Information Technology (Acceptable Usage)

Purpose

Albion College grants permission to all students, faculty and staff for the academic and non-commercial use of Albion College electronic resources and services in support of the educational, research and service missions of the College.

Implied Consent

Each user with access to the College's computing resources is personally responsible to use these services appropriately and by their use agrees to comply with all applicable Albion College policies, including, as applicable, the Merit Acceptable Use Policy (available at http://www.merit.edu/mn/about/policies.html), the Albion College Acceptable Use Policy for Use of the Residential Network, the Albion College World Wide Web Policy, the Albion College Academic Catalog, the Albion College Employee Services Manual including Policies and Procedures, the Albion College Faculty Handbook and the Albion College Student Handbook. Users are responsible for informing themselves of changes in those policies as they occur.

Each user with access to Albion College's computing resources is also personally responsible to use the services only lawfully, and by their use agrees to comply with all local, state, federal and applicable international laws. Albion College does not undertake to provide comprehensive legal guidance to its users. However, these federal and state statutes are of particular importance to information network users:

  • Federal Copyright Law prohibits the unauthorized copying of copyrighted materials, including, but not limited to electronic text, graphic files, commercial software, and audio and video files.
  • Federal Wire Fraud Law prohibits the use of interstate communications systems for illegal or fraudulent purposes.
  • Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Law prohibits the unauthorized access to, modification of information contained in national defense, banking or financial computers.
  • Federal Child Pornography Law prohibits the creation, possession or distribution of graphic or computer graphic depictions of minors engaged in sexual activity.
  • Michigan Computer Crime Law prohibits inappropriate access to computers and use of computers to commit crimes.

Open Expression

Albion College recognizes an individual's rights to freedom of thought, inquiry and expression specifically as they extend to the electronic information environment. Albion College does not monitor, review or endorse the creation of personal World Wide Web pages and is not responsible for their contents; the views and opinions expressed in such pages or in electronic mail are strictly those of the authors. The College cannot ensure the total privacy or security of electronic documents, including but not limited to that information transmitted by electronic mail. Accidental access or access to electronic documents by hackers must always be considered as a possible risk. Albion College will take reasonable precautions to protect the privacy of electronic documents and will not endeavor to access user documents or messages except when necessary to:

  • Comply with College policies.
  • Comply with local, Michigan or federal laws.
  • Protect the integrity of the College's information technology resources and/or the rights and property of the College.
  • Allow the Department of Information Technology to perform system administration activities.

Waiver

When the restrictions of this policy interfere with the educational, research or service missions of the College, members of the College community may request a written waiver. Requests for waivers should be directed to the vice president for information technology (e-mail at ).

General Standards for Acceptable Use of Computer Resources

Electronic resources and services are provided to users in support of the educational, research and service missions of the College. Uses that threaten or interfere with the mission of the College, the integrity of the network, the privacy or safety of others, or that are illegal, are forbidden.

The following activities and behaviors are prohibited:

User Identification

  • Misrepresentation (including forgery) of the identity of the sender or source of an electronic communication.
  • Searching for information about another user against his/her wishes.
  • Acquiring or attempting to acquire computer accounts or e-mail accounts assigned to others.
  • Lending of passwords, computer accounts or e-mail accounts to others.
  • Alteration of the content of a message originating from another person or computer with the intent to deceive.
  • Unauthorized use of, modification of, or deletion of another person's computer files, e-mail or newsgroup posting.

Access to Computer Resources

  • Unauthorized use or attempted use of restricted-access computer resources, privileges or accounts.
  • Intentional compromising of the privacy or security of electronic information including unauthorized access, possession or distribution, by any means, of information deemed confidential under the College's policies regarding individual privacy or confidentiality.
  • Interception of or attempted interception of communications by parties not intended to receive them.
  • Making available any materials of which the possession or distribution is illegal.
  • Unauthorized duplicating or use of copyrighted computer software and materials including infringement of the intellectual property rights of others.
  • Commercial, non-academic use of the College's electronic resources.
  • Unlawful communications including threats of violence, obscenity, child pornography or harassment (as defined by the Albion College Academic Catalog, the Albion College Employee Services Manual including Policies and Procedures, the Albion College Faculty Handbook, the Albion College Student Handbook and/or the law).

Operational Integrity

  • Deliberate attempts at compromising the integrity and functioning of network accounts, services or equipment, including but not limited to the propagation of viruses; repeated sending of unwanted e-mails; sending of spam e-mail, junk mail, or electronic chain letters; or other activities which interfere with the work of others.
  • Any transmission of e-mail to the general student population without approval from the office of Campus Programs and Organizations.
  • Any transmission of e-mail from students to the general faculty or staff populations without approval from the office of Campus Programs and Organizations.
  • Any transmission of e-mail from staff to the general faculty or staff populations without approval from the sender’s Vice President. This does not apply to staff using the campus Electronic Bulletin Board system.
  • Extension or re-transmission of network services or wiring including providing Internet access or accounts to anyone outside the College community.
  • Attempts to alter or damage in any way College computing or networking equipment, including but not limited to public laboratory computer hardware, ResNet ports, and network wiring, bridges, routers or hubs.
  • Damage to the integrity of electronic information, or computer hardware or software.
  • Attempts to disrupt, slow down or interfere with the functionality of the electronic network, information systems or the legitimate work of another user including attempts to circumvent network or system security.
  • Intentional wasting of human or electronic resources.
  • Negligence leading to damage of College electronic information, equipment and/or resources.
    • File sharing of copyrighted information is prohibited.  Students found participating in copyright infringement activities (e.g., file sharing of copyrighted material via peer-to-peer applications such as Kazaa, Grokster, Imesh, WinMX, LimeWire, Bearshare, Aimster, Morpheus, and Gnutella) may be charged a minimum $200.00 fee for the first violation and may be subject to judicial action.  Subsequent violations may result in a minimum $500.00 fee and subject to judicial action.

Other

  • Running programs that over utilize network bandwidth during high network use hours, especially during workday hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.).
  • Eating, drinking or smoking in any College computer laboratories, including those in campus residences.
  • Overuse of campus printing resources (see printing guidelines posted in public laboratories).
  • Any misuse of the Albion College network or violation of this policy may result in penalties for infractions up to and including the loss of network privileges, employment termination, referral to the Albion College Judicial Board, expulsion and/or legal action. Violation of city, state or federal laws and regulations may also result in seizure of computer hardware and software, fines and/or imprisonment.

Network access will be disconnected as follows:

  • Standard end of employment and no continued relationship with the College: Accounts remain active until 1 week after last day worked. Allows the staff member to forward to new account and retrieve old messages. The account will be disabled 2 weeks from last day worked and set up with an outgoing message informing other that the account no longer exists. The account will be deleted 30 days from last day worked.

  • Termination of employment with unfavorable circumstances: Account will be disabled immediately and set up with an outgoing message informing others the account no longer exists. The account will be deleted 30 days from last day worked.

  • Termination with special circumstances: The respective division Vice President and Vice President of IT must approve any exceptions to the termination of accounts. These accounts will be reviewed periodically and changes made as needed.

This policy is subject to updates. Please view the most current version of this policy at http://www.albion.edu/it/