Technology Usage Policy
The Lynchburg College computing and electronic communication facilities and services are owned by the College and are primarily intended for teaching, educational, research and administrative purposes. Access to these facilities is a privilege granted to the College's faculty, staff, students and guests of the College. Fundamental to the use of these facilities is the respect for the rights and privacy of all users. By using the College's computing and electronic communications facilities and services, College faculty, staff, students and guests agree that they will comply with this policy, and will cooperate with the College in implementing this policy.
Certain responsibilities and possible liabilities accompany this privilege, and understanding them is important for all computer users. This policy strives to balance the user's ability to benefit from these computing resources and the College's responsibility to maintain the computing and electronic communications facilities and to assure that its institutional policies are in compliance.
Lynchburg College reserves the right, at all times, to suspend or revoke the privilege of system access if a user's system activity threatens to overload the system network, threatens the security or integrity of the College, threatens the computer system, or if the user has violated institutional policies or committed a violation of law through the use of these facilities.
II. Guidelines for Responsible Use
A. In General
Some constraints are necessary for the efficient and appropriate use of shared computer resources. Since network capacity is limited, academic and administrative needs must take precedence for use of the network. All users must act responsibly and use the facilities in an ethical, professional, and legal manner. This means that users agree to abide by the following standards of responsible use:
- The integrity of all systems must be respected and not intentionally abused.
- The privacy of users must be respected.
- Users must recognize that certain data are confidential and must limit access to such data for use in direct performance of their duties.
- Users shall become familiar with and abide by the guidelines for appropriate usage for the systems and networks that they access.
- No one-faculty, staff, or student-shall obtain or provide unauthorized access to one's own or other users' accounts and files. Users shall keep their own access ID(s) confidential.
- The use of all accounts for research, instruction, or administrative purposes must be consistent with the College's mission.
- All users must respect the rights of others to remain free from harassment.
B. Network Registration
Network registration is required for all computers connecting to the College network in College residential facilities, wireless access areas, and public areas with network access. Such registration is necessary to ensure network security and to prevent the spread of viruses, Trojan horses, and spyware on the College network.
Once physically connected to the network, a student and anyone using wireless access must open a Web browser. The user will be directed to a College network registration page requiring log-in with the username and password. By responding affirmatively to a series of prompts, the user's computer will be scanned for Windows updates and the latest virus updates. Persons with computers that are not up to date will be allowed to access only specific sites for updates. Limited network access will remain in effect until the computer is updated. Computers that have updated Windows and anti-virus software will gain access to the College network.
Authentication by the network registration software will be required on a regular basis.
C. Personal Use and Use by Third Parties
Students, faculty, and staff have the privilege of reasonable use of the College's computing and electronic communications facilities and services for personal activities related to teaching, scholarship, research, professional development, and public service, as well as other incidental personal use, so long as such use does not interfere with the College's operation of these facilities and services or with the user's employment or other obligations to the College. Use of the facilities and services for commercial purposes not under the auspices of the College is not permitted.
The use of College facilities and services by individuals and organizations that are not part of the College community is not permitted unless approved by the president, vice president and dean for academic affairs, or vice president for business and finance. Such approval will generally be granted only when the use is in connection with:
- a College-sponsored event or activity;
- a public service activity for which comparable equipment is not otherwise reasonably available to the user;
- use by a guest of the College for an otherwise appropriate use; and/or
- a contractual agreement between the College and a governmental agency, private business, educational institution, or other entity.
D. Plagiarism and Protection of Intellectual Rights
The Lynchburg College Honor Code regarding plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity applies to coursework completed with use of the computer just as it does to other coursework.
The College endorses the following statement on software and intellectual rights:
Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to work of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgement, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access and trade secret and copyright violations may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community. (Educause and ADAPSO)
III. Examples of Misuse
As a guideline for users, technology facilities/resources abuse consists of but is not limited to the following:
- attacking the security of systems
- unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, passwords, pin numbers, or network identification numbers assigned to others
- modifying or destroying College data, data of other users, or networks
- forging, fraudulently altering, or willfully falsifying electronic mail headers
- disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications
- sending email that will intimidate or harass other users
- posting messages that are threatening to others
- intentionally propagating computer worms or viruses
- distributing chain letters
- electronically using, distributing, or posting copyrighted material in violation of license or other legal restrictions or contractual agreements (see "Sharing Music, Movies, and Software over the Lynchburg College Network" at http://lconline.lynchburg.edu/filesharing.html)
- failure to return College-owned software and other electronically stored College-owned materials upon termination from the College
- hoarding, damaging, or otherwise interfering with electronically accessible academic resources
- intentional, unauthorized, disproportionate use of technology resources resulting in slowdowns or crashes
- using campus technology facilities for personal/commercial gain or profit
- personal use of technology facilities in violation of Part II B of this policy
- intentional damage or physical destruction of technology equipment or facilities
- use of the technology in a manner that violates state or federal law
IV. Privacy, Enforcement, and Sanctions
A. Privacy of Users
While not legally required to do so, the College respects the privacy of the users of its computing and electronic communications facilities. While the College's intent is to respect privacy, users should not expect complete privacy of electronic files. Users must be aware that the security of electronic files on shared systems is not inviolable. Except when legally required to do otherwise, private information obtained unintentionally will be treated confidentially.
B. Investigation of Violations and Revocation of Access
Monitoring users' accounts or conducting spot checks of users' activities is prohibited except as set forth below. Computer programs, e-mail, voice mail, phone logs, network traffic logs, web site cache, and electronic files can be accessed by ITR personnel, and other College personnel to whom such authority has been delegated, to investigate suspected violations of this policy, or other College policy and rules, to investigate possible disruption to the network or other shared services, to monitor the volume of system activity and to track work flow, to restore system integrity in the event of a crash, to restore or protect the security of the system, and to cooperate with law enforcement officials. Such access must ordinarily be authorized by the President of the College, who can delegate this authority to the appropriate College administrator as listed below:
- Dean of the College (faculty)
- Vice President for Business and Finance (staff)
- Dean of Students (students)
The officials listed above have the authority, based on the results of an authorized investigation, immediately to revoke or limit the user[s]' access to College computing and electronic communication facilities and services.
In emergency cases, such as an occurrence of threatened system integrity and when the appropriate administrator is not available, access to systems as cited above may be authorized by any of the administrators listed above. If none of those officials is available, designated ITR personnel have the authority to lock or search accounts or log sessions. Any emergency entry will be recorded in writing and forwarded to the appropriate College authority and its appropriateness reviewed after the fact. Where a user's electronic files or other electronic material listed above is accessed by the College as part of an investigation into a suspected violation of this policy or other College policy or rules, the College will notify the individual of this access within five business days. This notice requirement shall not apply where the notice would, in the judgment of the College, interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation.
C. Other Sanctions for Misuse and Reporting Misuse
If abuse of Lynchburg College computing facilities occurs from campus or via modem or network access, persons responsible for such abuse will be held accountable and may be subject to disciplinary action. Moreover, individuals or groups who take actions that may have legal implications are subject to further sanctions by relevant law enforcement authorities.
Abuses of computer resources are direct violations of the College's standards of conduct as outlined in faculty, staff, and student handbooks. Alleged violations of this policy will be processed according to the procedures outlined in these handbooks. Also, unauthorized downloading and file-sharing of copyrighted materials, such as music and movies, by students is addressed through a three-tier response system detailed at /copyrightcomplaints.xml.
Users are expected to cooperate with authorized investigations of technical problems or use of technology facilities that may be unauthorized, illegal, or in violation of this policy. Except as noted in Section IV.B above, an explanation of any revocation of access will be provided to the user, and an appeal may be made following existing appeal procedures.
Any user who is the victim of harassment or other abuse involving the College's computing or electronic communication facilities or any user who becomes aware of a violation of this policy should report the possible abuse or violation to his/her supervisor or to the appropriate administrator listed above. Such reports will be handled in accordance with the College's Human Rights Policy, and where appropriate, the College will inform the user of the right to file a complaint under that policy.