Out of the twenty delegates representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, only two are returning members. With eighteen “first years,” our delegation was nervous about a variety of things ranging from presenting our proposals to making friends in other states. Female delegates, especially, were having trouble deciding what to pack, as both of our returning delegates, Matt Dowgiallo and Sean Costello, are young men who have no knowledge of female fashion. Despite clothing, Dowgiallo and Costello are two great sources for first year Massachusetts CONA delegates to look to for advice of any kind. Dowgiallo is very passionate about Massachusetts and CONA traditions and has made a point to inform and teach these traditions to us “first years.” Says Dowgiallo, “Our long-lasting relationship with Texas, as the Commonwealth/Republic of Texachusetts, has been successfully preserved.”

The Massachusetts delegation has had a fantastic amount of success despite our lack of returning delegates. Both Moses Adubi and Eddie Tedesco, two first year delegates, have had their proposals passed into third committee. Adubi comments: “Regarding my proposal, I must say that I am happy with its success thus far. I knew it was debatable, but I wondered if others would feel the same.” Tedesco adds: “I am very happy with my decision to apply to CONA because it s one of the greatest things I have experienced.”

While the success within our delegation is great, we feel that bonding with one another is just as important. One aspect that brings the Massachusetts delegation together at CONA is our mascot. Rather than contributing to the stuffed animal trend, Massachusetts has named one our very own delegates as our mascot. We refer to Nick Culbert, who stands five feet and four inches tall, as our “Koala Bear.” The uniqueness of our mascot has helped us bond together as a state. Fellow delegations, please do not attempt to steal Culbert from the Commonwealth, as he cannot be replaced!

We have also come together and bonded within our Round Table discussions. Monday night, Kelsey Lewis, our Round Table chair, had the Massachusetts delegates randomly switch nametags with one another. We then said nice things about the person whose name tag we were given. Compliments ranged from observations on a delegate’s actions to comments on a delegate’s character. All in all, the Massachusetts delegates have grown closer together during the past few days and are looking forward to the upcoming time we will spend with one another.