Ohio Wesleyan University students will select presidential and vice presidential candidates and approve a national Republican Party platform during OWU’s 2024 Mock Presidential Convention.
The two-day event, replicating a U.S. nominating convention, will take place Feb. 23-24 in University Hall’s Gray Chapel, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. The public is invited to attend the free event, first held on campus in 1884.
This year’s Mock Convention will kick off at 4 p.m. Feb. 23 (doors open at 3) with opening ceremonies, including the traditional call to order, presentation of colors, national anthem, and installation of convention chairs. Following a dinner break, platform debates will begin at 7 p.m. and continue into the night.
OWU’s Mock Convention will resume at 9 a.m. Feb. 24 and conclude at noon, following the election of the Republican presidential and vice presidential ticket and closing ceremonies.
Because the event traditionally features the party out of the White House, this year’s Mock Convention will focus on the Republican race. The theme of the convention is “The Elephant in the Room.”
OWU senior Sophie Gipson of Dayton, Ohio, and junior Timothy Page of Chicago, Illinois, are serving as executive directors of the event, which seeks to teach students and others about the workings of presidential nominating conventions, strengthen their commitment to civic engagement, and build bridges to connect with those who don’t feel part of the political process.
“Mock Convention is an amazing opportunity to educationally engage with some of the most important issues in American politics today,” said Gipson, a double major in Politics and Government and Sociology/Anthropology. “This is a once-in-a-college career event to experience, and I encourage all OWU students to participate in some capacity!”
Page also encourages convention attendees to “seize the great learning opportunities” it offers. “I hope you will get a better grasp of the democratic process and improve your abilities in critical thinking, diplomacy, and teamwork,” he said.
“Participating in events like this helps to shape the next generation of leaders and educated citizens,” concluded Page, who is majoring in Politics and Government and minoring in Black World Studies. “The capacity to participate in intellectual conversation, understand other viewpoints, and collaborate to achieve common goals is critical for creating a stronger and more united society. Your participation in the Mock Convention is more than simply the event itself; it provides the groundwork for your position as engaged and responsible participants in our democracy.”
In addition to Gipson and Page, other Ohio Wesleyan students steering the Mock Convention planning committee are event intern Katherine DiJulius from Strongsville, Ohio, and communications chair Anna Nacci from Wooster, Ohio. DiJulius is a triple major in Politics and Government, English, and Spanish, and Nacci is a double major in Politics and Government and Philosophy.
To help Ohio Wesleyan students prepare for the convention, they were invited to attend platform hearings in the fall exploring issues including inflation and debt. Members of the Mock Convention planning committee used the debates and discussions to help inform the party platform that will be debated, amended as needed, and adopted during the February event.
Brianna Mack, Ph.D., assistant professor of Politics and Government, is serving as the event’s faculty director. Her research interests include American political behavior, political psychology, and race and ethnicity.
“Not only is Mock Convention an exciting signature university event that encourages civic involvement here in the community, it also provides a glimpse into the political identities and attitudes that will influence the nation in the near future,” Mack said. “I can’t wait to see what the 2024 Mock Convention platform will entail and who the delegates will select as the GOP’s president and vice president nominees”
Learn more about Mock Convention at www.owu.edu/mockconvention.
Submitted by Ohio Wesleyan University.