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SFU to Hold 2020 Mock National Convention

February 13, 2020 Author: Tom Havrilla Tags: STEAM

2020 Mock ConventionSaint Francis University will hold the 2020 Mock Democratic Convention Saturday, March 14th in the JFK Student Union. 

Every four years, students gather to make a case for current candidates and vote for  who they feel can best lead the country. The University’s tradition has been to hold the convention of the party that does not hold the presidency. 

The Convention, sponsored by the Department of History and Political Science, serves as an interdisciplinary event, allowing students from all majors to learn and participate in the political process.

What is a Mock Convention?

The Mock Convention is designed to resemble the national Democratic Convention in every way, with students acting as campaign managers, state delegation chairmen, and state delegates. Participation is also needed in the areas of convention hall decorations, stage and sound crew, and security. Positions are available for hundreds of students in all these areas. Student political opinion will be reflected by the candidate nominated. The results may or may not be an indication of what to expect at the actual convention this summer.

What is a Campaign Manager?
The job of the campaign manager is to persuade the state delegates to vote for his/her candidate.  The means with which to accomplish this are at the complete discretion of the campaign manager and his staff, in the best tradition of American "backroom  politicking." Bribes are permissible but do try to keep it legal.

What is a State Chairman?
The state chairman will recruit a delegation to represent a state of his/her choice. The more delegates you can bring to the convention, the more effective and exciting it will be. Come prepared for the occasion with such things as signs, banners, noisemakers, etc.  Interested students should sign up as soon as possible. 

What is a Delegate?
A state delegate represents the state of his/her choice and will vote on each ballot until a majority of 50% plus one is reached. Your vote is important. YOUR vote will determine the outcome of the convention.

What Happens at a Convention?
Almost anything! Actual conventions tend to be rather chaotic; the Mock Conventions at Saint Francis University are no exception. Placards, posters, and political propaganda will be available with which to stage wild floor demonstrations.  Improvisation is desired and encouraged. Between ballots, campaign managers will be busily caucusing the state delegations for votes. There is always the possibility of a deadlock--a few uncommitted voters could make all the difference.

What if I don't know anything about politics or conventions?
Prior knowledge or experience is not needed. During the convention itself you will learn a great deal about the American political processes and you'll have some fun doing it! You will experience not only the external aspects of a convention, but also the wheeling and dealing that makes the system exciting. As a bonus, you will be more aware of the issues and the positions of the candidates, making you better prepared to vote in November.

 How much time is involved?
Actually, very little. If you want to be more creative, however, the amount of preparation time is up to you. There will be periodic meetings before the convention in which details will be discussed.

When is the Convention?

Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 1 pm

JFK Student Union.

History and Political Science at SFU

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