Press Release

2020 Mock Presidential Convention

February 5, 2020 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan will hold its 2020 Democratic Mock Presidential Convention Feb. 21-22. The OWU tradition dates back 136 years and has been held during nearly every presidential election since 1920. (Photo by Mark Schmitter ’12)

Ohio Wesleyan to Debate National Democratic Platform, Nominate Candidates at Feb. 21-22 Event

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University students will select presidential and vice presidential candidates and approve a national Democratic Party platform during OWU’s 2020 Mock Presidential Convention.

The two-day event, replicating a U.S. nominating convention, will take place Feb. 21-22 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. 21 (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. 22 and conclude at noon, following the election of the Democratic 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 Democratic race. The theme of the convention is “The Future is Ours.”

OWU sophomore Mallorie Watts of Delaware, Ohio, co-executive director of the event, said Mock Convention teaches people about the workings of presidential nominating conventions, strengthens their commitment for civic engagement, and builds bridges to those who don’t feel connected to the political process.

“Many college students may not care to vote, feeling that it doesn’t count,” said Watts, a social justice major. “Or all too often, college students are often disenfranchised. Mock Convention hopes to reignite their energy to make political change because it’s possible when we come together in solidarity. …

“I have already gotten so much from Mock Convention,” she said. “It’s going to be one of my favorite OWU memories. I hope to see where my peers stand and the ability of the OWU community to find common ground to create solutions to real-world issues – something OWU values.”

Co-executive director Ahmed Hamed, a senior from Hilliard, Ohio, said he hopes participants find the event both entertaining and enlightening.

“I hope people are able to enjoy themselves, commit completely to the nature of the event, and take advantage of the opportunities to both learn about how these conventions work and have some fun along the way,” said Hamed, a double-major in accounting and politics and government. “I hope it’s able to bring together the campus in a unique way so that people are able to look back on Mock Convention as a big highlight from their experience at OWU.”

To help students prepare for the convention, they were invited to attend platform hearings in the fall exploring issues tied to climate, immigration, and healthcare. In January, they were invited to attend a “meet the candidates” speed-dating-style event, featuring eight of their fellow students portraying the leading Democratic candidates and courting them for votes.

Learn more about Mock Convention at www.owu.edu/mockconvention or www.facebook.com/OWUMock.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.