Integrity has many book definitions, but I simply perceive it as “doing the right thing, even when no one is looking”. Integrity should be integrated into all parts of your life, as it is one of the ultimate tests of your morals on a day to day basis. Integrity can even be applied to DECA. If you can’t visualize how it plays a role in DECA, it is likely because the decisions which require you to use integrity don’t even seem like decisions; your moral code is so correct that you simply choose the “good” option.
If you cheat, you are not using integrity. Whether this be by glancing at the person’s paper next to you, hiding your phone under your sweatshirt and looking up answers when your proctor isn’t paying attention, or whispering to the kid in front of you, it gives you an unfair advantage that could be a deciding factor in who gets a spot to CDC or ICDC. While it should be encouraged to do anything in your power to advance to the next level, there are moral limitations which your advisor would no doubt enforce. Even “going to the bathroom” to look up answers on your phone is a major violation of integrity. If you are making an integrity based decision, and you are considering choosing the “bad” option, just ask yourself this: what would your advisor say if he/she knew that you did that?
There is great room to use or not use integrity when referring to written events. That is the purpose of the Statement of Assurance you must sign in order to turn in your manual.
By signing that you understand and accept these terms, you are essentially saying that you are indeed using integrity in your submission of your paper, and you are abiding by the guidelines presented by DECA. The main problem that presents itself is when kids just want to take the easy way out. They use their friend’s manual from last year, and just tweak a few words and add a picture. Not only are you failing to learn anything by this method, but you are also conscientiously violating the Statement of Assurance.