Information Technology Services

Acceptable Use Policy

Principles

Consistent with other University policies, this policy is intended to respect the rights and obligations of academic freedom. The University recognizes that the purpose of copyright is to protect the rights of the creators of intellectual property and to prevent the unauthorized use or sale of works available in the private sector. The University cannot protect individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them. As such, those who make use of electronic communications are warned that they may come across or be recipients of material they find offensive. Those who use e-mail and/or make information about themselves available on the Internet should be forewarned that the University cannot protect them from invasions of privacy and other possible dangers that could result from the individual’s distribution of personal information. The computing and network facilities of the University are limited and should be used wisely and carefully with consideration for the needs of others. Computers and network systems offer powerful tools for communications among members of the community and of communities outside the University. When used appropriately, these tools can enhance dialogue and communications. When used unlawfully or inappropriately, however, these tools can infringe on the beliefs or rights of others.

Applicability

IT Policies are applicable to all students and employees (faculty, administrators, and staff) and any others who are extended the privilege of using IT resources and services for the purpose of achieving the educational objectives of Saint Peter’s University and its students. All such persons accessing and using IT resources and services are subject to the applicable provisions of the University Personnel Policies and Procedures manual, the student handbook, The NET, and all other policies and procedures established by the schools and administrative offices of Saint Peter’s University.

Responsibility

The use of Saint Peter’s University’s computers and information systems is a privilege that is granted based on acceptance of the following specific responsibilities:

  1. use only those computing and information system resources for which you have authorization;
  2. use computing and information systems resources only for their intended purpose;
  3. protect the access and integrity of computing and information systems resources;
  4. abide by applicable local, state, federal, international laws, and University policies; respect the copyrights and intellectual property rights of others, including the legal use of copyrighted software and material; and
  5. respect the privacy and personal rights of others.

Prohibited uses

In accordance with the responsibilities, the following is a partial list of prohibited uses of Saint Peter’s University computer and information systems:

  1. University computing resources may not be used for private commercial purposes, soliciting, or outside political campaigning;
  2. Giving others, by password or other means, unauthorized access to any user or network account;
  3. Attempt to modify the University’s system or network facilities or attempt to crash systems.
  4. Tamper with any software protections or restrictions placed on computer applications or files;
  5. Users may not supply false or misleading data nor improperly obtain another’s password in order to gain access to computers or network systems, data or information. The negligence or naiveté of another user in revealing an account name or password is not considered authorized use. Convenience of file or printer sharing is not sufficient reason for sharing a computer account. Users should not attempt to subvert the restrictions associated with their computer accounts;
  6. Users may not encroach on others’ use of computer resources. Such activities would include, but are not limited to, tying up computer resources for excessive game playing or other trivial applications; sending harassing messages; sending frivolous or excessive messages, including chain letters, junk mail, and other types of broadcast messages, either locally or over the Internet; using excessive amounts of storage; intentionally introducing any computer viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, or other rogue programs to Saint Peter’s University hardware or software; physically damaging systems; or running grossly inefficient programs when efficient ones are available; and
  7. Interference or degradation of controls and system security.

Privacy

While respecting users’ confidentiality and privacy, the University reserves the right to examine all computer files. The University takes this step to:

  1. enforce its policies regarding harassment and the safety of individuals;
  2. prevent the posting of proprietary software or electronic copies of electronic texts or images in disregard of copyright restrictions contractual obligations;
  3. safeguard the integrity of computers, networks, and data either at the University or elsewhere; and
  4. protect the University against seriously damaging consequences.

Moreover, users of IT resources should be aware that the University cannot guarantee security and privacy, as their uses may not always be completely private. For example, issuance of a password or other means of access is to assure appropriate confidentiality of University-related information and files. It does not guarantee privacy in all cases, especially for personal or unlawful use of IT resources.

Violations

In addition to liability and penalties that may be imposed under international, federal, state or local laws, IT users who fail to fulfill their responsibilities and engage in prohibited conduct may be subject to disciplinary action. The University may restrict or suspend user privileges while the alleged violation(s) are being investigated and adjudicated. In the event of restriction or suspension of computing privileges, a reasonable effort will be made to accommodate the academic computing needs of the individual during the investigatory period. Disciplinary action shall be taken by the Dean of Students, relative to student violations, and by the appropriate University officer, relative to faculty, staff, and/or University affiliate violations.

Student disciplinary action may include, by way of illustration and not limitation, the following:

  1. loss of computing privileges on a temporary or permanent basis;
  2. loss of privilege to exhibit a web site;
  3. a decrease of disk quota;
  4. the removal of files in the system’s temporary or scratch area;
  5. suspension or expulsion from University’s computing facilities; and/or
  6. disciplinary probation, suspension, and/or dismissal from the University.

Employee discipline may include, by way of illustration and not limitation, the following:

  1. 1. verbal or written warning or reprimand;
  2. 2. suspension or dismissal from employment at the University; and/or
  3. 3. employee use of computing resources may be altered, restricted, or denied.

Affiliate discipline may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. verbal or written warning;
  2. loss of computing privileges on a temporary or permanent basis;
  3. loss of privilege to exhibit a web site;
  4. a decrease of disk quota;
  5. removal of files in the system’s temporary or scratch area; and/or
  6. suspension or cancellation of the contract or license with the University.

Emergencies

While the University will not restrict appropriate use of computers and information systems, in emergencies, the University may restrict use and perform other activities in order to restore normal operations. These restrictions and activities are not directed against any individual user or user account but are undertaken for the proper retention of service.

System Administrator Responsibilities

System Administrators and providers of University computing and information technology resources have the additional responsibility of ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the resources they are managing. Persons in these positions are granted significant trust to use their privileges appropriately for their intended purpose and only when required to maintain the system. Any private information seen in carrying out these duties must be treated in the strictest confidence, unless it relates to a violation or the security of the system.