions, Michele has stayed true to her strong constitutional conservative beliefs throughout her political career."
The most prominent lesson Moga has learned from the experience has been the necessity to explore all sides of issues facing the nation and its politicians. "The Mock Convention candidates are not ones I would consider supporting under normal circumstances. The experience has forced me to explore and understand the viewpoints of all of the potential Republican presidential candidates. This has given me a greater understanding of the grave issues facing our nation and has better prepared me for a future in politics."
Moga is a daughter of Timothy and Pamela Moga of Ashtabula, Ohio, and a graduate of Edgewood High School.
Senior political science major Alex Scull is campaign manager for candidate Perry.
Scull feels Perry's respect and dedication to education make him the best presidential choice. "Perry has historically been a very big supporter of education and I think that he would take that to the White House. I believe that putting more money toward all levels of education, not cutting it, is the only way to turn this economy around."
One lesson that Scull has learned is how apathetic people can be about politics. He feels those who are put off by the convention's Republican focus have missed the point. "They need to pay more attention to the fact that it is mock and is meant to be a fun, entertaining, and educational experience. We are doing something that is done on the national level every four years, we are continuing a tradition, and we are offering the Westminster community an experience you don't get at many other colleges and universities."
Scull is a son of Thomas and Stephanie Scull of DuBois and a graduate of DuBois Area High School.
Senior political science major Anthony Tammaro is campaign manager for candidate Paul. He identifies closely with Paul's views and hopes to have a career in politics.
He feels Paul is the best candidate because he is not afraid to stand up to the establishment. "He attacks the warfare state currently championed by Republicans as well as the welfare state that is the backbone of the Democrat party. He is the only candidate whose primary interest is freedom."
Tammaro is a son of Louis and Loraine Tammaro of Ellwood City and a graduate of Riverside High School.
The campaign managers will debate the issues Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. in the Berlin Student Lounge of McKelvey Campus Center. The debate is open to the public.
Other students in the class are filling the roles of executive chair, treasurer, secretary, and web manager, or are serving on committees for credentials, public relations, platform and rules, and physical arrangements.
Contact Rhoads at (724) 946-7255 or email for additional information. Click here for additional information about Westminster's Mock Convention.
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.