Oct. 15, 2011
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.