DeSales University is a Catholic university established by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. The Christian Humanist principles that are emphasized at the University should be applied to provide direction in the use of computing facilities in the same manner that they provide guidance in other areas of life.
Guidelines on the Use of University Computing Resources
Computing resources at the University are provided for the benefit of members of the University community. It is important that users exercise judgement in the use of these resources, and use the facilities responsibly and in a manner considerate of the rights and needs of others. A general guideline that may be used to indicate whether a given use of the facilities is appropriate is the following: does this use in any way endanger, inconvenience, or infringe upon the rights of another user? While this is not intended to provide a legally binding test of the legitimacy of a given use of the facilities, it should provide reasonable guidance for users concerned about the appropriateness of their computing activities. Users are further encouraged to apply the principles of Christian Humanism as embodied in the teachings of St. Francis de Sales to direct them in the appropriate and constructive use of these resources.
Access to and use of the University's computing facilities is a privilege granted to DeSales University faculty, staff, and registered students. These facilities are provided so that members of the University community can utilize information technology in the furtherance of the goals of the institution. All users of computing resources are expected to act in a responsible fashion and to help to maintain the integrity of these resources.
The University, through the Academic Computing Center (ACC) and the Trexler Technology Center (TTC), reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend computing privileges and access to resources. Those who do not abide by the stated policies will be subject to suspension of computing privileges and possible disciplinary action and/or penalties under existing judicial and personnel processes, where appropriate and applicable.
It should be noted that all network traffic exiting the University is subject to the acceptable use policies of the networks through which it may flow (Service Provider policies, Internet backbone, etc.), as well as to the policies listed in this document.
Inappropriate Uses of University Computing Facilities
Due to the complexity of the issues surrounding the use of information technology, it is worthwhile to emphasize certain activities that are under any circumstance unacceptable. The following list is intended to supplement the "Other Inappropriate Behaviors" section of the University Catalog. This list is not intended to be exclusive; the University will be the final judge of the appropriateness of any computing-related activity. As mentioned above, the use of these facilities is a privilege granted by the University; the University reserves the right to revoke or limit that privilege. A student user who feels that his access has been unfairly restricted may request a hearing through the University judicial system, and should contact the Academic Dean. The administrators of the Academic Computing Center (ACC) and the Trexler Technology Center (TTC) may choose to refer violations of these policies to the University's discipline system for the imposition of appropriate sanctions.
The following are considered inappropriate and unacceptable uses of the University's computing facilities:
- Accessing the University's computing facilities using an unauthorized computer ID/Username, or attempting to obtain a password for another user's account. No user is permitted to alter account information (username, owner of account, etc.) in an attempt to disguise the identity of the account for any reason.
- Using the University's network resources to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote or external computing resources or computing systems.
- Deliberately performing an act or assisting another user in an act which will seriously impact or impair the normal operation of computing systems, peripherals, or networking equipment. This includes, but is not limited to, tampering with components of a local area network (LAN) or the campus high-speed backbone network, creating excessive network traffic or otherwise blocking any communication line, or interfering with the operational readiness of any computing system or resource.
- Running or installing on any University-owned computing system, or giving to another user, a program which could result in the reproduction of itself or cause damage to a computer's files. This includes, but is not limited to, the classes of programs and macros known generically as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.
- Attempting to circumvent data protection or virus protection schemes.
- Violating the terms of software licensing agreements and copyright laws. In particular, a user may not make copies of copyrighted software, unless the University has entered into a campus-wide or site-license program specifically permitting the copying or distribution of that software.
- Deliberately performing acts which are wasteful of the available computing resources or which unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include, but are not limited to, using the facilities for non-academic purposes when others are waiting, sending mass mailings or chain letters electronically, creating unnecessary multiple jobs or processes, or creating unnecessary output or printed material. Printing multiple copies of any documents, including resumes, reports, papers, and theses, is also prohibited.
- Harassing others by sending annoying, threatening, libelous, or sexually, racially, or religiously offensive messages through electronic means.
- Attempting to monitor another user's data communications, or reading, copying, altering, or deleting another user's files or software, without the permission of the owner.
- Placing the following type of software or files on any University-owned computing system:
1. That which infringes upon the rights of another person
2. Thatwhich consists of information which may injure someone and/or lead to a lawsuit or criminal charges.
3. That which consists of advertisements for commercial enterprises
In addition to sanctions imposed by the University, computing resources' offenders may be subject to criminal prosecution under federal or state law. Examples of applicable statutes under current law in the State of Pennsylvania include the following.
- It is a felony punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment for any person to access, alter or damage any computer system, network, software or database, or any part thereof, with the intent to interrupt the normal functioning of an organization (18 Pa.C.S. 3993(a)(1)).
- Disclosing a password to a computing system or network resource knowingly and without authorization is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment, as well as intentional and unauthorized access to a computer, interference with the operation of a computer or network, or alteration of computer software (18 Pa.C.S(a)(2) and (3)).
Academic Computing Center (ACC) or Trexler Technology Center (TTC) staff should be notified immediately of observed violations of computing-related laws and policies, as well as about potential loopholes in the security of its computing systems and networks. Users are expected to cooperate with the Computing Centers in the operation of computer systems and networks, as well as in the investigation of misuse or abuse. Should the security of any computing system be in question, user files may be examined by Computing Center Staff under the direction of the Computing Center Director or Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
This document neither replaces nor extends any provisions of applicable federal, state or local law.
Revised: August 3, 2009
This document and policy supersedes all previously published and posted Computing Use Policy and Ethical Use Statements issued from the Academic Computing Center and Trexler Technology Center.