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8022 - WCC Computing Resource Usage Policy

Basic Policy Statement

WCC provides computing resources and worldwide network access to members of the WCC electronic community for legitimate academic and administrative pursuits as outlined by the College's mission statement. The College does not monitor or generally restrict the content of material transported across its network. However, membership in this electronic community is a privilege that carries with it certain shared rights and responsibilities. This policy describes those rights and responsibilities as well as the consequences of misuse.

Rights

Members of the electronic community have certain rights and privileges. These rights and responsibilities include:

  • Privacy in electronic communication and work
  • Protection from harassment
  • Intellectual and academic freedom

Any person who does not respect the rights of others may lose his or her own rights. These rights are not absolute. The College cannot guarantee that these rights may not be infringed by others. The College does, however, employ reasonable measures to protect the network and its users. The College expressly reserves the right to access user files for this purpose.

Responsibilities

The open access provided by WCC is a privilege that requires community members to act responsibly. Broadly stated, members must respect and value the rights and privacy of other members, respect the integrity of information systems and related physical resources, and observe all relevant laws, regulations, and contractual obligations. More specifically, members are expected to do the following:

  1. Protect the security of their account
  2. Avoid transmission of viruses by using detection software conscientiously
  3. Comply with copyright and license laws
  4. Familiarize themselves with the unique properties of e-mail
  5. Avoid offensive or inflammatory speech
  6. Avoid unnecessary degrading network performance

Unacceptable Behavior Guidelines

Without being exhaustive, the following list enumerates activities which are considered unacceptable behavior for members of the electronic community:

  1. Extracurricular or otherwise unauthorized usage of the network for financial or commercial gain
  2. Attempting to unauthorized access to resources or entities
  3. Using an account owned by another user
  4. Invading the privacy of individuals
  5. Using the network for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or license agreements
  6. Deliberately degrading of disrupting equipment, software, or network performance
  7. Vandalizing the data of another user
  8. Posting anonymous messages
  9. Posting message using the e-mail address or identity of another user
  10. Harassing or threatening individuals or groups

Many WCC departments and labs have their own computing and networking resources and policies. When accessing these computing resources, users are responsible for obeying both the policies set forth in this general computing document and the policies of the individual department or lab.

Disciplinary Procedures

Members of the electronic community at WCC should be aware that all existing federal and state laws apply to usage of network resources and to material transmitted electronically. Furthermore, ALL college regulations and policies apply to usage of network resources, not just those that are specific to computers and networks. The College reserves the right to restrict the use of its computers and network systems in response to complaints presenting evidence of violations of College policies or codes, or state or federal laws. Violations of the above policies should be reported to the Executive Director of Information Systems.

The Executive Director will work with appropriate officers of the College to promptly investigate claims of violations. In some situations, account privileges may be suspended while the situation is being investigated. Minor infractions of this policy will typically be handled internally and in an informal manner. The goal is to educate the responsible individual.

More serious infractions, or repeated minor infractions, will be handled via formal procedures. Such infractions may result in the immediate and permanent loss of access privileges, written reprimands, and suspension or dismissal from WCC. Offenses which are in violation of local, state, or federal laws will result in the immediate loss of computing privileges, and will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Related Policies

Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook
Handbook for New & Part-Time Faculty
Master Contractual Agreements
Policy on Internet Accounts

Outcomes

As an outcome of this policy, members of WCC's electronic community will develop a clearer understanding of their rights and concomitant responsibilities. Handouts consistent with this policy will be developed for distribution to current account holders and new account applicants. Materials detailing this policy will also be posted on WCC's official web site.

Adopted: November 11, 1997
Administrative Review: May 2002
(8022)

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