Being a State Officer – 10 Myths Debunked!

Collegiate Resources, High School Resources, State Officers

Being a ND DECA State Officer is hard work, but it’s not scary! We wanted to clear up a few rumors about what it means to be a State Officer for North Dakota. 

1. You have to spend a lot of money to campaign to be a state officer.

False! State Officer Candidates can run at little or no cost. Candidates normally spend money on campaigning, but it is for materials at their booths and normally doesn’t go over $50. If you run with heart and determination you can get elected because you are… “DECAcated!” Your chapter will probably help with campaign materials.

2. Running for state office takes a lot of time.

False! State officer candidates take a test and prepare a portfolio before the conference. At the state conference, they have an interview, give a speech and have a campaign booth to encourage voting delegates to vote for them. Yes, it takes time to prepare but it is worth the effort. For a more successful campaign it requires some pre-conference planning and thinking.

3. You have to be a smart person to be a state officer.

False! DECA is about being a leader for others and networking. Although the state requirement to be a state officer is a 2.0 or higher GPA, a letter from your advisor and one other person, it is not a requirement be perfect. Not everyone excels in school, but anyone can excel at being a State Officer.

4. State officers can’t have a job or be in any other activities.

False! Being a state officer does not take up your whole life. Although serving as a state officer does require you to put in time each month, you definitely have time to do other activities (i.e. hang with friends, sports, debate, work, etc.). Officers can be equally involved with other clubs and activities as much as DECA. Every officer this year is involved in other activities.

5. It is a lot of hard work to be a state officer.

False! It is fun work that will help you make a change in other member’s experience. There is work involved but it is divided amongst the State Officer Action Team and in the end it helps make everyone’s DECA experience awesome. Teamwork is important in any leadership experience and it is the same with DECA.

6. You can’t have fun if you are a state officer.

FALSE! Although it is perceived by some that DECA is all work and no fun, it is not true. DECA is all fun and being a state officer just makes it even more enjoyable. Yes, we do work hard, but for a common purpose – DECA! The members look up to you as a state officer, and state officers want to meet new people through networking and build lasting relationships.

7. All state officers are born leaders.

False! While some may be born leaders, some are not born leaders. Although some are, DECA just helps them develop their leadership qualities that help them lead other members and makes their DECA experience that much better. No one is a true leader; you have to work hard to develop your skills.

8. State officers must be from a large chapter.

False! State Officers can be from any size of chapter in the state. It helps when the office team is made up of members from large and small schools because it brings a diversity of how people look at DECA and how they are active in it. The diversity of a team is important to the quality of the program of work. DECA state officers have come from class A schools, class B schools, and Career and Technology Centers. Anyone can be elected.

9. It costs a lot to be a state officer (clothing, meals, hotels, and travel).

False! It costs no more than the regular DECA member; although there are more opportunities that may cost you money (i.e. conferences- CRLC and ICDC) and enhance your DECA experience. For the most part it costs the same amount as any other DECA member. Your state officer clothing is paid for by North Dakota DECA and your hotel and meals are covered when you have special meetings such as officer training, mid-winter meeting, or conference planning.

10. State officers always win their competition.

False! No one is guaranteed to win their competition. State officers are judged the exact same way as every other member because most judges don’t know that you are a state officer. Anyone can win as long as they put time and effort into their Role-Play or Written Project. However, state officers generally are energetic, motivated, and have a sense of leadership and therefore do well in competition.


Serving as a state officer is a rewarding experience. Check with your chapter advisor or any state officer about being a state officer. The state officer candidate packet is online. Check this page for more resources on How to Become A State Officer.


Prepared by 2010-2011 North Dakota State Officer Team

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