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Acceptable Use Policy for College Computing Resources
PURPOSE OF COMPUTING RESOURCES
The primary purpose of ENC’s computing resources is to enhance and support the educational mission of Eastern Nazarene College. As a Christian community, we take the stewardship of our resources seriously since it is a means to develop effective servants to address the needs of our world. These resources include those microcomputers, workstations and multi-user computer systems owned by ENC or its students. In addition, computing resources include local area networks including network and telecommunication capabilities in the residence halls, as well as connections to other computer networks via the Internet. All students, faculty and staff are responsible for using ENC’s computing resources in an effective, ethical, lawful, and responsible manner. Use of computing resources, much like use of the library resources, is a privilege to be utilized responsibly.
Computing resources are tools to enhance the educational process. While they afford a vast potential of resources, they also pose important challenges. Users must be aware of the traps inherent in this kind of technology.
- Time spent on the computer can quickly become excessive and restraint needs to be exercised for personal as well as institutional reasons. Our society is now seeing many individuals who are suffering from computer addiction in ways similar to other addictions such as alcohol or gambling.
- Networks can be used by unethical individuals to deceive users. ENC urges all users to exercise good judgment and caution to avoid becoming victims of illegal, unethical or immoral activity.
- Interaction with unknown users is not recommended because of the potential for harm.
ENC encourages any user to seek out appropriate resources for assistance. This includes seeking assistance for instruction from the Information Technology Services (ITS) staff in the use of resources, as well as accessing counseling resources available through the Brickley Counseling staff, Student Development staff, or faculty members.
While the college makes every effort to maintain the security of its systems, it should be noted that no guarantee of privacy of electronically stored information or electronic mail can be supplied. Users of college-operated computing resources should also be aware that the college reserves the right to inspect information stored on its systems and monitor files accessed when there is reasonable cause to suggest a violation of the policies of the college or when the college needs to access information that is pertinent to its operations.
- No person shall gain or attempt to gain access to any computer or computer network without the consent of the owner of the computer or the operators of the network system.
- No person shall knowingly alter, destroy, delete or introduce programmatic instructions that will cause the computer to do anything unwanted by the owner.
- No person will attempt to circumvent ENC’s computer security system, or use ENC’s computer systems or computer networks to attempt to circumvent security systems elsewhere.
- Users are responsible for the security of their own network services accounts. Users should follow the password guidelines distributed when the account is created.
ENC encourages the college community of faculty, staff and students to fully utilize the computing resources at ENC in a manner consistent with the mission of the college. Acceptable use also means that while utilizing computer resources for administrative, education, and research purposes, the legal protection of copyrights and licenses will be respected.
While the potential for appropriate use of ENC’s computing resources abounds, there are however aspects of use that can be problematic both for the individual and the institution. Unacceptable use of ENC’s computing resources can fall into three different categories: unreasonable, unethical and illegal. These categories are not necessarily mutually exclusive nor do they create situations which are equally problematic. All users are asked, however, to consider the following categories so that the resources may be accessed efficiently and appropriately.
Since the network operates most efficiently when each user understands that he or she is only one user among many, activities that consume large amounts of time on a computer or in the network may interfere with the ability of others to use ENC’s computing resources or network connected services. Overuse of connect time, information storage space, or printing capacity can present problems for other users.
Use of ENC’s computers or networks that violates ENC regulations or policies, or is inconsistent with ENC’s ethical standards or mission. Some forms of use which are unethical may also overlap with the illegal use category.
Use of ENC computers or networks for any illegal purpose, including, but not limited to the use of computers or the network in violation of federal, state or local laws regarding such subjects as obscenity, pornography, child pornography, hate communications, discriminatory harassment, or criminal activity.
Out of respect for the entire ENC computing community, violations to the Acceptable Use Policy will be taken seriously. Violations of written policy may incur any of the following actions depending upon the specific nature of the infraction:
- E-mail or letter of warning from the Director of Information Technology Services
- Loss of computer account and network privileges for specified time periods
- Incidents of plagiarism will be handled through the Academic Dean’s Office and may result in a reduced grade or course failure and/or loss of computing privileges.
- Incidents referred to the Student Development Office may result in decisions by the Judiciary Committee or by the Student Development staff.
- In incidents of illegal actions, cases may be prosecuted by local, state or federal agencies.
Without claiming to provide an exhaustive list, here are some examples in each of the previously mentioned categories that will help the user understand the underlying principles involved.
- Use of the computing resources for computerized entertainment or games must be kept to a minimum and should not interfere with a user who needs to work on academic projects.
- Excessive use of the computing resources outside of specific academic assignments raises issues of concern in terms of personal time management, the effective completion of academic assignments and the dangers of compulsively spending time on the computer.
- Excessive use of resources for e-mail, web browsing, etc. is generally not an effective use of personal or computer time. Distribution of chain letters or broadcasting to lists of individuals in such a manner that might cause congestion of the network.
- Participation in user groups such as MUDs or MOOs or chat rooms.
- Printing of multiple copies of banners, posters, resumes, and papers. One copy should be printed.
- Providing, assisting in, or gaining unauthorized or inappropriate access to ENC’s computing resources.
- Use of ENC computers or networks in a manner resulting in the inappropriate access to systems, software or data at other sites. Do not use the College’s computing system to gain access to a computer system that you are not authorized to use.
- Access and/or distribution of obscene, pornographic, abusive or threatening information of any data type including text, audio, graphic images, etc. via the college network, Internet, or other means. Simply because a user can get access to objectionable material through computer networks does not justify viewing, downloading, or printing it.
- Activities (e-mail, chat groups, etc.) conducted via the college network or the Internet for the express purpose of soliciting sexual favors and/or arranging meetings for the pursuit of sexual activity .
- Use of ENC computers or networks for commercial use or profit-making enterprise, except as specifically agreed to with the College.
- Attempting to circumvent ENC’s computer security system.
- Damaging hardware, software or data that belongs to ENC or members of the ENC community.
- Unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted material.
- Activities that result in the loss of another person’s work or unauthorized access to another person’s work.
- Racial, sexual or any other kind of harassment of an individual or a group through the computing resources of ENC. There is additional material on harassment issues in the student handbook and the employee handbooks.
- Altering, destroying data or utilizing services that do not belong to you.
- Involvement in on-line gambling.
- Accessing or downloading obscenity or child pornography images.
Authorized use of ENC’s computing and telecommunication resources and associated infrastructure implies full agreement with this policy. As circumstances warrant, this policy may be reviewed and modified by the College administration and, upon official adoption and publication, will supplant the current policy. Such supplanted policy will automatically be in effect for all current authorized users of College computing, telecommunications, and associated infrastructure. The intent of this statement is to give an overview of acceptable and unacceptable uses of ENC’s computing resources without exhaustively enumerating all such uses and misuses. This statement is intended as an addition to existing College policies concerning academic honesty, harassment, and usage of facilities. The predominant goal of this policy is to promote honesty, respect for individuals and respect for both physical and intellectual property in the use of computing resources. All expectations regarding academic honesty and professional ethics extend to electronic media.