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Acceptable Use Policy

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The University values openness and promotes access to a wide range of information resources. Campus information systems are designed to be as open as possible, and as such the University insists on responsible use of these systems.

The use of computers, electronic information and computer networks is essential for research, instruction and administration within the academic community. Because the electronic environment is easily disrupted and electronic information is readily reproduced, respect for the work and rights of others is especially important.


This policy identifies acceptable and unacceptable uses of the University of Charleston's information systems, the rights and responsibilities of authorized users, and possible penalties for misuse. The University reserves the right to amend this policy at any time with or without notice. Questions or comments regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of University Computing.

Access to Information Network

  1. Students, faculty, and employees of the University may apply for an account on the University's information network. Account privileges may also be extended to other users authorized by the president of the University.
  2. Applicants are encouraged to attend a computer use policy orientation.
    1. Prior to receiving an account, applicants must read and sign the University's acceptable use policy.
    2. Applying for an account with false identification is prohibited. A valid University of Charleston ID is required.
    3. Sharing accounts and/or passwords is prohibited. Such conduct will result in the revocation of the user's account privileges.
  3. The accounts of students not pre-registered for a succeeding semester, or whose bills are past due, will have their accounts deactivated. The use of an account may be extended over the summer if a student has registered for the succeeding fall semester.

The accounts of the employees of the University will be de-activated on the last day of employment or upon termination. The appropriate supervisor should notify the Computer Center when such circumstances occur.

Privileges & Responsibilities of Users

The University information system is for the use of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration in support of the academic programs of the University. Academic and curricular uses will at all times take precedence over any personal or recreational use of computing resources. All users are responsible for seeing that the information system is used in an ethical, effective, efficient, and lawful manner. The use of the information system is a privilege, not a right, which may be revoked at any time for misuse.

Privacy & Academic Freedom

In general, information stored on computers is considered confidential, whether protected by the computer system or not, unless the owner intentionally makes that information available to other groups or individuals. Users should be aware that data (including e-mail) may, due to software or hardware failure, become accessible to those who are not explicitly authorized to have access.
Systems management personnel may also on occasion have access to such data while performing routine operations or pursuing apparent system or users problems. For example, systems managers and others charged by them with forwarding misdirected or undeliverable electronic mail or delivering printouts may examine such mail or hard copy to the extent necessary to carryout their duties. Systems personnel are required to report apparent improper or illegal activities so discovered. No guarantee of complete privacy is made or implied by this policy.

Acceptable use includes:

  1. Using information systems for legitimate educational, instructional, research, administrative, or University approved purposes.
  2. Using information systems in a manner that respects the rights of others, copyright laws and software license agreements.
  3. Acting responsibly by protecting your passwords and logins.
  4. Reporting unauthorized use, damaged equipment, and malfunctioning software.
  5. Agreeing to policies in this document by signing it.
  6. Using only facilities, resources, or accounts for which you are authorized by the University.
  7. Accepting responsibility for all use of your account and for the security of your password(s).

Using information systems for legitimate educational, instructional, research, administrative, or University-approved purposes.

Unacceptable use includes but is not limited to the following:

  1. Using University information systems for profit-making activities or other nonacademic purposes such as business activities.
  2. Using University information systems for partisan political activities where prohibited by federal, state or other applicable laws or where such use violates the 501(c) 3 status of the university.
  3. Obstructing the work of other users through any deliberate action that consumes large amounts of information system resources such that the system is damaged or disrupted or its normal performance is altered.
  4. Using the information system for illegal, criminal, destructive or other inappropriate purposes as addressed in university code of conduct including but not limited to sending threatening messages, damaging or tampering with hardware or software, or intentionally inputting or transferring a computer virus.
  5. Accepting, using, retrieving, modifying, copying, deleting, discarding, or viewing information other than your own without authorization and/or attribution.
  6. Assuming credit for the work of another, by downloading information and using it without attribution, or by using material on a disk compiled by another person.
  7. Using or assisting in the use of access privileges (logins and passwords) other than your own.
  8. Violating copyright and license agreements for software by illegally copying or transferring software.

Violations of this policy by any user should be reported to the Director of University Computing. Appeals are to be made to the Vice President of Academic Life. Failure to report known violators will be considered a breach of academic integrity.

Violations will be handled through a hearing with the Director of Computing. Any decisions rendered from a hearing can be appealed to the Vice-President of Academic Life. Users will be governed by the appropriate current handbook i.e. Students by the Student Handbook, etc.

Possible penalties include:

  1. Revocation of computing privileges.
  2. Failure of course in which unacceptable use occurs as determined by the appropriate faculty member.
  3. Recording of infraction in a student's permanent file.
  4. Suspension from the University or dismissal from University employment as deemed appropriate by the President or the president's designee.
  5. Civil and/or criminal prosecution according to applicable local, state, and/or federal laws.

I understand the above Acceptable Use Policy and agree to comply with all the guidelines specified.

Signature: ________________________________________Date: ____________