Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Presidential Mockus — A Simulated Nevada Caucus in Your Classroom

I was informed of a wonderful learning opportunity for high school students this semester. Representatives of the Nevada State Democratic Party will come to your classroom to run a mock caucus. To approach the topic from a non-partisan perspective, students will cast their preferences for pizza or ice cream toppings rather than actual presidential candidates. Below is an excerpt of a letter I received from Brian Hutchinson (a contact person for scheduling a "mockus").

"Since a presidential caucus is different from a traditional primary, the Nevada State Democratic Party (NSDP) is organizing mock caucuses (aka mockuses) around the state to educate citizens about the caucus process.

Students participating in a mockus will experience a precinct caucus, from beginning to end. This includes seeing how much influence each participant can have and how truly grassroots the democratic process is.

Here's how the mockus model works:
  • Explanation by NSDP staff about the importance of the caucus in Nevada
  • Students split into preference groups to show support for the candidate (or in this case, pizza topping) of their choice
  • Viability of preference groups is determined
  • Unviable groups (those who do not have enough supporters) must realign
  • Viable group members lobby unviable group members to support their candidate
  • Caucus math begins and delegates are apportioned
  • Results are reported
  • Delegates are elected to county convention (with the potential to continue to the state convention and then the national convention
We can adjust the content to fit within one class period and we would be thrilled to bring a mockus to your classroom."

To schedule a mockus in Northern Nevada, contact Brian Hutchinson, the Northern Nevada Field Director of the Nevada State Democratic Party, via email or phone (775-829-1699)

Note that the Southern Nevada model will be different than that mentioned above. The Southern Nevada model will appear in the form of high school assemblies. Contact your school principal to see if your school is participating.

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