Information Technology: Appropriate Use Policy

Type: 
Policy
Category: 
Institutional Integrity
Governance Council: 
Technology Council
Contact Email: 
Responsible Executive Authority: 
Chief Information Officer
Purpose: 

Lane Community College provides computing and networking resources to the campus community of students, faculty, staff, and the public to support its educational mission. Such open access is a privilege, and requires that individual users act responsibly. Users must respect the rights of other users, respect the integrity of the systems and related physical resources, and observe all relevant laws, regulations, and contractual obligations. Computing and networking resources must always be used in compliance with all international, federal, state, and local laws.
This information is for Lane Community College students, employees and the public that uses the College's computer and networking facilities. It summarizes what computer users need to know about the laws, College policies, and guidelines that affect computer use, providing examples of inappropriate behavior and describing the consequences for violators.
It is the policy of Lane Community College that computer software, electronic information and computer services are valuable resources. The college respects the property rights of software vendors and information services, and expects students and employees to respect copyrights in their academic and administrative activities. All existing laws (federal and state) and College regulations and policies apply, including not only those laws and regulations that are specific to computers and networks, but also those that may apply generally to personal conduct.

It is impossible to provide an exhaustive definition of inappropriate computer use, or a complete set of examples to cover every situation. Two general criteria are important: 1) computer use should be consistent with the mission of the College; and 2) computer use should respect the rights of other computer users. Computer users who have questions about which computer uses are appropriate and which are not should inquire about their intended use. Students should contact their instructor or lab facility manger. Employees should contact their supervisor or department head.

Narrative: 

Lane Community College provides computing and networking resources to the campus community of students, faculty, staff, and the public to support its educational mission. The computing and networking facilities are a College community resource. Computers and networks can provide access to resources on and off campus, as well as the ability to communicate with other users worldwide. Such open access is a privilege, and requires that individual users act responsibly. Users must respect the rights of other users, respect the integrity of the systems and related physical resources, and observe all relevant laws, regulations, and contractual obligations. Computing and networking resources must always be used in compliance with all international, federal, state, and local laws.

This information is for Lane Community College students, employees and the public that uses the College's computer and networking facilities. It summarizes what computer users need to know about the laws, College policies, and guidelines that affect computer use, providing examples of inappropriate behavior and describing the consequences for violators.

Every Lane Community College student and employee is a computer user at some time during his/her school or work experience. Use of the College computer resources, including computer labs, network services, campus information services, library systems, and office computers is a privilege provided by the college to students and employees. The college expects all computer users to understand and abide by these user obligations when using the computer facilities.

Access to Computer Resources

Computing and networking resources are provided for the educational, academic, and administrative purposes of the College. Some computer labs, networks, systems, and other facilities are intended for general student or employee access (for example, ExpressLane). Other facilities are restricted to students and employees in specific courses or programs, or who have specific work assignments. Computer users are expected to learn and follow the access guidelines for each facility they use, and should evaluate their use of computer resources against the purposes of each resource.

What Lane Community College computer users need to know:

1.0 College staff are happy to help new student users and employees get authorized access to appropriate computer facilities.

1.1 Users are expected to learn and follow the guidelines for each resource. For example, a lab facility dedicated to a specific course should not be used for assignments in other courses.

1.2 A Technology fee is charged to all students to use many of the College's computer resources. Users are granted access each term. Use of computer facilities without being a currently registered student is not allowed.

1.3 Many computer use facilities have specific prohibitions about food, beverages, smoking, computer games, pornography and other use guidelines to protect the equipment, provide equal access opportunities, and respect the rights of other users. Computer users are expected to learn and follow the guidelines at each facility they use.

Improper Use of Facilities

Lane encourages computer use which is consistent with the educational, academic and administrative purposes of the College and which respects the rights of other computer users.

What Lane Community College computer users need to know:

2.0. Well-trained and informed computer users make the most effective and efficient use of computing facilities. Lane offers many training opportunities and information resources to help students and employees make good use of its computer facilities.

2.1 Use of computer resources for cheating, plagiarism, gambling, pornography, furnishing false information or other acts of academic dishonesty is a violation of the obligations the College expects of its computer users.

2.2 Fraudulent, harassing or obscene messages and/or materials as defined by contemporary court decisions are not to be received, sent or stored.

2.3 Other examples of improper use of the College computer facilities include:

  • Network use which creates unnecessary network traffic.
  • Broadcast of unsolicited electronic mail and messages to an unnecessarily large audience.
  • Transmission of electronic chain letters or other requests for money, or distribution or circulation of media known to contain computer viruses.
  • Using the Campus Network to gain unauthorized access to any computer systems.
  • Knowingly performing an act which will interfere with the normal operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks.
  • Knowingly running or installing on any computer system or network, or giving to another user, a program intended to damage or to place excessive load on a computer system or network. This includes but is not limited to programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.
  • Attempting to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes.
  • Violating terms of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws.
  • Deliberately wasting computing resources (e.g. excessive printing).

Activities will not be considered misuse when authorized by appropriate College officials for security or performance testing.

Unauthorized Use of Services and Property

It is the policy of Lane Community College that computer software, electronic information and computer services are valuable resources. The college respects the property rights of software vendors and information services, and expects students and employees to respect copyrights in their academic and administrative activities. All existing laws (federal and state) and College regulations and policies apply, including not only those laws and regulations that are specific to computers and networks, but also those that may apply generally to personal conduct.

What Lane Community College computer users need to know:

3.0 Computer users who copy, distribute (either free or for monetary gain), or receive copyrighted software or electronic information without paying the specified fee are in violation of U.S. copyright laws.

3.1 Use of computer resources which are the property of another student or employee is not allowed. Computer users who are assigned individual access privileges should not share computer accounts, access codes, passwords, or access privileges with other users.

3.2 Use of computer systems to interfere with the work of employees or students, or to disrupt the normal operation of the College is an unacceptable use of facilities.

3.3 Other acts which are not permitted include unauthorized access or attempt to access the college's computing resources, or the use of computer resources to disrupt (or attempt to disrupt) the normal operation of the College.

Invasion of Privacy

Several state and federal laws protect the privacy of Lane's students and employees, and information about students and employees.

What Lane Community College computers users need to know:

4.0 While Lane takes steps to provide information security and protect privacy, computer users should not assume messages and information on College systems and networks are private. Public records exempt from disclosure are defined in ORS 192.

4.1 All electronic mail is public record (ORS192) and is subject to inspection and disclosure and scheduled retention and disposition. Users should have no expectation of privacy in their use of electronic mail.

4.2 Use of Lane's computing facilities to access or attempt to access student or employee information for any purpose not specifically job-related, violates state and federal laws and College policy.

4.3 Only college authorized "chat" sites (WebCT) are authorized. Use of any other "chat" site is not authorized and is in violation of computer use policies and violators privacy is not protected.

4.4 Students and employees may have rights of access to information about themselves contained in computer files, as specified in federal and state laws. Files may be subject to search under court order. In addition, system administrators may access user files as required to protect the integrity of computer systems. For example, following organizational guidelines, system administrators may access or examine files or accounts that are suspected of unauthorized use or misuse, or that have been corrupted or damaged.

Harassment

Any use of Lane's computer resources in a manner, which creates a hostile or threatening school or work environment for other students or employees is harassment. Several state and federal laws protect students and employees from harassment. These same laws apply to electronic media.

What Lane Community College computers users need to know:

5.0 Lane's policy and state and federal statutes prohibit unwanted sexual behavior, lewd or indecent conduct, and behavior defined as "stalking." Electronic versions of these behaviors are also prohibited.

5.1 Intentional transmission or display of unwanted messages, information, or graphic images which create a hostile school or work environment for the recipient are inappropriate uses of College computer resources and violate Lane's policy on harassment, as well as federal and state laws.

Consequences for Misuse of Lane Community College Computing Facilities

Lane Community College is committed to computer and networking use laws and policies that promote the mission of the College and encourage respect for the rights of other computer users. The consequences for violators of this information are described in the laws of the State of Oregon, federal statutes, Oregon administrative regulations, Lane Community College administrative policies, and the College's Student Code of Conduct, and may subject the violator to criminal prosecution. Penalties for violators depend on each specific situation, but may include one or more of these consequences: loss of computer use privileges, failure in a course, penalties specified in the Student Code of Conduct, termination of student status, disciplinary action for an employee, termination of employment, or legal action.

Personal Responsibilities

Every student and employee enjoys the constitutionally respected right to free speech. With that right, each student and employee must take responsibility for what he or she says or writes. For example, libelous or slanderous remarks about someone, even electronically, may be subject to legal action. Use electronic communications responsibly when exercising your right to speak.

It is impossible to provide an exhaustive definition of inappropriate computer use, or a complete set of examples to cover every situation. Two general criteria are important: 1) computer use should be consistent with the mission of the College; and 2) computer use should respect the rights of other computer users. Computer users who have questions about which computer uses are appropriate and which are not should inquire about their intended use. Students should contact their instructor or lab facility manger. Employees should contact their supervisor or department head.

Date Adopted: 
Saturday, May 1, 1999
Date Last Reviewed: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2005