Electronic Mail Policy

Purpose
To ensure the proper use of Agnes Scott College’s e-mail system and make users aware of what the college deems as acceptable and unacceptable use of the campus e-mail system.
The policy and guidelines apply to:

  1. All e-mail services provided by Agnes Scott College.
  2. All users and holders of college e-mail accounts or systems, regardless of the intended use; and
  3. All college e-mail Official Records and/or Public Records in the possession of or generated by college employees and other users of e-mail services provided by the college, regardless of whether the records were generated on college or non-college computers.

Policy
All members of the Agnes Scott College community (faculty, staff, students, retired faculty and staff, and alumnae) are provided an e-mail account in order to facilitate the timely exchange of information. Your account is provided as a service to you as a member of the college community. The college e-mail system is a business communication tool and you are expected to follow college policy and guidelines in using this tool in a responsible, effective, lawful manner. Administrative offices use email as an official communication tool to students.  Messages that fall within this category will have a subject line of Official College Communication.
It is prohibited to:

  • Send or forward messages
    • containing defamatory, offensive, harassing or obscene remarks
    • of a political nature (i.e. personal opinion, public debate, and/or campaigning)
    • that solicit support or funding not related to college business
    • that promote continuation of a chain message or pyramid scheme
    •  that disrupt or interfere with the college’s e-mail system, which includes distribution of chain letters, unapproved mass mailing to external or internal audiences, or any activities that create or spread viruses
    • that appear to represent, provide opinions, or otherwise make statements on behalf of the college or any unit of the college unless expressly authorized to do so
  • Access or attempt to access another user’s e-mail account without authorization or in an attempt to  falsify e-mail messages
  • Use the college e-mail for private business, commercial or political activities, fundraisers or advertising not associated with Agnes Scott College; or unlawful activities that violate any of the college’s policies.

Violations will be handled through the normal college disciplinary procedures. Harassing messages and other illegal activity conducted via e-mail may also be reported to the appropriate local, state and/or federal authorities. In spite of college policy, malicious persons who know the owner’s computing ID and password can abuse e-mail. Users are responsible for protecting their own passwords and login information.

Legal
Any written form of communication is governed by laws. Therefore, it is important that users are aware of the legal risks of sending e-mail.  You are held liable if you:

  • Send or forward e-mail with any defamatory, offensive, harassing or obscene remarks
  • Forward confidential information or messages without permission
  • Send attachments that contain a virus

If the guidelines and procedures set out in this policy are disregarded, the user will be held solely liable for any legal risk associated with their misuse of the college’s e-mail system.

Confidentiality
E-mail is NOT confidential.  Information of a confidential nature should be handled through one-on-one or written communication with appropriate college personnel Electronic mail is treated like other college records and is retained in accordance with state and federal laws.  Users may not access, use or disclose personal or confidential information without appropriate authorization, and must take the necessary precautions to protect the confidentiality of personal or confidential information, whether that information is maintained on paper, found in e-mail or other electronic records. The office of the registrar may elect to publish student e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc. as directory information, consistent with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Individual students may, request that the college not treat their address as directory information. Requests should be directed to the office of the registrar.

Privacy
E-mail should not be considered private and there is no guarantee of privacy.  While e-mail accounts are password protected, if effective password procedures are not followed by the account holder, unauthorized access may be gained to an account.

  • end-user authorization while performing routine support operations or working on user problems
  • security or legal authorization while protecting the integrity of the college’s computing systems and the rights and property of the college.

Personal Use
Although the college’s e-mail system is meant for business use, the college allows for the reasonable, incidental personal use of e-mail under the following guidelines:

  • Personal use of e-mail does not interfere with work or obligations to the college.
  • The forwarding of chain letters, junk mail, jokes and executables is strictly forbidden.
  • May not be used for mass mailings.
  • Does not directly or indirectly interfere with the operation of college technology or e-mail services
  • Does not violate this policy, or any other applicable policy or law, including but not limited to use for personal gain, conflict of interest, harassment, defamation, copyright infringement or illegal activities.
  • All messages distributed via the college’s e-mail system, even personal e-mails, are college property, and are subject to access consistent with this and other college policies and applicable laws.
  • Use does not carry with it any reasonable expectation of privacy.

Internal E-mail Distribution Lists
The college maintains internal e-mail distribution lists to assist in group communication. Contact the ITS Help Desk if you need assistance in setting up an email distribution list.
The following types of announcements or messages are considered appropriate for internal campus wide distribution lists:

  • Network access issues affecting all of campus
  • Any safety or emergency-related situation (i.e. campus closings, evacuations, etc.)
  • Presidential or Officer-level informational announcements
  • Facilities-related services or outages affecting individual buildings or all of campus

All other campus wide announcements should be directed to the Irvine.

Approved: 

Executive Council

Create Date:

September 2006

Revised Date:

November 10, 2014;July 23, 2009