Running for State Office

Running for State Office

Each year, Oregon DECA elects six charismatic state officers to lead the organization. We are so excited to announce that this year, positions now align with DECA's mission statement! We now join other chartered associations to include the positions of President, Vice President of Leadership, Vice President of Career Development, Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Finance, and Vice President of Hospitality.

As SCDC slowly nears, we urge all Oregon DECA members who are dedicated to DECA, deeply motivated, and exhibit strong leadership potential, to consider running for state office, especially to be part of the new positions aligned to our mission. State officers spearhead priorities for the year and help prepare for SCDC, ICDC, the Oregon Leadership Institute, and more. Furthermore, state officers benefit from intensive leadership development, personal guidance from a state officer coach, and the unique opportunity to network with other CTSO leaders across the nation and advocate with legislators on the state and national levels. 

Any DECA member interested in running for state office should refer to the State Officer Candidate Guide, found at oregondeca.org/state-officer-candidates. Even if you aren’t sure about seeking candidacy, give it a shot and take a look at the guide. Read over the state officer positions and contact your advisor, chapter officers, or state officers to seek clarification or advice. Feel free to message any of the current state officers to learn more about the responsibilities of their position, or their experience campaigning at SCDC. Remember that sitting state officers cannot endorse you but can guide you in the process.

If you do decide to run for state office, congratulations! You have made a huge step towards developing your leadership potential. Carefully read all parts of the Candidacy Guide and submit all forms to the respective recipients by January 29th. Once your chapter advisor has nominated you, be sure to prepare for the State Officer examination and the campaigning responsibilities which take place at Jantzen Beach. Requisite content to be reviewed before the examination can also be found on the Oregon DECA website. Candidates are strongly recommended to obtain a score of 90% or higher on the examination, but this is not compulsory. The results of the examination are made public to the voting delegates, and in many cases will influence the way delegates will vote. 

However, the most important part of your candidacy will be your campaign. Detailed rules can be found in the guide, however we would like to provide a couple of helpful tips. Typically all candidates will have a tri-fold board listing priorities and experience with DECA. In addition, it is helpful to have someone from your chapter be alongside your board should you need to leave for competition. Business cards, fliers, posters, pins, and candy have been frequent campaign materials in the past. Most of all, be amiable, excited, and open-minded when speaking to members or voting delegates. Frequently, the personality of the candidate can be a deciding factor for voting delegates.

The final phase of candidacy is election. State officers are elected by voting delegates selected by each chapter. Election results are announced at the end of the Grand Awards Ceremony, after votes have been tallied. This can be a tumultuous time for candidates and their chapters. Remember that the process of running for state office is a rewarding and informative experience regardless of the result of the election. You will never know if you have the opportunity to serve as a state officer, unless you try. Among the sitting state officers, we all agree that while campaigning and election night were nerve-wracking, the positive growth we’ve experienced during our time as officers has been overwhelmingly greater.

The future of Oregon DECA lies in the hands of the state officers. You can be a part of the future of Oregon DECA. Be sure to stay cognizant of deadlines for candidacy forms, and talk with your chapter advisor about your chapter’s nomination process, as it differs school to school. Feel free to contact any of the state officers with questions on their respective social medias. We can’t wait to see you at SCDC!