Computer and Network Policy

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General Use

A. Any member of the College Community with a valid Berea College I.D. Card (a “User”) may use any of the computers in the student public access areas, except when these areas have been reserved. Users may also apply for and receive a network mail account. Temporary access to Information Technology Resources may also be extended on a limited basis to campus visitors. The College reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to refuse access to its Information Technology Resources to any person who is not a member of the College Community.

B. All Users are responsible for helping to maintain a sound computing environment. Acts which serve to degrade Information Technology Resources, whether deliberate or otherwise, are prohibited. Berea College has the right to monitor, limit, or restrict specific technologies that disrupt or degrade Information Technology Resources. 

C. Information Technology Resources are made available primarily for academic and administrative activities. Unauthorized use of Information Technology Resources for commercial purposes is prohibited. 

D. Administrative or academic use of Information Technology Resources takes precedence over non-academic use. 

E. Individuals should report any reasonable suspicion of computer security problems to the IS&S Service Center or the Director of Network Services. 

F. Software applications licensed by Berea College may not be copied except according to the applicable license agreement. Illegal copying of licensed software is prohibited. 

G. The following statement was adopted by the Faculty on May 14, 1992, and forms an integral part of this Policy: 

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form and terms of publication and distribution. 

Because information stored on electronic media is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in electronic environments, such as computer, VCR, etc. As members of the academic community, we value the free exchange of ideas. However, just as we do not tolerate plagiarism, we do not condone the unauthorized copying of software, including programs, personal files, applications, databases, and codes. Violations will be handled in the same manner as all other acts of dishonesty. (Adapted from a statement developed by EDUCOM, an organization of over 2000 colleges and universities.) 

H. Current state and federal laws regarding obscenity and pornography, libel and slander, and misuse of the mails for threats and anonymous letters apply to electronic mail, Internet and bulletin boards. Users are expected to use common courtesy, avoiding vulgarity, obscenity and profanity.

I. The general codes of conduct for students and employees apply to all users of Information Technology Resources. 

J. Berea College reserves the right to terminate, limit or restrict any individual user’s access. 

K. The President, Provost, Dean of Faculty, or a Vice President of the College may, without notice, terminate, limit or restrict user access for good cause. The Chief Information Officer may authorize immediate removal of any data, file or system resource that may undermine the College’s Information Technology Resources.

Electronic Communications

A. When creating electronic messages, users should be conscious that electronic information is easily duplicated and may be shared widely.

B. Using electronic communication for any form of harassment is prohibited.

C. Initiating or continuing electronic chain letters is prohibited. A chain letter is “a letter instructing the recipient to send out multiple copies so that its circulation increases in a geometrical progression as long as the instructions are followed.” (American Heritage Dictionary, 1995).

D. Spamming is prohibited. Spamming is defined as the act or acts of flooding mailboxes, bulletin boards and multiple mail lists with unsolicited messages.

E. The purpose of local bulletin boards is to share campus-wide information. Outdated messages not removed by the posting User will be removed by the administrator.

F. There is one official Berea College web site http://www.berea.edu/ containing information about Berea College with links to departments’ and organizations’ resources. Allocations of space for Internet resources (web sites, FTP servers, etc.) may be obtained by application to the Chief Information Officer.

G. Technical resources placed on or connected to the College’s Information Technology Resources are subject to all other College policies, standards and procedures. Copyrighted materials may not be displayed on the network or Internet resources without written permission from the copyright holders.

Freedom of Expression and Misconduct

Freedom of Expression and an open environment in which to pursue scholarly inquiry and share information are encouraged, supported and protected at Berea College. Censorship is not compatible with the goals of the College. While the College rejects censorship, behavior that constitutes misconduct as defined in this policy will not be protected. It must be remembered that “misconduct” within the framework of the College’s Information Technology Resources may also constitute a violation of general college regulations and of state or federal law.

User Privacy

Unauthorized users are obviously not entitled to privacy within the framework of the College’s Information Technology Resources, but even among authorized users, any violation of this Computer and Network Policy may also suspend the right of privacy. In such instances, an Officer of the College or the Chief Information Officer may, without notice, authorize Information Systems and Services personnel to access or disable such User accounts or files. Users should also be aware that User accounts, files and information may be disclosed upon subpoena or order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

However, all authorized users (members of the College Community and others) are entitled to privacy in all their authorized use of the College’s Information Technology Resources. Each User identity, log-in name, account name, or any other User ID and associated password belongs to an individual, office or department. No one should use a User identity, log-in name, any user ID, or account name and password without explicit permission from the owner thereof. No one should use aliases, nicknames, pointers, or other electronic means to attempt to impersonate, redirect or confuse those who use the network. No one should use aliases, nicknames, pointers, or other electronic means to capture information intended for others without the explicit permission of the intended recipient. In order to protect privacy, each authorized user should accept responsibility for the appropriate use and dissemination of user identity, log-in name, user ID, and account name and password.

Information Systems and Services personnel have access to files belonging to Users, but this access may be used only when it is essential for the maintenance of a system or the network itself.

*As adopted by the College and General Faculties, April 26, 2001

Revised December 3, 2004 to reflect changes to Information Systems and Services job titles and department structure. As revised by the Administrative Committee, June 15, 2011.

Revised July 1, 2019 to reflect Provost and Dean of Faculty title changes.