Elizabeth Warren makes history at OWU’s Mock Convention

Connor Severino and Hailey de la Vara

Transcript correspondents



Ohio Wesleyan students elected the first-ever woman president Saturday at their Democratic Mock Convention.

Voters elected Elizabeth Warren as president and Stacey Abrams as vice president. Warren secured the election after a run-off vote with Bernie Sanders and was the first woman president elected since the beginning of the convention in 1884.

Abrams secured the vice presidency following a passionate endorsement from Sally Leber, OWU’s director of Service Learning, who highlighted her record defending voter’s rights and racial equality.

OWU alumna Valorie Schwarzmann, permanent chair of the convention’s committee, said, “Hoping as a country we have a sense of whom to be and who we want to lead us, I hope we can figure it out.”

The convention, begun Friday, always focuses on a political party and this year’s event simulated a Democratic Party nominating convention, with the theme “The Future is Ours.”

William Louthan, a politics and government professor, led the invocation for the event, animating the crowd with his introduction of “Welcome to the party of the people.”

David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, presented the opening message, encouraging students to get involved in the upcoming presidential election and to register to vote.

Alaina Shearer, a candidate from Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, rallied the crowd by stressing the importance of this year’s election. Proceeding her speech was a performance by the acapella group OWtsiders, who set the mood for the remainder of the convention.

Also speaking was Alex Moscou, a senior and survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018, addressed the crowd about gun violence, earning enthusiastic recognition for his courageousness and leadership.

The convention’s atmosphere was filled with energy and optimism throughout both days and seemed to unify students.

“There was a higher level of energy and a deeper engagement of issues, compared to the last Mock Convention,” OWU President Rock Jones said.

Drama was on hand, too, when security escorted out sophomore Hamzah Malik, the state chair for Ohio, after he refused to leave the microphone in defense of Vermin Supreme for vice president. Supreme is a performance artist and perennial Democratic candidate.

Malik had collected enough signatures to nominate Supreme, but the executive committee ruled the move invalid on the grounds Supreme is actually an Independent candidate.

Throughout, students delivered addresses about issues such as climate change, student loan debt, equality and healthcare. A vision for an equal and ecological friendly economy coincides with the interests of Warren and runner up Sanders.

Students represented their home states and with their votes, Warren surpassed runner up Sanders 111-to-52. The remaining candidates came in a close third place, with each having around 30 votes.

“It was so exciting because not only is this OWU history but country history being the first time we’ve had all women,” junior Alexis Greene said.

The convention concluded with scores of balloons and cheers.

Transcript correspondent Meg Edwards contributed to this report.

From politics to leisure, OWU clubs cover many bases

Alex Emerson

Transcript Correspondent


For whatever interest an Ohio Wesleyan student might have, it’s likely they can find a club on campus to help them pursue that passion.

Club recruitment was in full swing yesterday at the Hamilton Williams Campus Center at the Student Involvement Fair. A wide variety of clubs and their members were on hand, pitching their organizations and trying to enlist new members.

The 16 clubs represented ranged from academia to greek life to video game enthusiasts. A full list of OWU clubs can be found here.

One organization that will draw attention this semester and which has been an OWU tradition since 1884 is Mock Convention. The clubmeets every four years during the presidential election cycle to teach students more about the electoral process, said Ahmed Hamed, the organization’s president.

The “Mock” represents the party not in control of the White House, with the aim of predicting the party’s nominee for the coming election.

Some clubs are focused on activism. One example is the Citizens Climate Lobby.

“Our focus right now is that civic engagement is important. Helping people realize that their voice matters … and (offering) a bipartisan climate solution,” said Juniper Deitering, the group’s treasurer.

Pride is another activist club.

“The club is an inclusive space for the LGBT community and allies, attempting to connect queer people so they can express themselves, socialize and support queer related activism,” said Ben Acuna, the organization’s vice president. “It’s a casual student space, more so than student counseling or something.”

Fun is another element for many clubs, including the Game Club, which is also designed to promote new friendships.

“It’s a really relaxed club where people who like tabletop games and video games can hang out,” said President Ocheme Connell. “Occasionally, we hold events like the Super Smash Brothers Tournament. It meets Friday from 8 p.m. until we feel like going to bed.”

All clubs have signup sheets which include non-committal email lists.

Mock Convention Kicks Off

By Anna Edmiston

Staff Reporter


Planning started Thursday for Ohio Wesleyan’s long-time tradition of holding a political convention leading to the presidential election in November 2020.

Next year, Mock Conventioneers will play the role of Democrats deciding on a candidate to represent the party in the general election. The Mock Convention always assumes the role of the party that doesn’t occupy the White House. It started in 1884.

Attendees meeting in Crider Lounge in Hamilton-Williams Student Center watched the third debate of Democratic candidates while eating catered food and learning about the roles students and the Delaware community will play in the Mock Convention, which will occur Feb. 21 and 22.

There were tables set up to help students register to vote, play interactive games, and ask questions of student leaders of the program.

“I’m pretty excited for the fact that (politics) will be in an attainable level and it will help with my understanding of how politics works,” said freshman S.K. Bulander.

Freshman Josie Fornara agreed. “I am excited about learning more about politics and participating in the American tradition,” said Fornara.

“Being able to be a part of something that only happens every four years and being able to work alongside such amazing people,” said sophomore ZannaLee Carling-Sprewell.

Danielle Black, vice president of Mock Convention, said, “I am most excited to be involved in the planning of it, to allow people to learn more about the politics of our country and expand their horizon.”

There is still time to sign up for Mock Convention. Also, if any person on campus is interested in registering to vote, contact Franchesca Nestor, an assistant professor of politics and government (fvnestor@owu.edu).

OWU Mock Convention takes on the issue of student debt

Photo courtesy of Twitter.
Photo courtesy of Twitter.

Every four years, the Ohio Wesleyan Mock Convention takes place in Gray Chapel and students learn and experience the political party nomination process for the upcoming presidential election.

This year’s Mock Convention will take place on both Feb. 5 and 6. Leading up to this event, several platform hearings are held in preparation for the two­-day event.

The third platform hearing was held on Dec. 1 and President Rock Jones, professor of economics Alice Simon and OWU alumnus Ben Andrews gave their views on the politics of student debt.

Simon began the hearing by discussing the benefits of achieving a bachelor’s degree and how having a bachelor’s degree is described as a need.

Simon explained that economists define necessities as good or service that when the price goes up, the demand for that need stays the same. “In 1990, 59.9 percent of high school graduates attended some sort of college education institution.”

This percentage has only increased since 1990 and the cost of a college education has also increased, which suggests that a college education is a need rather than a want.

Simon teaches classes covering the areas on economic principles, monetary and fiscal policy, consumer economics and labor economics.

Photo courtesy of the OWU website.
Photo courtesy of the OWU website.

Simon explained that someone with a bachelor degree, on average will make 1.3 million dollars more than someone without a bachelor’s degree over a lifetime.

Andrews spoke on how student debt affects different groups of people in different ways.

Andrews said, “According to recent studies, 66 percent of OWU students graduate within six years of college, which is higher than the national average of 50 percent.”

The typical total debt the average OWU student encounters after graduating is 27,000 dollars, with average monthly loan payments of 300 dollars.

Jones went on to explain the stigma attached to private school and the higher cost of private colleges over public institutions.

Jones said, “By examining the list price of public versus private, private is higher. However, students attending private schools don’t borrow much more than those attending public schools.”

Jones explained that the average student who has attended a public college will encounter 25,000 dollars of debt whereas private will encounter 29,000 dollars. Although the sticker price for a private intuition might be more, the average student does not pay that amount due to financial aid and scholarships provided through the school’s endowment.

Jones said, “People with college degrees contribute greatly to society and have far less need for public assistance. Society should help bear the cost of college education to benefit the entire society as a whole.”

The list price for colleges might have increased, Jones reasoned, but the actual price has declined due to scholarship and federal funding.

“People suggest sending more students to community college or making community college free,” said Jones. “This would be a risk and possible loss of educated citizen from educational establishments such as Ohio Wesleyan.”

Jones said, “Nobody is arguing that you shouldn’t borrow money to buy a house. Nobody is arguing that you shouldn’t borrow money to buy a car. With massive amounts of credit card debt, people aren’t arguing that you shouldn’t borrow money to buy holiday present, but they are arguing that you shouldn’t borrow money to get a college education. A modest student loan is the ticket to achieving much more in life.”

According to the OWU Mock Convention’s literature, this year’s Mock Convention will be Republican “to ensure there is a lively debate and competition among a number of candidates.”

The organization traditionally represents the party currently not in office.