Appropriate Use Policy

Occidental College Policy Content:

General Provisions

The use of Occidental College Digital Information Systems and Information Resources is a privilege, not a right, and is granted under the conditions of appropriate usage as stated in this policy. By using the Occidental College network, computing facilities, resources, and accounts, students, faculty, staff and other members of the Occidental College community agree to the provisions contained herein.

Academic and administrative computing services are an essential component of meeting the mission of Occidental College. Students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Occidental College community may:

  • use College-owned computers, software, information and network access to which each individual is authorized access;
  • connect to the College network and digital information systems and information resources with an individually-owned computer or other digital device;

Individuals using Digital Information Systems and Information Resources at Occidental College are responsible for complying with relevant laws and the College’s policies and procedures regarding their use and for using computing and networking facilities and resources in a manner that is consistent with the mission and educational purpose of the College.

The College reserves the right to deny, limit, revoke or extend computing privileges and access to its Digital Information Systems and Information Resources at its discretion. In addition, alleged violations of this procedure, the College’s policies regarding use of the Digital Information Systems, or other policies of the College in the course of using the Digital Information Systems may result in an immediate loss of computing privileges and may also result in the referral of the matter to the College’s judicial system or other appropriate authority. Student matters will be referred to the Dean of Students. Faculty matters will be referred to the Dean of the College. Staff matters will be referred to the Director of Human Resources.

Students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Occidental College community will:

  • use computing and networking facilities and resources in a way that complies with any applicable laws, contractual agreements, or licenses, including copyright laws;
  • use computing and networking facilities and resources in a manner that is consistent with the mission and educational purpose of Occidental College;
  • use computing and networking facilities and resources in a manner that is not considered harmful or harassing to a person;
  • use computing and networking facilities and resources in a manner that does not interfere with the ability of others to make effective use of College Digital Information Systems.

Use of College information systems for hosting non-Occidental College activities must have the written permission of the chief information officer.

Appropriate Behavior

Students, faculty, staff and other members of the Occidental College community will:

  • not view, copy, alter, or destroy data, software, documentation, or data communications belonging to the College or another individual without permission;
  • not violate copyright laws, including using Occidental College Digital Information Systems and facilities to receive, retransmit, duplicate, destroy, or tamper with materials protected by copyright unless authorized by copyright, license, College policy, or other applicable laws. (See Copyright Compliance and Copyright Resources). For information about how to obtain legal digital content, see Accessing Music and TV Online.
  • not disregard computer security measures, such as: using a computer account belonging to another individual; sharing passwords with another individual or permitting another individual to use their accounts; exposing other computers or the network to security threats such as viruses and spyware; or attempt to defeat or bypass computer and network security measures.
  • not use Digital Information Systems in a manner that deliberately diminishes or interferes with the work of others.
  • not provide, assist in, or gain unauthorized or inappropriate access to the College’s computing resources.
  • not use Occidental facilities or resources for unauthorized or inappropriate access to systems, software or data at remote sites.
  • not use Occidental computing facilities and resources to violate federal, state or local laws or statutes, as well as all applicable contracts and licenses.
  • not use College Digital Information Systems and Information Resources for commercial use.

Software Usage

Faculty, staff, and students have permission for the use of licensed software according to the terms of the licensing agreements between Occidental College and the software licensors. Anyone using the software agrees to abide by the terms of those agreements, acknowledging that these software programs are proprietary and therefore are subject to copyright or patent restrictions as defined in the license agreements.

By using College software, individuals agree not to copy, transfer, or remove from college facilities any licensed software, including programs, applications, databases, and code. Occidental College’s computer facilities, equipment, or software may not be used to violate the terms of any software license agreement or applicable Federal or State laws and regulations pertaining to copyright violations.

Electronic Mail

The confidentiality of any message or material should not be assumed. Even when a message or material is deleted, it may still be possible to retrieve and read that message or material. Students, faculty, staff and other members of the Occidental College community should not maintain any expectation of privacy with respect to information transmitted over, received by, or stored in any electronic communications device owned, leased, or operated in whole or in part by or on behalf of the College.

All electronic communications, files, and content presented to and/or passed on the College network, including those to, from or through Internet connection(s), may be monitored, examined, saved, read, transcribed, stored, or retransmitted by an authorized employee or agent of the College, in its sole discretion, with or without prior notice to the user. The College reserves and intends to exercise the right to do so:

  • when required by and consistent with law;
  • when the College believes that there have been violations of College policies;
  • to insure the operation of the College’s electronic communications services.
  • While the College makes a good faith effort to reduce the amount of spam delivered to individual mailboxes, it accepts no responsibility for the content of email received by account holders.

Specific provisions concerning email use at Occidental College include:

  • Email is an official form of College communication. Account holders are responsible for accessing their email in a timely manner.
  • Forgery (or attempted forgery) of email messages is prohibited.
  • Attempts to read, delete, copy, or modify the email of other users are prohibited.
  • Deliberate interference with the ability of other users to send/receive email is prohibited.
  • Networks

The College networks are operated as a private network designed to provide for the mission-related needs of students, faculty, staff and other members of the Occidental community. The College network is a shared resource and all individuals using the network are responsible for using it in a manner that does not inhibit or interfere with use by others.

  • Only computers or networked devices that have been approved for connection by ITS may be connected to the College network.
  • Network services, equipment, wiring or jacks may not be altered nor extended beyond the location of their intended use.
  • ITS has the sole authority to assign host names and network addresses to computers attached to Occidental’s network.

Security

To protect the integrity of Occidental College’s computing resources, ITS reserves the right to monitor the network, computers attached to it, examine files and account information, and to test passwords.

ITS reserves the right to immediately disconnect any computer that is found to be disrupting the network.

ITS reserves the right to immediately disconnect any computer temporarily for the purpose of network hardware, software, or security troubleshooting, and to enforce the Appropriate Usage Policy.

Questions

Questions and/or comments about this policy should be directed to James Uhrich, vice president for Information Technology Services, at 323-259-2506 or uhrich@oxy.edu.