DECA kicks off new competition year on Thursday


DECA officers inform members about competitive events.

Johnny Morreale, Writer

As the school year gets underway, the walls of Vandegrift are plastered with colorful posters advising you to join club after club. But only one adds the promise of doughnuts to lure in potential members: DECA’s posters.

On Thursday, DECA officially began its fourth year by inviting those interested in joining the organization to a meeting presenting an overview of DECA activities and competitions this year. Prospective members were told about competition dates, types of  events, fundraising and payment of dues. In addition, doughnuts were distributed in order to encourage students to attend the meeting.

“I feel like only half of them were there for the doughnuts, which I can understand,” potential member Sophia Alaniz said. “It looks like hard work, but it seems worth it.”

DECA used to be an acronym for Distributive Education Clubs of America, though since DECA has become international the official name has been discontinued. The organization prepares students for careers in finance, marketing, hospitality and other business-related sectors through competitive events, divided into written and role play sections. Many members have continued on to obtain successful careers in the field of business. Students who previously joined DECA have found the experience greatly rewarding.

“I’ve learned a lot about how the business world works, you have to learn about everything that goes on behind making a business [when you compete],” member Mariana Caldas said.

Vandegrift’s DECA chapter has grown tremendously in recent years. Two years ago there were only 15 competitors; last year there were 44.  This growth can be attributed to greater efforts by the officers to attract new recruits.

“Our goals are to have at least 300 new members, total members, join. I would like to have at least 100 competitors this year,” DECA advisor Lindsey Kalb said.

Competing is not a requirement for DECA members, though it is highly encouraged. Those who would like to join, but missed the meeting, must send in their dues by Oct. 2 and attend the next meeting on Oct. 1, which will discuss competition and an opportunity to talk to marketing executives for the San Antonio Spurs in greater detail.