Beehive Blog – March 2, 2022

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Check out the following links for important RCTC information:

STI Testing
LeadMN Scholarships
Mental Health First Aid Training
Citizens Advisory on Transit
Spring Break Trips


RCTC Student Health Services will offer tests for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) on Tuesday, March 17.  For a minimal fee, tests for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, and HIV will be available. Current RCTC and WSU-R students should go to or call 507-285-7261 to schedule an appointment.

Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sexual activity. Most people with these infections will not have symptoms of the disease until the infection has spread.  Left untreated, these infections can increase the risk of getting (or giving) HIV and lead to serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system.  Infected pregnant women can also pass the infection to their unborn babies.

  • Chlamydia, the number one reported infectious disease in the state, increased by 2% to 23,564 cases in 2018.  The majority of Chlamydia cases occurred in teens and young adults, ages 15 to 24.  In Olmsted County, 717 cases were diagnosed in 2018.
  • The second most commonly reported STD in Minnesota, Gonorrhea, increased by 16% with 7,542 cases reported in 2018.  Forty-two percent of all Gonorrhea cases occurred among 15 to 24-year-olds.  In Olmsted County, 260 cases were diagnosed in 2018.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STI in the United States.  An estimated 3.7 million people have the infection.
  • In Minnesota, 286 new cases of HIV were diagnosed in 2018.

Testing for these infections at RCTC Student Health Services is simple.  One urine sample is needed for the Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis tests, and a simple finger stick is required for the HIV test.  Only one appointment is needed to do all of the tests.

Because symptoms are rarely present, it is important that anyone at risk for an STI is tested.  If you are at risk for a sexually transmitted infection, you need to be tested!

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Have you applied for your LeadMN scholarship yet? The LeadMN Scholarship application deadline date for the 2020 fall semester is April 1, 2020, midnight.

Scholarships that will be awarded for the 2020 Fall Semester are:

  • LeadMN Leadership Scholarship,
  • Dr. Steve and Darla Frantz Leadership Scholarship,
  • Morrie Anderson Endowed Scholarship,
  • Christine Rice Annual Scholarship, and
  • Mark M. Welter 100% American Scholarship

For information about these scholarships, visit LeadMN’s website.  You’ll find frequently asked questions, and special tips and information about each application.  Also, don’t overlook the Mark M. Welter 100% American Scholarship.  It has its own application and doesn’t always get awarded for lack of applications.

If you have any questions, please email Joyce Petsch at

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We are excited to continue working with the  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Southeast Minnesota to provide students with Mental Health First Aid training.

Up to 30 students will be able to participate in the Mental Health First Aid on Friday, March 13th from 8am-4:30pm. Due to limited space, students will be asked to pre-register for this training. The training is FREE and students will receive a FREE lunch.  Student Sign Up.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.

Just as CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Mental Health First Aiders learn a single 5-step strategy that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other supports.

Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build an understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families and learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.  Be sure to sign up soon so you don’t miss out on this amazing training!

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The Mayor is seeking applications from college students for the City of Rochester – Citizens Advisory on Transit Commission. Students who wish to apply should be regular users of transit.

The mission of the Citizens Advisory on Transit is to assist in the planning and review of publicly funded transportation services within the Rochester area. The Advisory recommendations are forwarded to the City Council. Appointments are for three years.

 Member Responsibilities

  • Study and review issues pertaining to public transit in the Rochester area.
  • Support community awareness of issues related to public transportation.
  • Provide opportunity for community input and act as a forum for public discussion of public transportation issues.
  • Act as an appeals board in regards to paratransit eligibility.

 Appointment Requirements
The seven members shall be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Resident of the City of Rochester with the exception of one seat which may be extended to a resident within the four surrounding townships of Rochester, Cascade, Marion or Haverhill.
  • Have an expressed interest in public transportation.
  • Is a rider of public transportation and/or involved in agencies involved in support services eg. travel training or vocational training of riders.

Please apply online:

Questions can be directed to the Mayor’s Office at 507-358-2700.

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You’ve worked hard – all that studying, all those papers. You deserve a break – to get away from it all and forget about everything but that great spring fling you’ve been dreaming about. Whether you’re cruising to the Bahamas, skiing the Alps, or hitting the nearest beach, personal safety is your responsibility.

The most important spring break safety tip is to use common sense. With the following safety tips in mind, stay safe, and enjoy your sun-filled spring break.

Before You Leave

  • Pack Smart – Pack light and simple, bringing as few valuables as possible. Consider packing inexpensive alternatives to your daily items (sunglasses, clothes, jewelry, bags, appliances) so that if you do happen to lose them, it’s no great loss. Must bring items include: cell phone, identification, health insurance information, contact numbers, medication and for Spring Break beach trips, sunscreen (and lots of it). You might also consider packing a simple first aid kit.
  • Broadcast Your Whereabouts – Short of implanting a tracking device, you should do as much as you can to let people know where you are at all times. Make sure someone back home has your contact information, contact information for every place you’re going to be, and as much of your itinerary as you can pre-plan. Also provide contact information for others in your group.
  • Money Safety – Preplan your expenses, and don’t bring more than you think you need. Traveler’s checks are smarter than cash, and all plastic should be locked up whenever you don’t plan to use it in the immediate future.
  • Customs – If traveling to a foreign country, familiarize yourself with the customs laws, including necessary identification and other border crossing-regulations.
  • Home Security – If you’re leaving your home (dorm room, apartment, etc.) completely empty, practice some basic safety. Turn off all appliances, unplug everything (saves you on your electric bill, too), lock it up tight, and only give someone you completely trust the responsibility of feeding Princess Fluffytail.  If you are renting an apartment it’s always good advice to have renters’ insurance. It’s inexpensive and can give you some peace of mind while you’re away.


Health Safety

  • Sunscreen – The sun is an unfeeling monster that knows only suffering. Avoid it with the regular and ample application of sunscreen. SPF 15 is a bare minimum. If swimming, be sure to use water-resistant sun block, reapplied often. Remember that you can get sunburned even while it’s overcast, so there’s no excuse not to use sunscreen.
  • Drink Lots of Water – Many Americans, especially those from northern states, tend to underestimate the danger of dehydration, but it can sneak up on you as fast as a term paper. Force yourself to hydrate regularly, even when you don’t feel thirsty. By the way, alcohol and carbonated beverages don’t count.  When traveling out of the country, never drink local water – DRINK BOTTLED WATER!
  • Tattoos – Health standards in some foreign countries are lower than those in the U.S. Statistically, “parlor fear” is a little trumped up, but that wicked tattoo of Eddie Van Halen surfing a skull while flames erupt from his Flying V can wait until next week. Additionally, you can be at risk of contracting incurable hepatitis C.
  • Take It Slow with the Alcohol – According to a report by the Department of Public Safety, 98% of people injured during Spring Break activities are intoxicated. If you’re of age, then you have every right, but please proceed responsibly for the safety of yourself and others.
  • Don’t Do Drugs – Do I really have to say it?
  • Carry (and Use) Condoms – There’s one kind of souvenir that nobody wants to bring home, so both men and women should use protection.


  • Buddy System – I guarantee you’ll see this on every list of Spring Break safety tips because it is so important: never go anywhere Having an assigned buddy is a great start, someone to keep you in line of sight at all times and instigate a search party whenever something is amiss. Having three or four buddies is even better. Strength in numbers, you know.
  • Water Safety – Riptides can condemn you to the briny deep faster than cement shoes, so never swim alone. If possible, only swim when a lifeguard is on duty. Never swim under the influence of alcohol. Obey all beach advisory warnings. Also, never pilot a boat while intoxicated. Not only is it illegal, it’s really, really stupid.
  • Club/Bar Etiquette – Always be aware of your surroundings, monitor your drink carefully and never accept a drink from a stranger lest there be dragons lurking in the glass. Don’t leave with someone you don’t know and be mindful of your possessions at all times. Most crimes against young adult Spring Breakers originate at the club.
  • Your Room, Your Sanctuary – Don’t invite anyone you don’t know into your room, especially if you are alone. Always have personal belongings locked up unless you are using them at that moment.
  • Avoid Reckless Behavior – Climbing things, jumping off things, lighting things on fire… you’re just asking for trouble.
  • The Airport Rule – Never leave your bags unattended in a public place, and never try to transport something into the country for someone else, whether you think it is illegal or not.
  • Have Fun – And that’s not an option!

Follow these Spring Break safety tips and we’re sure you’ll come back home with a full supply of valuable memories rather than an insurance claim.

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