Acceptable Use Policy Code for Computing & Communications

The following describes the privileges and responsibilities of computer users at Union College. All members of the College community are expected to follow the Code. In addition to representing College regulations, the Code also addresses certain issues mandated by Federal and State laws.

  1. Using Computer Resources
    1. College computer resources are provided to faculty, staff, and students for the purposes of study, research, service, and other work-related activities. Because resources are limited, all computer users are responsible for making sure that at all times the highest priority is assigned to activities related to these purposes.
      1. All computer users engaged in activities that are not directly connected to study, research, or College service should be willing to yield public area computers or computer terminals to others without waiting to be asked.
      2. Computer accounts and passwords should be protected against unauthorized use. Students should never share their accounts or passwords with anyone. Under special circumstances, faculty and/or staff may share accounts with others working on the same project. Such exceptions will be determined by the system administrator.
      3. Faculty and staff members should not share accounts with friends and relatives—unless they fulfill the conditions above. 

  2. Protecting Union College Computer Resources and Institutional Data
    1. Because computer resources are limited and valuable to the life of the academic community, all computer users should assume the responsibility to keep the computing system running and its resources unaltered and protected from damage and illegal access. Computer resources are fragile and vulnerable and all computer users should see themselves as part of an ongoing effort to protect these resources.
      1. Computer users should never intentionally destroy or alter accounts, files, software, hardware, to obtain extra resources, or to deprive others of computer resources.
      2. All computer users who possess knowledge of “bugs” or other flaws in the system are encouraged to take responsibility and share that knowledge with supervisors of that system.
      3. Computer users should never make copies of software for which permission to copy is not explicitly given. Software copyright restrictions may apply and should be adhered to. If the software does not say that users are authorized to copy it, then the software should not be copied.
      4. Network managers should ensure that the number of users of any licensed software does not exceed the number of licenses assigned to the network.
      5. Users should follow the license restrictions of the software they use, including the software provided by the college under site license agreements.
      6. Faculty and staff members responsible for providing and maintaining data on college servers have a responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the data and the accuracy of the reports and screens displaying data.
      7. Faculty and staff members who have been given access to institutional data, reports, and screens must maintain confidentiality of this information. Further, the information should be obtained only for activities and/or research directly related to the individual’s job assignments.
      8. Faculty and staff who have been given the authority to modify (add, change, and/or delete) institutional data should maintain the confidentiality of their password/account. The faculty or staff member assigned the password/account is solely responsible for any and all changes made to institutional data under that account. All modifications to institutional data are logged internally and are audited by appropriate college administrators.

  3. Privacy of Computer Accounts
    1. Programs and data stored in computer accounts are the account holder’s property. All computer users should respect others’ privacy and right to control access to what belongs to them.
      1. All computer users have primary responsibility for protecting their passwords. Users should keep their passwords confidential.
      2. All computer users should assume that if they do not know whether they have access to an account, then they do not have access to that account. 

  4. Restrictions on Privacy
    1. There are important College concerns that place some legitimate restrictions on the privacy of others’ programs, data, text files, and electronic mail. All computer users should know of these restrictions. Those empowered to examine accounts for specific purposes do not have the authority to examine accounts for any other purpose.
    2. The following are some legitimate reasons for accessing computer accounts without the account holder’s permission: 1. Instructors may monitor class accounts for students in their courses.
    3. Authorized technical personnel may access accounts for the purpose of maintaining computer or communications systems and networks.
    4. If there is reasonable cause to suspect code violations, network supervisors may monitor accounts on their networks. 

  5. Sharing Information and Communicating with Computers
    1. Computers are particularly valuable resources for the sharing and communicating of programs, data, and texts. Thus, it is a serious matter when computer users take inappropriate advantage of the ease of communication that computers provide.
      1. The sharing/serving of copyrighted materials such as software, music, movies, etc. is covered by the Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws contained in Title 17 of the United States Code, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Each network user will be held responsible for the material transmitted on the campus network and are subject to any repercussions of such transmission.
    2. The use of computers and their associated communication equipment to abuse, harass, or offend others is improper. All computer users should realize that abusive, offensive, and harassing messages communicated or shared through computer resources are no different than similar conduct carried out in person, by telephone, or by mail.
      1. What is considered obscene, abusive, offensive, or harassing when communicated in person, by mail, or by phone is also considered to be obscene, abusive, offensive, or harassing, when communicated by computer resources.
      2. For the sake of clarity, the following are examples of things that should not be done with computers:
        1. Place obscene materials on electronic bulletin boards.
        2. Share files in your accounts that are obscene or contain harassing or abusive messages.
        3. Send obscene material to anyone.
        4. Send abusive messages to other computer users.
        5. Make racially or sexually harassing remarks on electronic bulletin boards or send them to specific users.
        6. Start or extend chain letters. 

  6. Using Computer Networks
    1. Through the Union College computer system, users can access computers and networks outside the College. When accessing outside computer resources, all Union College users should know that they are representatives of the College. Users accessing outside computer systems become guests in someone else’s home, and all of the rules of being a good guest apply to use of their computer systems.
      1. Union College computer users have the responsibility to know and to follow regulations of the computer system accessed. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse for violating them. For example, users should be careful to log on and log off outside computers in the manner required by the outside computer system.
      2. Computer users should be responsible for all charges incurred while linked to outside computer systems.
    2. Access to other computer systems via campus and remote networks is restricted to properly registered individuals. No one should attempt to circumvent these restrictions.

  7. Policy Related to the Union College Website and Homepage Development
    1. The Union College Website may be edited, altered, or updated by authorized personnel only. Additional pages, sections, or substantive changes added to the Union College Website must be reviewed by public relations and receive administrative approval prior to posting or uploading.
    2. Any faculty, staff, or administrator that posts an educationally or professionally related page must notify the system administrator prior to posting. 

  8. Enforcement
    1. The College considers any breach of the Union College Code for Computing and Communications to be a serious matter. Violations may result in loss of access privileges and/or possible disciplinary action. A violation of these rules resulting in a loss of privileges is an independent action from disciplinary action pursuant to College policy. Other disciplinary sanctions will be issued through appropriate College channels.
    2. Appeal of sanctions will be handled according to established College Policy through appropriate College channels.

  9. Future Policy Development 
    1. Due to the ongoing developments in computer technology, the College reserves the right to develop and distribute interim policies pending official approval.

The Technology Support Help Desk is located downstairs in the Black Technology Center. The Support Help Desk is open Monday through Friday from 8:00AM until 4:30PM.

Expanded support hours now available:
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Phone at (606) 546-1650 or x1650 or

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