DECA still able to compete in virtual District conference

Student+participated+in+DECA+Districts+from+their+homes+in+a+virtual+competition.

Courtesy Elissa Cumiskey

Student participated in DECA Districts from their homes in a virtual competition.

Competing through computers
DECA members compete virtually at districts due to COVID-19.
Lucie Gripp, Reporter
On December 15, Roosevelt High School’s DECA members competed in virtual districts.
“This year’s circumstances are very tough. We did not get the overall experience that we normally would have,” senior,DECA executive board member Madison Murdock said. “It is usually a really fun time where DECA members from a bunch of different schools come together to compete against one another. It allows us to learn while making memories and having fun.”
Since they are used to competing in person at Eastern Michigan University, this year offered a whole new experience for the members due to the coronavirus. Not only was the experience of the event changed by the switch to a virtual event, but it also was a much shorter process.
“Everyone had a different time depending on their event. My partner Emily Miklaski and I had a role play and were given a one hour window of time, but the actual event had a thirty minute prep time and fifteen minutes to present,” junior Brooklyn Luscomb said.
The judging of the events also had to change because of the switch.
“Since we did it on a computer I feel as though the judges couldn’t understand body language through the screen and body language is usually a huge part in the grading,” sophomore Jack Vaduva said.
Despite all the changes made this year, the stakes are still high for the competitors.
“The DECA conference for today was the district conference, there are different districts in Michigan and once the finalists from the districts are rewarded those people move on to the state conference,” Murdock said.
With high stakes and altered grading on top of remote learning, the DECA members preparation for the event looked different.
“I feel as though this year I had to be more responsible and make sure I studied hard on my own to prepare for districts,” Vaduva said.
Since they could not watch one another compete this year, the members feel the overall experience was neither as effective nor as educational as it was in years past.
“This year’s circumstances did alter the effectiveness in my opinion. We still attended our events and performed our events to the judge as usual this year but by competing and watching others compete we learn a lot about communication, time management, and how to work under pressure,” Murdock said. “We did learn about them today, but it was just over zoom which made it a bit uneffective.”
Though districts were held virtually, there is hope for states.
“Though this year districts were held virtually, states are still in the air. I qualified last year and I really hope I can go and compete again this year especially since there is the possibility of it being held face to face,” Vaduva said.
The competitors of this year’s districts will find out if they qualified for states on January 14, 2021.