Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology Resources

Revised: October 1, 2018

This procedure applies to all users including faculty, students, staff, and visitors using College computing and network resources and to all systems owned by the College and any systems connecting to the College’s network. Use of College systems signifies your understanding and agreement with these terms.

Information technology:  Information technology (IT) includes but is not limited to: all computers, tools, instruments, or facilities which enable individuals to access or interact with information available through the library system, the internet, or local campus networks. Resources may be individually controlled or shared, stand-alone or networked. Included in this definition are classroom technologies, computing and electronic communication devices and services, email, telephones (including cellular), voice mail, multimedia, instructional materials, and related supporting devices or technologies.

User Agreement: By using College-supplied information technology resources, individuals, groups, or organizations agree to abide by all policies and procedures adopted by Sandhills Community College, as well as all current federal, state, and local laws. These include College policies and procedures against harassment, plagiarism, and unethical conduct, as well as local, state, and federal laws prohibiting theft, copyright infringement, insertion of malicious software into computer systems, and other unlawful intrusions.  When individuals accept College issued user accounts, they agree to comply with this and all other computing related policies.

General Responsibilities: All users of the College’s computing resources are presumed to have read and understood the following standards.

The College’s information technology acceptable use standards require that each user:

  • Respect software copyright laws. Software licensed by the College must only be used in accordance with the applicable license agreements.
  • Abide by all security provisions. Users are not permitted to share authentication details or provide access to their College accounts to anyone else. The owner is responsible for all usage on their assigned account.
  • Respect the rights of others to have freedom from harassment or intimidation. Sending abusive or unwanted material is a violation of College policies, may violate the law and is prohibited. Targeting another person, group or organization to cause distress, embarrassment, injury, unwanted attention or other substantial discomfort is harassment. Personal attacks or other actions to threaten, intimidate or embarrass an individual, group or organization, or attacks based on a person’s race, color, national origin, creed, disability, religion, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation, age, arrest record, or marital status are prohibited.
  • Identify yourself clearly and accurately in electronic communication. Anonymous or pseudo-anonymous communications do not dissociate any user from responsibility for their actions and are inappropriate. Communication under a false name or designation or a name or designation which the user is not authorized to use, including instances in conjunction with representing that the user is somehow acting on behalf of or under the auspices of Sandhills Community College is prohibited.
  • Recognize the College reserves the right to access, review, and monitor the use of computing resources. This includes but is not limited to equipment and usage, as well as the data that is stored or transmitted.
  • Observe proper online etiquette. Online networks shall be used only as permitted by the College, only in accordance with applicable College policies and only for lawful purposes. Any conduct that in the College’s discretion restricts or inhibits others from using an online network or violates College policies or applicable law is not permitted. Users are prohibited from posting on or transmitting through any online network any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, profane, hateful, racially or ethnically demeaning or threatening or otherwise objectionable material of any kind, including without limitation, any material which encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any applicable law or college policies. Transmission of chain letters and pyramid schemes of any kind are prohibited. Use of any online network to send unsolicited advertising, promotional material or other forms of solicitation to others is prohibited. The College reserves the right to restrict and/or interrupt communications through or by use of any College computers or information technology services, which the College believes to be harmful to the College or to others.
  • Refrain from using applications that inhibit or interfere with the use of the network by others. This includes, but is not limited to applications which use an unusually high portion of network bandwidth for extended periods of time.

Enforcement: Violations of this policy shall be cause for discipline. Alleged violations of this policy shall be subject to the College’s existing disciplinary procedures. Sandhills Community College treats access and use violations of information technology resources seriously. Unauthorized or improper use will lead to the possible revocation of a user’s access. The College may also require restitution for any use which is in violation of the usage guidelines. Sandhills Community College will pursue criminal and civil prosecution of violators when appropriate.

Privacy: Users should recognize the limitation to the privacy of electronic documents. The College cannot guarantee privacy of any accounts. Violation of this policy grants the operator of the system the right to review a user’s usage and waives all rights of privacy the user (including students, faculty, staff, and community members) may claim or may have. The College retains the right to release the names of users to appropriate authorities in accordance with College procedures.

Network Access: All equipment attached to the College network, including wireless networks, must be approved by the Chief Information Officer except in specifically identified public access areas.

Special Situations: Additional limitations or prohibitions may exist in departmental facilities. Individuals are responsible for adhering to these policies and observing posted guidelines. Refer all inquiries to the specific department.  In addition, all interactions outside the College are subject to the acceptable use policies of the outside agencies such as network access providers, telecommunications companies, or software developers.

The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Sandhills Community College, its Board of Trustees, and college employees from and against any claim, lawsuit, cause of action, damage judgment, loss, expense, or liability resulting from any claim, including reasonable attorney’s fees, arising out of or related to the use of the College’s hardware, software, and network facilities. This indemnity shall include without limitation, those claims based on trademark or service mark infringement, trade name infringement, copyright infringement, defamation, unlawful discrimination or harassment, rights of publicity, and invasion of privacy.

I have read and understand the acceptable use policy.