Student Beehive – February 18, 2016

Weekly StudentAnnouncemntGraphic

Check out the following links for important RCTC information:

Alcohol or Controlled Substances
Money Management
Policies and Procedures
Weather/Emergency Closings
Faculty Absences



ALCOHOL OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
Rochester Community and Technical College seeks to create a campus environment that promotes healthy, responsible living; affirms civility; supports the well-being of each of its members and is respectful of state and federal laws and institutional regulations governing behavior. Respect for campus and community standards and regulations are expected. Alcohol abuse and illicit drug use will minimize an individual’s abilities to develop their academic or social relationships and is contrary to the educational process and goals of higher education.

Rochester Community and Technical College recognizes that students, faculty, and staff are responsible for their own conduct, and for the consequences of their behavior as well. The purpose of this policy statement and subsequent information is to provide the campus community with the information needed to make responsible, healthy choices.

Part 1. Policy:
The unlawful use, possession, distribution, manufacture or sale of any alcoholic beverage, controlled substances or illegal drugs, including but not limited to; hallucinogens, amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics and marijuana, is prohibited on the campus of Rochester Community and Technical College. This campus prohibition includes athletic facilities or athletic events, and applies to any person on campus grounds, whether he or she is a member of the College community or not. Individuals should note that even though they may be of legal age to consume or possess alcohol, RCTC policies prohibit the use or possession of alcohol on the campus. (“Exceptions” to this policy are listed under MnSCU Policy 5.18, Part 2, D. and Part 3.)

Part 2. Definitions.
Alcohol and other Drug Abuse is defined as the use of mood-altering drugs, including all forms of alcohol, narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, marijuana or the use of prescription drugs when resulting behavior or appearance adversely affects work or academic performance.

Adversely Affects Work or Academic Performance and Under the Influence shall be determined to be present if the student or employee is perceptibly impaired; has impaired alertness, coordination, reactions, responses or effort; if the student or employee’s conditions threatens the safety of him/herself or others; or if the student or employee’s condition or behavior presents the appearance of unprofessional or irresponsible conduct detrimental to the public’s perception of the College as an employer as determined by the supervisor or manager or other observing the employee.

Controlled Substances means those substances whose distribution is controlled by regulations or statute, including, but not limited to narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens and cannabis.

Mood Altering and Alter means changed behavior which may limit a student or employee’s ability to safely and efficiently perform his/her job duties, or poses a threat to the safety of the student, employee or others.

Part 3. Scope of Coverage:
This policy is applicable to any person on campus grounds, whether he or she is a member of the College community or not. RCTC is responsible for monitoring this policy, and determining when an infraction has occurred. RCTC is further responsible to determine the appropriate sanctions and impose those sanctions against all offenders in a fair and consistent manner. Questions regarding this policy can be directed to either the Chief Human Resources Officer, a Student Conduct Officer, or a Security Officer.

Part 4. Prohibited Activities:
According to the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226) and Minnesota Statutes 152 (prohibited Drugs), 340A (Liquor Act) and 624.701 (Liquor in certain buildings and grounds), RCTC has implemented a program to prevent the use of alcohol and unlawful use of drugs on campus or at college-related activities by students and employees.

Students, by their association with RCTC, will abide by college conduct policies. However, this code of student conduct does not replace nor does it reduce any requirements of civil or criminal law imposed upon citizens as members of the larger community. Therefore, students who violate civil or criminal law may be subject to both legal and college sanctions for the same conduct when the conduct occurs off campus, but is related to the college community.

While it is not possible to define each instance of misconduct, the following examples are intended to convey offenses:

  • No student or employee shall unlawfully manufacture, sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange or distribute or possess with the intent to manufacture, sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange, or distribute a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia as defined in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 152 while on campus or involved in a college activity, service, project program or work situation off campus. Also, no employee shall participate in these activities during rest breaks or during overtime work.
  • No student or employee shall report to campus while under the influence of alcohol, or other controlled substance except as prescribed by a physician.
  • When an employee or student employee is taking medically authorized drugs or other substances which may alter job performance, he/she has a duty to notify the appropriate supervisor of that information.
  • No student or employee shall transport or use any recreational drugs in a state or rental vehicle while traveling to a college sponsored or approved activity (meetings, competitions, entertainment, etc.).
  • No student or employee shall introduce upon or have possession upon any college campus, or while involved in a college activity, service project, program or work situation, any alcoholic beverage as defined in Minnesota Statute 340.
  • Employees, including student employees, conducting the College’s business after the intake of alcohol shall be subject to sanctions if the resulting behavior negatively affects his/her performance or interaction with others.
  • The appropriate law enforcement agency will be notified when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an individual may have illegal drugs in his/her possession on College premises. Where appropriate, the College shall also notify licensing boards.
  • The purchase of alcoholic beverages using state or university dollars is prohibited (Foundation funds are neither State nor University funds and are exempt from this prohibition).
  • Employees are discouraged from drinking alcoholic beverages during meal breaks when returning immediately thereafter to perform work on behalf of the state. Any employee whose condition or behavior following alcohol consumption adversely affects their work performance shall be subject to possible discipline.

Part 5. Legal Sanctions:
Applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol are set forth in the referenced laws. Complete information on criminal penalties in Minnesota for the use, possession and sales of control substances may be found at http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/revisor/pages/statute/statute_chapter_toc.php?chapter=152

Minnesota has a wide range of statutes that regulate the possession, purchase, sale, and consumption of alcohol. Sanction information may be found at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/data/revisor/statutes_index/current/A/AL/alcoholic_beverages.html

Sanctions related to driving while under the influence (DWI) may be found at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=169A.20

These sanctions can include probation, fines, driver’s license suspension, and/or incarceration. Future revisions, amendments, or additions to these or other applicable codes are incorporated into this policy by this reference.

Part 6. Health Risks:
Students and staff are notified of the health risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs. Additional information can easily be obtained by contacting the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Alcohol consumption causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology. Even low doses significantly impair judgment, coordination, and abstract mental functioning. Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on college campuses, including acquaintance rape, vandalism, fights, and incidents of drinking and driving. Continued abuse may lead to dependency, which often causes permanent damage to vital organs and deterioration of a healthy lifestyle.

Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish). The use of marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Users often have a lowered immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum of 28 to 30 days.
Hallucinogens.

Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when use has ceased. Phencyclidine (PCP) affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Because the drug blocks pain receptors, violent PCP episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries.

Cocaine/Crack. Cocaine users often have a stuffy, runny nose and may have a perforated nasal septum. The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, followed by depression. Crack, or freebase rock cocaine, is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and even death.

Amphetamines (Meth). Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse, and death. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts.

Heroin. Heroin is an opiate drug that causes the body to have diminished pain reactions. The use of heroin can result in coma or death due to a reduction in heart rate.

Part 7. Disciplinary Sanctions: Students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action initiated by the College as outlined in RCTC Policy 3.6: STUDENT CONDUCT and in the student handbook, and may be referred for assistance to the RCTC Counseling Office or RCTC Health Services. Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge consistent with the collective bargaining agreement applicable with the employees? position. The Chief Human Resources Officer and a Student Conduct Officer will ensure that the disciplinary sanctions for violating standards of conduct are enforced consistently.

Part 8. Biennial Review:
As required by the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations, a biennial review of the alcohol and other drug programs and policies will be reviewed every two years. This review will determine the effectiveness of, and to implement any needed changes to, the AOD program.

Part 9. Alcohol and Controlled Substance Use Assessment and Counseling:
Alcohol and controlled substance use awareness programs and services are offered through the AOD Task Force. Students or employees in need of assistance with a drug or alcohol problem may contact the following:

Drug and Alcohol Resources:
Students:
RCTC Counseling Center 507-285-7260
RCTC Student Health Service 507-285-7261

Employees:
State Employee Assistance Program, Rochester office: 651-259-3840 or 1800-657-3719
www.mmb.state.mn.us/eap

National Self Help Resource:
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), U. S. Department of Health? ?www.drugabuse.gov

Local Self Help Resources:
Alcoholics Anonymous (Rochester)?507- 281-1747 www.aadistrict1.org
Al-Anon 507-281-4729 www.rochrecovery.org/AlAnon.html
MN Narcotics Anonymous? ?877-767-7676 www.naminnesota.org

Services and Programs:
Olmsted County Adult Chemical Dependency, Adult and Family Services Division: 507-328-6400
Adolescent Substance Abuse Service Mayo Clinic: 507-538-3270
Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Unit. (Adult Inpatient) St. Mary’s Hospital: 507-536-0534
Cronin Homes, Inc. (Half-way House): 507-282-1204
The Gables Recovery Home (Treatment Adult Women): 507-282-2500
Outpatient Chemical Dependence Service, Mayo Clinic: 507-538-3270
Family Service Rochester (Assessment, counseling, treatment): 507-287-2010
Zumbro Valley Crisis Receiving Unit (Detoxification): 507-281-6248
Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center (Counseling, education, treatment): 507-289-2089

Part 10. Certification:
This policy will be distributed to all new RCTC students and employees and annually to all current students and employees. This policy will be reviewed biannually to assess its effectiveness, implement changes, and insure the disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.

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MONEY MANAGEMENT
As you begin college, this is the perfect time to learn important skills that will help you manage your money now and in the future. Money management skills and good practices are needed no matter how much or how little you have. It is never too early to start learning about money and budgets. The following information will cover a variety of money management topics, including budgeting, credit cards and credit rating, debt management, how to identify financial troubles and finding resources to help.

Monthly Budgeting in College

  • Keep track of what you earn and what you spend. Create a monthly budget and track to see if it is accurate.
  • Be aware of when you are buying to fulfill a need such as food, compared to a want such as the latest CD. Skip purchasing some wanted items to show you can do it.
  • Find ways to cut costs: Use a bicycle, get a roommate, learn to cook and buy used books.
  • Get organized: Establish a monthly bill-payment routine and set up a filing system.
  • Track your bank account. Be careful with your debit card don’t go in the red.

Credit Card Tips:

  • Keeping debt at bay is the #1 ingredient for financial success. Start now!
  • Realize that the spending patterns you set today will have an impact on the rest of your life.
  • Don’t have more than one.
  • Read all the fine print of a credit card offer, including interest rate information and when the rate can increase, amount of late fees, over-the-limit fees, balance transfer fees, etc.
  • Try to pay off the entire balance each month to avoid unnecessary interest. Always pay more than the minimum due.
  • Calculate the annual amount of interest you are paying; multiply the interest rate by the total balance owed.
  • Avoid penalties and fees as they can add up quickly.
  • Always keep your balance at least one-third below your credit limit in case of emergency.

Types of Debt:
How you repay debt determines your credit rating, so knowing about the types of debt is important.

Installment loans are for big-ticket items such as cars or homes. Installment loans are paid in monthly fixed amounts and are normally secured (i.e. backed by something of value, such as a car). Payments should be manageable in your budget. Make payments on time as this will help improve your credit rating.

Credit Cards and department store cards are revolving credit lines. Credit cards are heavily marketed and the terms often look better than they really are: Proceed with caution! Credits cards have a monthly payment that varies based upon total amount owed. Poor handling of credit cards can quickly hurt your credit rating.

Student loans are unsecured installment loans. Explore all your financial aid options, focusing first on scholarships and grants that don’t have to be repaid. Borrow only the amount you need to get through college. You will be happy to have a lower student payment when you begin your career and want to buy a home and a car. Be realistic about what your salary will be after graduation and estimate the amount of debt you can afford. Ideally, student loan payments should be 10 percent or less of your net monthly income. Total debt, including your mortgage payment, should not exceed 30 percent of your gross income.

Your Credit Rating:
A credit score is based on many types of information in a credit file. Lenders use a credit score to help determine whether a person qualifies for a credit card, loan, or service. Generally, the higher the score, the less risk the person represents.

  • A good credit history can mean lower interest rates, a job offer or a decent apartment.
  • A bad credit history will stay on your record for years and will make obtaining a mortgage or car loan very difficult.
  • Be aware of what’s in your credit report. You can get your credit report free once a year from www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Making student loan payments on time is often the first step in establishing a good credit history and will likely help you when applying for a car loan or home mortgage down the road.
  • Paying your rent, utility bills and credit card bills on time is important as they are also considered part of your credit history.
  • Your credit report includes your name, current and past addresses and employment, and all credit (debt) you have, including the current outstanding balance and whether you?ve ever been late for a payment. The report also lists any companies that have made credit inquiries.
  • Review all of the information on your credit report and challenge any information that you believe is inaccurate.

In Financial Trouble?
Here are questions to determine if you have too much debt:

  1. Do you have trouble paying your bills on time?
  2. Do you only make the minimum payments on your credit card?
  3. Are you near to the maximum on your credit card limit?
  4. Do you worry about money all the time?
  5. Have you ever needed to borrow money to pay your bills?
  6. Are creditors calling you?

Seek Help
If you answered yes to any of the preceding questions, it is important to seek help. Visit the Web sites listed below. Before deciding if a financial planner is right for you, do your research. Talk with trusted family and friends to find a financial planner. Consider a non-profit financial counseling service such as www.cccs.org.

Tax Related Benefits

  1. File Your Taxes for Free: You can file your taxes for free online through the IRS website if your income is less than $57,000 at www.irs.gov/individuals/students/index.html
  2. Earn a Tax Credit: Some college students also benefit from two federal tax credit programs, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. These may apply to you or your family, depending on your financial circumstances. For more information visit the IRS website at: www.irs.gov/faqs/.
  3. Tax Benefits for Higher Education: You may be able to claim a tuition deduction of up to $4,000 of qualified education expenses paid during the year for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent. You cannot claim this deduction if your filing status is married filing separately or if another person can claim an exemption for you as a dependent on his or her tax return. The qualified expenses must be for higher education. You may also be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. And, if your student loan is canceled, you may not have to include any amount in income. For more information visit the IRS website at: www.irs.gov/publications/p970/index.html.

Further Information, Interactive Tools and More
For additional information, interactive tools, budget calculators, sample plans, and more, visit the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Finance Plan website at: www.gpslifeplan.org/finance. The Finance Plan website will help you learn about general budgeting practices and help you assess your specific situation. The more you know about both, the better you can manage your money. No one will care about your financial situation more than you so it is important that you take control and take action.

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POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with College policies and procedures. For a more complete description of the policies, please refer to the RCTC Web Page at www.rctc.edu/policies/ or contact one of the Administrative Offices. A condensed version of RCTC policies can be found in the RCTC Student Handbook on line at: www.rctc.edu/publications/html/student_handbook.html.

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WEATHER/EMERGENCY CLOSINGS
If a severe inclement weather or other emergency situation develops, the RCTC President, or designee, will make the decision to cancel classes, cancel non-academic activities, delay openings, or close the campus. Whenever possible, the decision for day classes/activities will be made prior to 6:00 am; for evening classes/activities by 3:00 pm; and publically announced through the radio and television media listed below:

The list of local radio and television stations that will be contacted for weather/emergency closings are:

  • KRCH/Laser 101.7, 102.5 (the Fox)
  • KWEB
  • KROC AM/FM
  • Y105
  • KWWK
  • KLCX
  • KDZZ
  • KTTC-TV
  • FOX 47-TV
  • KAAL
  • KSTP

Up to the minute information may also be viewed at the websites of RCTC (www.rctc.edu), KROC, KAAL, KSTP, and KTTC-TV. You can also track school closings through the Post Bulletin website.

Please keep this in mind: To attend or not attend classes when weather and road conditions are questionable, should always be made in terms of what is best for your personal safety. Weather and road conditions 75 miles west of Rochester can be much different than the conditions 75 miles north, south, or east of Rochester. Other emergencies covered by this procedure would include such things as: fire, tornado, bomb threats, other serious problems related to mechanical or electrical systems, or any other extremely hazardous situation in or around the campus. For more information on the Weather/Emergency Closing, you will find the weather policy on the RCTC website.

SPECIAL NOTE: While a complete campus closure may occur at UCR, because of the shared facility space agreement with the City of Rochester, the UCR Regional Sports Center may remain open for scheduled community events.

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FACULTY ABSENCES
Faculty dismissing individual classes for personal or medical leaves will be posted at: www.rctc.edu/hr/faculty-absences.

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