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WCCC Library: Technology Use Policy

The Haytaian & Maier Library

WCCC's Technology Use Policy

Computing resources are valuable, and their abuse can have a far-reaching negative impact on the entire campus. The same standards that apply in the non-computing environment apply in the computing environment. In providing computing resources, WCCC has the responsibility of informing its users (faculty, staff and students) of the rules and procedures regarding their usage. Users are responsible for understanding these rules so that they can abide by them.

Policies regarding conduct generally address issues such as treatment of other individuals, theft, destruction of property or vandalism, and access (i.e. who can use what and when). The WCCC Technology Use Policy is intended to address these elements as they relate to the rapidly changing technology of computing, network, and information resources. Because technology changes so quickly, no policy dealing with it can hope to remain current in all its details. The policies delineated here should be considered examples, and not an exhaustive list of prohibited behavior. Unauthorized use has at least two meanings in regard to computer issues. First, it can mean that an individual is not authorized to use a machine, network, or other resource, for any purpose. Second, it can mean that although an individual is authorized to use a particular resource, certain activity is prohibited.

As with all other organizations, standard, responsible systems administration requires close monitoring by WCCC network administrators of the usage of College computing and telecommunications systems. E-mail is not guaranteed to be private or confidential. All electronic communications are College property. When necessary to investigate violations of these and other College policies, the College will examine the contents of “personal” directories, e-mail folders, and other resources accessible to users. Such examinations are not done frivolously. They are conducted only by the Office of Information Technology, under the direction of the Director, unless directly ordered otherwise by the College President.

I. Introduction

It is important for all users to practice ethical behavior in their computing activities since they have access to many valuable resources and their computing practices can adversely affect the work of other users. Most users act responsibly, but the few who do not, either through ignorance or by intent, have the potential for disrupting all users’ work. Warren County Community College (WCCC) has the responsibility of securing its computing systems to a reasonable and economically feasible degree against unauthorized access while making them accessible for legitimate and innovative uses. This responsibility includes informing users of an expected standard of conduct and the punitive measures for not adhering to them.

The following list constitutes a code of computing practice for users. Disciplinary action for violating the code shall be governed by the applicable provisions. Violations can also result in criminal prosecution under State and/or Federal law. Every student, employee, instructor or other person using the College’s telecommunications and computing systems agrees to abide by the tenets set forth in the following policy.

II. Access

A. Users may only use computer accounts that have been authorized for their use.
B. Users must identify their computing work with their own names so that responsibility for the work can be determined and users can be contacted in unusual situations, e.g., the return of misplaced output.
C. Users must use their computer accounts only for the purposes for which they were authorized.
D. Users must not attempt to modify system facilities.
E. Users must not attempt to subvert the restrictions associated with their computer accounts.
F. Users are responsible for the usage of their computer accounts. They should maintain secure passwords for systems that support them and take precautions against others obtaining access to their computer resources. Each user is responsible for all transactions made under the authorization of his or her system account.

III. Use

WCCC’s computing and telecommunications facilities are provided for the use of students, staff and faculty in fulfilling their needs that relate to the mission of the College. Other usage is not acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to:

A. Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read or change the contents, or for any purpose.
B. Unauthorized transfer of a file.
C. Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password.
D. Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or College official.
E. Use of computing facilities to send or receive what may be deemed under the circumstances to be obscene or inappropriate.
F. Interference with normal operation of the College’s computing system.
G. The development and/or use of self-replicating code or viruses, unless under the direction of the academic faculty and the Office of Information Technology.
H. Solicitation for charity or other benefits.
I. Activities related to the promotion or running of a personal for-profit venture or other activities unrelated to the provision of an undergraduate education.
J. Using foul, abusive or harassing language on the network or any electronic communication.
K. Promoting and sending chain letters, mass mailings or personal advertisements.
L. Harassing students or employees at the College or other organizations.
M. Sexual, racial, ethnic, religious or any other harassment of any individual or group of individuals.
N. Access to websites, listservs, software and other resources that do not provide a scholarly treatment of pornography, hate speech, or activity, which otherwise would be deemed a violation of existing law. When the scholarly merit of such materials is in question, the judgment of the College administration will be final.

IV. Individual Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities.

A. Members of the WCCC community have the right to be free of harassment. Usage of the College’s computing and telecommunications systems to violate this basic right is strictly prohibited and will be treated with the utmost gravity.
B. The College understands that providing network connectivity and advanced technology often facilitates personal and recreational usage of those systems. Use of the College’s computing and telecommunications systems for activities not directly related to learning (for students) or performing of work duties (for staff and faculty) is a privilege. While these activities are not encouraged, they are tolerated so long as they: 1. do not infringe on the rights of other users to use the College systems for bona fide academic or work-related activities, 2. do not interfere with the accomplishment of one’s work responsibilities, nor 3. do they violate any other portion of these Technology Use Policies. This privilege may be revoked at any time should any of the above situations occur.
C. As a function of accepted and responsible system management, network administrators may conduct examinations of any or all files on the network to monitor compliance with these usage policies and to insure the effective and appropriate functioning of WCCC computing and telecommunications systems. This is a legal right of the College and any other organization that provides similar systems for the execution of its mission.
D. The College regards electronic mail and voice communications as vehicles for the delivery of information and not as mechanisms for the retention or archiving of such information. It is the responsibility of the individual sender and/or receiver of such messages to determine which information should be retained or archived. Records retained by an individual, even if they are retained on an electronic medium, are subject to College policies, State and Federal laws.

V. Software

Warren County Community College licenses the use of most computer software applications from a variety of outside companies. The College does not own this software or its related documentation and, unless authorized by the software developer, does not have the right to reproduce or modify it.

A. Users agree not to copy, disclose, transfer, or modify, without written permission, any computer software or documentation that the College provides its users. The sole exception to this policy is software clearly marked as belonging to the public domain.
B. Media containing licensed software and the accompanying documentation is to be used in the College’s office areas, classrooms, and computing labs, and is not to be removed from such designated areas.
C. All use of software provided by WCCC and all use of the College’s computer and telecommunications equipment is governed by the College’s license agreements, this policy statement, and applicable Federal and State law. Users agree to comply with all such restrictions.

VI. Enforcement

A. Complaints against any user for violation of these policies shall be the subject of full and immediate investigation and may result in the suspension or revocation of computing and telecommunications privileges.
B. Users wishing to make a complaint or report violations of these policies should contact the Chief Information Officer.
C. Revocation of access may be done at any time by system administrators to protect users’ rights and privileges and to safeguard College resources.
D. If violations of these Technology Use Policies occur, those responsible for such abuse will be held accountable and may be subject to disciplinary action.
E. Violations to these policies will be forwarded to the Provost for disposition and action. The Provost may, at his or her discretion, involve other individuals to assist in resolution of the matter. When deemed necessary, the College may consult or turn the matter over to the appropriate legal authority.

Warren County Community College
Haytaian & Maier Library
475 Route 57 West
Washington, New Jersey 07882
Text: 908-652-4445