DECA cancels state conferences amid coronavirus outbreak

Emily Brodzinski, Staff Writer

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many spring extracurriculars have faced big cancellations. One group significantly impacted was DECA.

DECA’s state competition was scheduled to take place starting on March 12, extending through the weekend until March 16. Originally, district administrators made the call to forfeit the participants from both Naperville North and Naperville Central as a precaution, just hours before they were scheduled to leave. But as little as 30 minutes later, DECA called off the competition completely over health safety concerns.

Members of Central’s DECA team were understanding.

“DECA state would’ve had around 2,000 students from all over the state staying in the same hotel overnight for two nights,” said DECA vice president Mellissa Zhang. “The trip could’ve easily spread the virus among students from different schools.”

While canceling the event may have been in the student’s best interest, DECA participants were saddened that they wouldn’t have the opportunity to demonstrate all of their efforts.

“Members of the club spent so much time, energy and money into preparing for our events,” Zhang said. “I think everyone was very disappointed that we weren’t going to be able to see all our hard work pay off.”

The competition would have determined the DECA Illinois Foundation for Marketing Education (IFME) scholarship finalists, something that was emailed as an alternative. All scholarship interviews that were scheduled to occur at the event will now have to be conducted over a video chat.

DECA has also opted to cancel its International Career Development Conference which was supposed to take place in Nashville following the state competition which would’ve marked the end of the DECA year. As of now, there has been no talk of rescheduling any of the canceled events with changes not expected to happen in the future.