Acceptable Use Policy for Electronic and Technology Resources
Wilkes University owns and operates a variety of electronic and technology resources which are provided for the use of Wilkes University students, faculty, staff, alumni, contractors, and guests in support of the mission of the university and are to be used for education, research, academic development, and public service only. All users are responsible for seeing that these computing facilities are used in an effective, efficient, ethical, and lawful manner.
Appropriate and responsible use of the Wilkes University computing and networking facilities is defined as use that is consistent with the teaching, learning, research, and administrative objectives of the University and with the specific objectives of the project or task for which such use was authorized. All uses inconsistent with these objectives are considered to be inappropriate use.
This document establishes rules and prohibitions that define acceptable use of these systems. Unacceptable use is prohibited, and is grounds for loss of computing privileges, as well as University disciplinary sanctions and/or legal sanctions under Federal, State, and local laws.
This policy applies to all persons accessing Wilkes University’s electronic and technology resources, which include faculty, staff, students, alumni, emeritus, contractors, guests or any other user. All electronic and technology resources of the University are covered by this policy, including without limitation all networks, supported backbones and links, stand-along computers, output devices, including printers, shared computers, and connecting resources of any kind, including any external networks.
Agreement By using any of Wilkes University electronic and technology resources, users consent to assume personal responsibility for their appropriate use and agree to comply with all applicable university policies, local, state, federal laws and regulations. Commercial and partisan political activity not related to the mission of the University is prohibited.
Rights These electronic and technology resources are owned and operated by Wilkes University. The University reserves all rights, including termination of service without notice, to the electronic and technology resources which it owns and operates. These procedures shall not be construed as a waiver of any rights of Wilkes University, nor shall they conflict with applicable acts of law. Users have rights that may be protected by Federal, State, and local laws. Privileges Access and privileges on Wilkes University electronic and technology resources are assigned and managed by the administrators of specific individual systems. Eligible individuals may become authorized users of a system and be granted appropriate access and privileges by following the approval steps prescribed for that system. Users may not, under any circumstances, transfer or confer these privileges or share their password with other individuals with the exception of IT support staff. The authorized user is responsible for the proper use of the system, including any password protection.
Accounts An account assigned to an individual must not be used by others. The individual is responsible for the proper use of the account, including proper password protection, safeguarding confidential data, and following security policies.
Confidentiality Programs and files are confidential unless they have been made available, with written permission, to other authorized individuals. Wilkes University reserves the right to access all information stored on Wilkes University computers. File owners will be notified of file access and/or maintenance, in advance, if such notice is practical. When performing maintenance, every effort is made to insure the privacy of a user's files. However, if policy violations are discovered, they will be reported immediately to the appropriate supervisor.
System Usage Electronic and technology resources are for university related and sanctioned activities. Fraudulent, harassing or obscene messages and/or materials are not to be sent except for investigative purposes.
System Performance No one should deliberately attempt to degrade the performance of a computer system or to deprive authorized personnel of resources or access to any university computer system.
Unauthorized Access Loopholes in computer security systems or knowledge of a special password should not be used to damage computer system, obtain extra resources, take resources from another user, gain access to systems or use systems for which proper authorization has not been given.
Copyright Computer software protected by copyright is not to be copied from, into, or by using campus computing facilities, except as permitted by law or by the contract with the owner of the copyright. This means that such computer and microcomputer software may only be copied in order to make back-up copies, if permitted by the copyright owner. The number of copies and distribution of copies may not be done in such a way that the number of simultaneous users in a department exceeds the number of original copies purchased by that department.
Additionally, the downloading of electronic information (e.g. text, music, video) that is copyright protected is prohibited beyond Federal “fair–use” limitations without the permission of the holder of the copyright.
Violations An individual's computer use privileges may be suspended immediately upon the discovery of a possible violation of these policies. Such suspected violations among employees will be confidentially reported to the appropriate supervisors. Suspected violations among students will be reported to the Dean of Students. Violations of these policies will be dealt with in the same manner as violations of other university policies and may result in disciplinary review. In such a review, the full range of disciplinary sanctions is available including the loss of computer use privileges, dismissal from the university, and legal action. Violations of some of the above policies may constitute a criminal offense.
Additional Guidelines The IT Governance Committee may establish more detailed guidelines, as needed, for specific computer systems and networks. These guidelines may cover such issues as allowable disk space, responsibility for account approval and other items related to administering the system.
The University respects the privacy of its users and does not routinely inspect or monitor user files. In the course of their duties system administrators may see your electronic files. While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the privacy of your accounts, this is no guarantee that your accounts or files are private.
Users are responsible for maintaining the following:
- a. An environment conducive to learning. A user who harasses, or makes defamatory remarks, shall bear full responsibility for his or her actions. Further, by using these systems, users agree that individuals who transmit such remarks shall bear sole responsibility for their actions. Users agree that Wilkes University's role in managing these systems is only as an information carrier, and that they will never consider transmission through these systems as an endorsement of said transmission by Wilkes University.
Users agree not to misrepresent themselves or mask their identities.
Users should assume that anything they access may be copyrighted. Absence of a © notice does not mean that the material is not copyrighted. This means that before a user downloads a document, an image, or any other media they should ensure that its use is in accordance with “fair–use” limitations or should obtain the author’s permission.
Many of the Wilkes University computing systems provide access to outside networks, both public and private, which furnish electronic mail, information services, bulletin boards, conferences, etc. Users are advised that they may encounter material which may be considered offensive or objectionable in nature or content. Users are further advised that Wilkes University does not assume responsibility for the contents of any of these outside networks. The user agrees to comply with the acceptable use guidelines for whichever outside networks or services they may access through Wilkes University systems.
Further, the user agrees to follow proper etiquette on non-Wilkes systems and networks. Information regarding etiquette are available through system administrators and through specific individual networks. The user agrees never to knowingly attempt to transmit, or cause to be transmitted, any message in which the origination is deliberately misleading (except for those outside services which may conceal identities as part of the service). The user agrees that, in the unlikely event that someone does transmit, or cause to be transmitted, a message that is inconsistent with an environment conducive to learning or with a misleading origination, the person who performed the transmission will be solely accountable for the message, not Wilkes University, which is acting solely as the information carrier.
- b. An environment free of illegal or malicious acts. The user agrees never to use a system to perform an illegal or malicious act. Any attempt to increase the authorized level of access to which (s)he is authorized, or any attempt to deprive other authorized users of resources or access to any Wilkes University computer system shall be regarded as malicious, and may be treated as an illegal act.
- c. A secure environment. Any user who finds a possible security lapse on any system is obliged to report it to the system administrators including Information Technology Services.
Knowledge of passwords or of loopholes in computer security systems shall not be used to damage computing resources, obtain extra resources, take resources from another user, gain unauthorized access to resources or otherwise make use of computing resources for which proper authorization has not been given.
Policy No. 724 Effective Date: 5/14/2008