Acceptable Computer and Network Use Policies

Please note: Updates to these policies may be made throughout the year. Information Technology will disseminate announcements of any policy changes that take affect during the academic year, but it is the responsibility of the user to remain informed of the policies posted at this site. Anyone connected to the network is expected to abide by these policies at all times.

In support of Elmira College's mission of teaching, research, and public service, Information Technology provides access to information resources, including computer networks and computer equipment to the College community. Computers and networks provide powerful communication tools and access to resources on campus and around the world. When used appropriately, these tools increase the open exchange of information and advance the mission of the College. Inappropriate use of these tools, however, can infringe on the rights of others.

Appropriate use must always be legal and ethical, reflect academic honesty, uphold community standards and prevent the overconsumption of shared resources such as network bandwidth. Appropriate use must demonstrate respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individuals' right to privacy and to freedom from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance.

Users who connect to the the Elmira College network must abide by the appropriate use policies described here and all relevant State and Federal laws, regulations, and contractual obligations. The use of the College's technology resources is a privilege which may be revoked if users fail to comply with these policies. 

Elmira College supports freedom of expression and an open environment to pursue scholarly inquiry. The open sharing of information is encouraged, supported and protected. The College does not limit access to information due to its content, provided that such information is accessed and used in compliance with applicable law and Elmira College policies, procedures, rules and regulations.

As a member of the Elmira College community you must abide by the general guidelines listed above, as well as the specific responsibilities listed below.

You are responsible for:

Registering your connection: Every computer, mobile device, or gaming device that connects to the Elmira College network must be properly registered with Information Technology and be properly configured for the network.

Protecting Your Computer: Your computer must have current and updated antivirus software and system updates installed before it can connect to the Elmira College network. For specific information on how to protect your computer go the http://sites.elmira.edu/helpdesk and choose IT Connect.

All network activity originating from your equipment: Every bit of information that comes from your computer, whether you generate it or not, is your responsibility. For further details pertaining to College-owned computers refer to the Policy on Computers and Procedures, available from the Office of the Treasurer, ext. 1802.

Protecting the privacy of your accounts: Never release your personal account information to friends, relatives, roommates, or others. Never share your password. Likewise, never use a computer account that you are not authorized to use or obtain a password for a computer account not assigned to you. 

Ensuring the security and integrity of your computer system: In cases where a computer is compromised ("hacked into" or "virus-infected"), the user's computer may be temporarily disconnected from the campus network to prevent an extension of the attack. Every effort will be made to inform the owner of the computer when such action is taken. Information Technology will provide the user with instructions on how to fix the compromised computer. Verification of problem resolution by Information Technology staff is required before the computer is reconnected to the network. 

Appropriate compliance with all copyright laws.

Examples of Network Misuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Sharing your username and password. 
  • Using electronic mail to harass others.
  • Engaging in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, such as peer-to-peer file sharing. 
  • Using excessive bandwidth.
  • Responding to spam.
  • Wasteful use of College computing and network resources. 
  • Attempts to bypass security systems.
  • Connecting your computer to the Elmira College network and an outside Internet Service Provider such as Time-Warner Road Runner or America Online at the same time. 
  • Installing hubs, routers, switches, or personal wireless access points.
  • Possession of hardware or software designed to detect or exploit network and computer system vulnerabilities.
  • Knowingly running or installing on any computer system or network, or giving to another user, a program intended to damage or to place an excessive load on a computer system or network. This includes but is not limited to programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.
  • Masking the identity of an account or machine.
  • Unauthorized use of an account. 
  • Sending chain letters, advertisements, or solicitations of any type. Sending mass mailings to individuals who have not expressly agreed to be contacted in this manner. The College reserves the right to broadcast critical information by e-mail to members of the Campus community.
  • Violating terms of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws. The illegal sharing, publishing, distribution, or storing of copyrighted electronic material is a violation of copyright law. Examples include, but are not limited to, music files, movies, software, and images.
  • Using the campus network to gain unauthorized access to any computer systems.  
  • Using Elmira College resources for commercial purposes or monetary gain.
  • Attempting to monitor or tamper with another user's electronic communications, or reading, copying, changing, or deleting another user's files or software without the explicit agreement of the owner.
  • Knowingly performing an act that will interfere with the normal operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks.
  • Posting on electronic bulletin boards materials that violate existing laws or Elmira College codes of conduct.
  • Modifying network wiring or tampering with network equipment.
  • Using IP addresses not specially assigned by Information Technology.
  • Connecting DHCP or BOOTP servers to the network. 
  • Using tools designed to check for computer system or network security vulnerabilities.
  • Wasteful use of College computing and network resources.
  • Failure to comply with Information Technology's instructions for configuring equipment and repeatedly engaging in activities that generate complaints to Department of Information Technology.
Policy Enforcement and Possible Penalties 

Minor infractions of these policies are generally resolved informally by Information Technology staff with a written record retained. Repeated minor infractions or misconduct that is more serious will be referred to the Vice President and Dean of Student Life for disciplinary action, or for faculty and staff, the appropriate College administrative authority. Cases that involve violation of the law may also be referred to local law enforcement agencies.

Misuse of computing, networking, or information resources will result in the loss of computing privilege and may include disciplinary action under College handbook guidelines, College regulations, and criminal prosecution under applicable statutes. In addition, illegal reproduction of material protected by U.S. Copyright Law is subject to civil damages and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment.

Information Technology reserves the right to temporarily terminate a network connection or user account in order to prevent expansion of a threat to network security or in cases where a user's account is seriously degrading network performance. Information Technology staff will attempt to give advanced warning in these situations, but does not guarantee it.

Expectation of Privacy

The Information Technology Department has the obligation to protect the integrity and security of college computing, networking and communications resources and therefore reserves the right to implement safeguards and other actions as appropriate and needed.  Except as specifically authorized by law, individuals have no legitimate expectation of privacy during any use of Elmira College’s provided computing, networking and communications resources or in any data on it, even if a private password is issued or use of encryption is made.  Any use, whether authorized or not, may be monitored, intercepted, recorded, read, copied, accessed or captured in any manner including in real time, and used or disclosed in any manner, by authorized personnel without additional prior notice to individuals.  Periodic monitoring of systems use will be conducted. 

Technical Support and Liability Release

For student-owned computers Information Technology staff will make every effort to support their computer’s connection to the Elmira College network. You must accept this liability release before a member of Information Technology staff is authorized to physically touch your computer:

By accepting technical support from Information Technology staff, I expressly waive all claims against Information Technology and its agents for any damages to my computer system or data that are incidental to the technical support rendered by Information Technology. I understand that technical support I receive from Information Technology may void manufacturer warranties and I understand that Information Technology offers no verbal or written warranty, either expressed or implied, regarding the success of this technical support. I understand that I have the right not to accept support from Information Technology staff and to seek technical assistance elsewhere.

Cyberbulling and Cyber Harassment

Any use of Elmira College’s computing, networking and communications resources that is inappropriate to the work or educational environment or that contributes to creating a harassing or uncomfortable environment is declared an unacceptable use. Users may not use the College’s computing and network equipment and or facilities to harass, threaten, or defame others; directly or indirectly.  

The actions of all Elmira College community members reflect on themselves, their department, and the College. In the age of cyber communities and social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), it is increasingly important that all campus community members recognize that these communities are open to the public, most notably our students and their families.  Elmira College does not tolerate cyberbullying and it urges everyone to practice thoughtful discretion and maintain the highest standard of professionalism, courtesy and respect of others when participating in these activities and cyber communities. Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology and examples include mean, harmful or harassing text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and the posting of embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. Elmira College reserves the right to investigate if an issue regarding compliance with Elmira College policies, procedures and/or standards is raised with respect to an individual’s participation or conduct.

E-mail 

Full-time Elmira College students are required to review their elmira.edu e-mail on a daily basis. Critical information from faculty and administration offices will be communicated to students using this e-mail address. The College is not responsible for a student’s not being aware of critical information sent by e-mail and not accessed by the student. Internet communications are inherently not secure. The confidentiality of electronic mail (e-mail) cannot be assured for legal, policy, and technical reasons. Technical reasons may include misaddressed mail, excessive mail storage, and corrupt mailboxes.

You are expected to respect the privacy of others by not attempting to access their e-mail or other personal and confidential information.

Elmira College reserves the right to access e-mail messages sent or received on its system in order to enforce the provisions of this policy, monitor compliance with the anti-discrimination and harassment laws and for other operational and compliance purposes. E-mail messages on the College’s systems at Elmira.edu are the property of Elmira College. No individual or group of individuals have any rights with respect to those messages.

When corresponding with others, you must clearly identify yourself. You may not alter electronic communications to hide your identity or impersonate another person.

It is appropriate to use e-mail to communicate with other users and to create mailing lists. However, because available computer capacity is finite, it is not appropriate for individuals to use e-mail for mass communication to a large number of people (e.g. all Elmira College students).

Electronic chain letters are strictly prohibited.

The College reserves the right to broadcast critical information by e-mail to members of the campus community.

Nathenson Computer Center

People who use College computers for recreation such as games, social correspondence by e-mail, and casual use of the Internet must readily give up the computers when they are needed by others for academic work.

Please bring your Elmira College ID card to the Computer Center to ensure that our facilities and resources remain available only to those enrolled at Elmira College. 

Software that generates sound may disrupt others working in the Computer Center. Please check out headphones form the Information Technology Help Desk when you want to listen to computer-generated sound.

Guidelines on the World Wide Web

The Internet is an important resource for communication, teaching, learning, scholarship, and student life. Elmira College provides Internet services to divisions and individuals for legitimate College business and for educational activity. 

The College recognizes the difference between official and unofficial (or personal) pages.  Official pages represent the College and its programs. No personal web page should create the impression that it is an official College web page or give opinions or otherwise make statements on behalf of the College.  Pages by students or student groups are considered to be personal pages.  

The College reserves the right to deny network access to groups or individuals who ignore the aforementioned guidelines or violate acceptable use policies as defined.  The College also reserves the right to remove pages from the College network that have become outdated, contain an excessive number of invalid links to other sites, compromise system integrity, or cause a negative impact on server or network performance. 

Revisions

The College reserves the right to change this policy if the need arises. You will be notified if these revisions occur.