College Democrats are preparing for their first-ever state college convention to be held at Bowdoin next Friday and Saturday.

Maine's highest-ranking Democrats will headline the event, dubbed the Maine College Democrats of America College Convention. Governor John Baldacci will be the keynote speaker during Saturday's activities. Congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud will speak on Friday evening.

About 100 Democrats are expected to attend the full convention, which will include a variety of lectures and training sessions. Participants will learn processes for registering voters, hear from Kerry campaign officials, and participate in other classes. They will also elect members to vacant positions in the state leadership structure.

"The overall goal is to unite the state," Bowdoin College Democrats co-President Alex Cornell du Houx '06 said. Cornell du Houx and Bree Dallinga '06 are the presidents of the Maine College Democrats.

The convention will be the first convention for the state organization, which formed two years ago.

"We thought it would be an excellent way to get the state organized and mobilized for the elections," Cornell du Houx said.

Planning for an inaugural weekend takes extensive efforts, organizers said.

"I've been doing practically nothing but organzing for the convention," said Cornell du Houx. "The other [Bowdoin] officers... have been extremely dedicated."

Delegates from other Maine institutions, including the Bates and Colby Colleges, and the University of Maine system, will be board in the dorm rooms of Bowdoin Democrats. Roughly 50 students from other schools will stay overnight.

Bowdoin students and community members are invited to attend the events.

"We would love it if other people attended," Cornell du Houx said.

Interested individuals should contact Cornell du Houx by email at to obtain free credentials, which are required for entrance to any of the convention events.

Maine College Republicans held their convention in April at Colby College.


Friday, September 24

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.: Sign-in and meet and greet (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

5:45: Sponsors welcome participants to first Maine Chapter Convention for College Democrats. Highlights include opening address and overview of convention (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

6:00: Keynote Speaker: Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME) (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

7:00: Keynote Speaker: Congressman Tom Allen (D-ME) (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

7:45: Break

8:00: State election plan overview (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

9:00: E-chapters training (Computer Lab, Hawthorne & Longfellow Library).

9:45: Party to welcome Maine College Democrats to Bowdoin (Macmillan House).

Saturday, September 25

10:00 a.m.: Brunch (Thorne and Moulton dining halls).

11:00: Forum: Cory Hascal: "How to Run a Local Election" (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union)

12:30 p.m.: Break

1:00: Forum: DNC Committee Member Sam Spencer: "Getting Connected With Your Local Party" (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

1:30: Forum: Lee Umphrey: "Mastering The Media" (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

2:00: Snack (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

2:30: Meet with your local Representatives: "Planning for Your Local Elections" (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

3:00: Keynote Speaker: Governor John Baldacci (Morrell Lounge, Smith Union).

3:45: Break & visibility opportunities (convention pictures, etc.).

4:00: Meet with Maine representatives from the Kerry-Edwards Campaign (Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union).

5:00 - 6:30: Dinner and checkout (Dinner: Thorne & Moulton dining halls, Checkout: Moulton Union).