DECA encourages entrepeneurship at UCCS

Oct. 15, 2011

April Wefler
awefler@uccs.edu

The DECA club and its president William Townsend have something in common: They’re both new to campus. “We’re both a work-in-progress,” said Townsend.

DECA, or Distributive Education Clubs of Amer­ica, was created to foster the spirit of entrepreneur­ship around the campus and community.

“I was a founder of DECA on-campus. I did it last year and for a couple of years in high school. I made it to nationals and all of my officers have high school experience where they have also been in na­tionals,” said Townsend.

DECA is a marketing and entrepreneurship club but is open and applicable to every major. Its mem­bers participate in nation­al conferences and work on building their connec­tions.

Each member is given a topic and subject area of interest. Then members act out real-life scenarios that they would expect in that area in the market­ing world and are judged by people knowledgeable about that subject area.

“I’m a poli-sci major and I’m tied into business ethics or business law,” said Townsend. DECA is pushing for nursing as a topic, which has a hos­pitality simulation, or human resource manage­ment.

“Entrepreneurship ties into everything,” noted Townsend. “Basic man­agement skills that could help people.”

Although DECA is no­tably a high school club, there is a collegiate orga­nization. The high school DECA has over 100,000 members; collegiate DECA has about 50,000 but is expected to grow.

“Just in our region alone, they’ve added on 12 colleges and I think if we can get it established in UCCS, we can be one of the best in the country,” said Townsend.

“If we establish the tra­dition right away, we can have a winning tradition that will help us carry into competition when colle­giate DECA becomes big­ger.”

Member Lauren Saw­yer is also new to campus and DECA. “We didn’t have a DECA club in my high school, and I chose business as my major, so I wanted to see what DECA was and it gives you in­sight into how the business world plays out,” she said.

Sawyer opted to be a business major for the job opportunities it would pro­vide in the future.

Next semester, members will travel to Salt Lake City to compete in a na­tional DECA competition, but right now they’re still coming up with events.

“We’re working on our master plan and it essen­tially dictates that we’ll work with schools in the state,” said Townsend.

DECA will be working with local high schools, like Liberty and Discov­ery Canyon, to judge their events and explain mar­keting to the high school members. Next year, the club plans to have dances and conferences.

Unlike most schools, Colorado Collegiate DECA doesn’t have a state chapter. “I’m in the process of charter­ing that chapter. We’ve been talking to the West­ern VP, DECA chapters throughout the state,” said Townsend.

DECA meets the third Wednesday of every month in UC 122 at 6 p.m. “It’s a low-commitment club but high reward,” Townsend said. More in­formation about DECA is available on the national website, deca.org.