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Terms of Service

Basic Guidelines

WCC provides computing resources and Internet access to members of the WCC electronic community for 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. These guidelines describe them, as well as the consequences of misuse. You are responsible for knowing and following these guidelines, so read this document carefully.


Your rights and responsibilities as a member of the electronic community include:

  1. Privacy in electronic communication and work.
    • All members of the electronic community have a right to privacy in their electronic communications and work. Neither email between community members nor an individual user’s files will be subject to systematic access by system administrators. The College reserves the right to access user files as required to protect the integrity of computer systems and individual accounts, as well as to investigate substantiated claims of misuse or unauthorized use. User files may also be subject to search by outside authorities under court order.
    • While freedom from improper account supervision is guaranteed by College policy, privacy’s best safeguard is an educated user. Users can best defend their privacy by selecting and maintaining the confidentiality of appropriate passwords. Privacy is enhanced if users recognize the fundamental differences between venues that are intended to be public, such as blogs, and communications that are intended to be private, such as email, and shape their content accordingly.
  2. Protection from harassment.
    • All members of the electronic community have the right to protection from electronic harassment and unsolicited contact. Reasonable actions will be taken to prevent such incidents. Any community member who receives threatening or unwelcome communications should report them to the Chief Information Officer.
  3. Intellectual and academic freedom.
    • All members of the electronic community have a right to intellectual freedom. WCC provides a free and open forum for expression, including viewpoints that are unorthodox or unpopular. As part of this freedom, however, all such expressions must clearly and accurately identify the author and sender/publisher. Individuals in an educational community must take responsibility for their words. Anonymous attacks on other members of our community are unacceptable.

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.


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.
    • To help protect your files, you are responsible for setting passwords appropriately and keeping your password confidential. Remember: You are responsible for all activity on your account.
  2. Avoid transmission of viruses by using detection software conscientiously.
    • Use the detection and cleaning software provided. Do not try to circumvent antivirus procedures because they are inconvenient. Report incidents that indicate the presence of a virus to the Chief Information Officer.
  3. Comply with copyright and license laws.
    • Basic copyright law is not that difficult. If you think you might be violating copyright law, you probably are. For basic information about copyright, see WCC’s Guide to Copyright.
  4. Familiarize themselves with the unique properties of email.
    • Email is far more subject to rebroadcast to an audience of thousands than traditional written correspondence. It is also subject to forgery and interception. As a rule of thumb, do not put anything in an email message that you wouldn’t want your family, friends, and neighbors to see.
  5. Avoid offensive or inflammatory speech.
    • Personal attacks are unacceptable in an educational environment, and in-kind responses are equally unacceptable. Report attacks to the Chief Information Officer.
  6. Avoid unnecessarily degrading network performance.
    • Do not store excessive amounts of personal material on network servers, play computer games while others are waiting to use computers in labs, or use network printers to print many copies of a single document.

Unacceptable Behavior Guidelines

Without being exhaustive, the following list enumerates activities that are 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 gain 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. Copying for personal use any software licensed to the College.
  7. Deliberately degrading or disrupting equipment, software, or network performance.
  8. Vandalizing the data of another user.
  9. Posting messages using the email address or identity of another.
  10. Harassing or threatening individuals or groups.
  11. Possessing copies of College data, software, databases, or other subsidiary files except in the course of performing College-assigned job duties.

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 local, state, and federal laws apply to use of network resources and to material transmitted electronically. Penalties for violating these laws can include fines and/or imprisonment. Furthermore, all College regulations and policies apply to use 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 of local, state, or federal laws. Violations of computer policies should be reported to the Chief Information Officer.

The Chief Information Officer will work with appropriate College officers 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, such as poorly chosen passwords or excessive disk space consumption, or those that appear accidental in nature, will typically be handled internally and in an informal manner. This may involve communication by email or in-person discussions designed to educate the responsible individual. The goal is to educate the responsible individual.

More serious infractions, or repeated minor infractions, will be handled through formal procedures. These procedures are outlined in Board of Trustees Policy 4095, "Student Rights and Responsibilities," and the Master Contractual Agreement. Such infractions may result in the immediate and permanent loss of access privileges, written reprimands, and suspension or dismissal from WCC. Offenses that violate local, state, or federal laws will result in the immediate loss of computing privileges and will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

This document may be amended as necessary in a manner designated by the Office of the President of Washtenaw Community College.

October 6, 2008

What’s a netID?

A netID is your online identity with WCC. It and your password are keys that let you access online services ranging from your WCC email account to MyWCC, where you register for classes, check your grades, and more. Your netID is the part of your WCC email address that comes before the @ sign.

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