Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources

Revised July 8, 2002

Introduction
Agnes Scott College (hereinafter "Agnes Scott" or the "College") values technology as a means of communicating information and ideas to the College community and the world. In keeping with the College's commitment to utilizing technology in teaching and learning, this policy provides direction in the appropriate use of all forms of electronic resources on campus. The text that follows provides information on what constitutes a violation of the College's Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources as well as what the procedures are for addressing policy violation complaints.

For the purposes of this policy, electronic resources are defined as all computer-related equipment, computer systems, interconnecting networks, facsimile machines, email, voicemail and other telecommunications facilities, as well as all information contained therein (collectively, "electronic resources") owned or managed by the College.

The use of Agnes Scott electronic resources is a privilege, not a right, which may be revoked at any time for misuse. The College reserves the right to limit access to its electronic resources when applicable College policies, state and/or federal laws or contractual obligations are violated. The College does not, as a rule, monitor the content of materials transported over the College's network resources or posted on College-owned computers and networks, but reserves the right to do so. Agnes Scott provides reasonable security against intrusion and damage to files stored on the central computing facilities, but does not guarantee that its computer systems are secure. Agnes Scott may not be held accountable for unauthorized access by other users, nor can the College guarantee protection against media failure, fire, floods, etc.

This policy applies to all users of computer resources owned or managed by the College, including, but not limited to, Agnes Scott faculty and visiting faculty, staff, students, external individuals or organizations and individuals accessing external network services, such as the Internet and Intranet, via Agnes Scott's computing facilities.

Use of Resources
All users of the College electronic resources are expected to utilize such resources in a responsible, ethical and legal manner consistent with Agnes Scott policies. As a user of Agnes Scott electronic resources, you agree to be subject to the guidelines of this "Policy for Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources."

In the text that follows, individual Policy statements are followed by specific examples of activities that constitute unauthorized use of Agnes Scott electronic resources. 

Agnes Scott electronic resources may not be used to damage, impair or in any way cause purposeful damage to Agnes Scott networks or computers or external networks or computers.

For example, you may not:

  • Use Agnes Scott electronic resources to breach security of any computer system
  • Share your network ID and password with any person on or off campus 
  •  Use computer resources to send large amounts of email (e.g., email "spamming") to an internal or external system 
  • Send email of any type to someone's address in an effort to disable their email capabilities 
  • Forge, alter or willfully falsify electronic mail headers, directory information, or other information generated and/or maintained by the College 
  • Use computer resources irresponsibly or in a manner that adversely affects the work of others. This includes recklessly or intentionally (1) damaging any system by introducing computer "viruses" or "worms," (2) damaging or violating information not belonging to you, or (3) misusing or allowing misuse of computer resources 
  • Use Agnes Scott College resources for non-College related activities that unduly increase the network load (e.g., chain mail, network gaming and spamming)

Unauthorized access, reproduction or use of the resources of others is prohibited.

For example, you may not:

  • Make unauthorized copies of copyrighted materials. You should assume all software, graphic images, music, and the like are copyrighted. Copying, downloading or uploading copyrighted materials without the authorization of the copyright owner is against the law, and may result in civil and criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment
  • Create or execute any computer programs intended to (1) obscure the true identity of the sender of electronic mail or electronic messages, (2) bypass, subvert, or otherwise render ineffective the security or access control measures on any network or computer system without the permission of the owner, or (3) examine or collect data from the network (e.g., a "network sniffer" program) 
  • Use electronic resources to gain unauthorized access to resources of the College or other institutions, organizations or individuals 
  • Use false or misleading information for the purpose of obtaining access to unauthorized resources 
  • Access, alter, copy, move or remove information, proprietary software or other data files without prior authorization 
  • Use electronic resources to discover another individual's password 
  • Use electronic resources to obtain personal information (e.g. educational records, grades, or other College files) about an individual without their permission 
  • Use electronic resources to forge an academic document 
  • Use electronic resources to steal another's individual works or to misrepresent one's own work 
  • Use electronic communication to collude on examinations, papers, or any other academic work 
  • Use electronic resources to falsify or fabricate research data 
  • Use electronic resources to obtain or release another individual's or entity's proprietary information or trade secrets 
  • Use Agnes Scott electronic resources for remote activities that are unauthorized at the remote site
  • Intercept transmitted information intended for another user 

Use of Agnes Scott electronic resources to interfere with or cause impairment to the activities of other individuals is prohibited.

For example, you may not:

  • Send chain email or information about pyramid schemes
  • Send large quantities of email to an individual's mailbox (e.g., email "spamming") which has the effect of interfering with or causing impairment to that individual's activities 
  • Change an individual's password in an effort to access their account 
  • Communicate or use any password, personal identification number, credit card number or other personal or financial information of a third party without the permission of such third party

Use of Agnes Scott electronic resources to harass or make threats to specific individuals, or a class of individuals is prohibited.

For example, you may not:

  • Send unwanted and repeated communication by electronic mail, voicemail or other form of electronic communication
  • Send communication by electronic mail, voicemail or other forms of electronic communication which is motivated by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation (including, without limitation, any communication that violates the College's "Statement Against Discrimination or Harassment") 
  • Use email or newsgroups to threaten, stalk or harass someone 
  • Post or send personal or sensitive information about individuals via any form of electronic communication 
  • Post or distribute via any form of electronic communication "hate speech" regarding a group's race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation 

Use of Agnes Scott electronic resources in pursuit of unauthorized commercial activities is prohibited.

For example, you may not:

  • Use computer resources for personal commercial gain, or other commercial purpose without approval by the College
  • Use computer resources to operate or support a non-College related business 
  • Use computer resources in a manner inconsistent with the College's contractual obligations to suppliers of those resources or with any published College policy

Use of Agnes Scott electronic resources to violate city, state, federal or international laws, rules, regulations, rulings or orders, or to otherwise violate any College rules or policies is prohibited.

For example, you may not:

  • Install software, music or images obtained in violation of copyright or trademark laws or an applicable license agreement on any computer (collectively, "pirated materials") owned by the College
  • Use any College-owned electronic resources to store or distribute pirated materials
  • Bring any media containing pirated materials onto campus 
  • Effect or receive unauthorized electronic transfer of funds
  • Intentionally access or disseminate child pornography or other obscene material 
  • Violate any laws or participate in the commission or furtherance of any crime or other unlawful or improper purpose

Reporting and Response to Violations
Members of the Agnes Scott community who believe they have witnessed or been a victim of a violation of Agnes Scott College's Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources should notify or file a complaint with the appropriate College office as follows: students should report suspected violations to the Dean of Students; faculty members should report suspected violations to the Dean of the College; and staff members should report suspected violations to their direct supervisor.

Reports of suspected unauthorized use or misuse of Agnes Scott electronic resources will be investigated pursuant to standard College procedures, which are listed below. Violation of this Policy will result in action by the appropriate College office or agency. Such action may include, but is not limited to, permanent or temporary suspension of user privileges, deletion of files, disconnection from the Agnes Scott network, and referral to applicable student/faculty/staff disciplinary processes. All potentially illegal activities may be reported to local, state or federal authorities, as appropriate, for investigation and prosecution.

Questions Relating to This Policy
The examples of unauthorized use of Agnes Scott electronic resources listed above are not meant to be exhaustive. Questions regarding this Policy or the application of this Policy to a specific situation should be referred to the director of Information Technology Services. Whenever you are in doubt regarding an issue of questionable use, it is in your best interest to resolve the issue before pursing any questionable use of electronic resources.

Related Policies and Guidelines
Because electronic communications encompass many different forms of communication across many different media, there are several additional College policies of which members of the campus community should be aware:

  • Sexual Harassment and Policy Process (Student Handbook, Staff Handbook, Faculty Handbook)
  • The Honor Code & The Honor Court (Student Handbook) 
  • Disciplinary Procedures for Students (Student Handbook) 
  • The Judicial Review Committee and Processes (Student Handbook, Academic Catalog) 
  • Policy on Conduct and Performance (Staff Handbook, Faculty Handbook) 
  • Discipline and Discharge (Staff Handbook) 
  • Dismissal of Teaching Faculty Policies and Procedures (Faculty Handbook) 
  • Statement of Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Faculty Handbook) \
  • Statement on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (Faculty Handbook, Student Handbook) 
  • Web site Terms and Conditions of Use and Privacy Statement

Contact Information
For specific questions relating to this and other College policies, you may contact the following persons:

 

Computer and Network Systems Director of ITS Ext. 6483
Electronic Communications Director of ITS  Ext. 6483
Honor Code and Honor Court Dean of Students Ext. 6391
Dispute Resolution Procedure (Faculty & Staff) Director of HR Ext. 6384
Harassment (Faculty & Staff) Director of HR Ext. 6384
Harassment (Students) Dean of Students Ext. 6391 or Public Safety Ext. 6355
Health or Safety Public Safety Ext. 6355
  Campus Health Center Ext. 6346
Academic issues Dean of the College Ext. 6283
Voicemail System VP Business & Finance Ext. 6278

 

This policy supersedes all previous policies regarding acceptable use of computer resources, facsimile machines, voicemail, email and other telecommunications facilities.

The College is committed to academic freedom as stated in Section II of the Faculty Handbook, Statement on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, and the assessments of complaints about unauthorized use or misuse of electronic resources will be evaluated consistent with this and other College policies as listed above