Anderson University

Information Technology

  AU >Information Technology

Electronic Communications Systems and Equipment Use Policy Twitter Facebook

 

Effective as of: July 1, 2007

IntroductionObtaining an Internet Account

Inappropriate Uses (Access) | Inappropriate Uses (Commercial use) | Illegal Use

Harassing and/or Obscene Material and Internal SPAM  Internet-Based Social Networking Sites

Political Material Grievance-related and Sabotage-impacting Communications  Wasteful Use of Resources

Procedures for Dealing with ViolationsStudent ViolationsEmployee ViolationsE-mail Privacy

 

Introduction

Anderson University provides access to various forms of electronic communications and information technology systems and equipment including computers, internet, voice mail, and email to its students and employees (defined as full or part-time faculty or staff) who comply with the Electronic Communications Systems and Equipment Use Policy. Such access is available only to eligible students and employees and may be revoked at any time. In general, Anderson University’s electronic communications and information technology systems and equipment are intended for the sole purpose of supporting the educational, management, and operational needs of the University. All computers, terminals, hardware, software, blackberries or other hand held pda’s, cell phones (contracted by the University), etc. are the property of the University. Employees (defined as full-time or part-time faculty or staff) and students have no personal or privacy right in any matter created, received, or sent through the electronic communication and information technology systems, including computers, or by way of electronic mail. Employees, faculty, and students should have no expectation of privacy regarding files and data residing on their assigned computer discs, computer system, email or other electronic communication systems or equipment. The University reserves the right to monitor any electronic communications and information technology systems and equipment including computer activity or electronic mail to assure that the systems are being used for appropriate and legitimate purposes. Anderson University reserves the right to inspect the computer files of any computer terminal at any time, with or without notice, at its sole discretion. Only authorized software is permitted on the University’s computers. Individuals should be aware that passwords do not indicate any right of privacy and Anderson University is entitled to monitor or inspect computer, telephone, pda files, or other components of its electronic communication systems or equipment any time, with or without notice. This policy may be amended or revised periodically as the need arises.

Obtaining an Internet Account 

Current Anderson University faculty, staff, and students are issued an internet account through the Office of Information Technology. Part-time employees may make application for an internet account through the Office of Information Technology. The University reserves the right to limit or deny access to its computing resources at any time. Each individual approved to use an account will be held responsible for all usage of that account. Approvals may be canceled at any time.

When a student is no longer enrolled in the University or when an employee is no longer employed by the University, the Office of Information Technology reserves the right to delete that individual’s account, any personal pages on the World Wide Web operated by that individual, or any files or other content on computers or in software owned by the University or present on University-owned computers.

 

The following steps are involved in obtaining an Internet account:

  1. Individuals desiring an account must complete an application/registration form. These are available from the Office of Information Technology. By signing the completed form, the applicant agrees to comply with the University’s Electronic Communications and Information Technology Systems and Equipment Use Policy.
  2. Accepted students will have an account automatically created for them. They will receive an introductory email explaining the rules for email use.
  3. The Office of Information Technology will provide information which describes the various uses of the internet. The student or employee is expected to use this packet to facilitate expedient and appropriate use of his/her internet account and of the internet in general.
  4. The Office of Information Technology will assign an account and password to the applicant. Upon completion of this step, the applicant will be approved to use the account.

Inappropriate uses of Internet Access

There are numerous appropriate uses of the internet: email, bulletin boards, access of information on the World Wide Web, etc. The University encourages the educational and appropriate use of these resources. All uses of the internet resources should be consistent with the University’s stated mission, Christian values, and policies as put forth in the University Bulletin and other University publications. All users of Anderson University computing resources are expected to abide by the following guidelines:

Access

  1. Users are to refrain from disclosing their access codes/passwords to anyone and will be responsible for any use of those accounts by others to whom access has been given. It is recommended that users change their passwords periodically to prevent unauthorized use of their accounts.
  2. Individuals are to send email only from their personal email address.
  3. Users should be advised that undeliverable email will be delivered to the Postmaster at the Information Systems Office and misdirected email can be read by unintended recipients. Users should also be aware that misdirected email can be read by unintended recipients.
  4. Please pay close attention to addressees to insure that only appropriate recipients will receive emails. When replying to an email, only use the ‘Reply All’ feature when absolutely necessary. 
  5. The visiting of pornographic sites and any sites of an immoral or obscene nature is prohibited. Also, the illegal downloading of music and/or literary material is prohibited.
  6. Please be cautious of visiting internet sites that can cause virus attacks on personal computers that are connected to the university network. Also be cautious of opening email from unknown senders, especially if they contain an attachment. Such emails could be carrying a damaging virus.

Commercial use

Since Anderson University is defined as an educational rather than commercial site on the internet, the Office of Information Technology reserves the right to restrict accounts or individual Web pages which are used for commercial purposes. Approval must be granted from the Office of Information Technology for commercial purposes. Approvals may be revoked at any time by the University.

Illegal Use

Users are prohibited from any use of electronic communication and computing resources that violates Federal, South Carolina, or any other law.

Harassing and/or Obscene Material and Internal SPAM

  1. Internet users at Anderson University are prohibited from displaying or distributing material (text, audio, or video) which is obscene, harassing, discriminatory, libelous, or deemed otherwise threatening or offensive, or which is in any way inconsistent with Anderson University’s stated mission and values. Displaying or distributing such information will be considered a violation of the University’s policies, which prohibits the distribution of obscene materials and harassment.
  2. Users are prohibited from sending information via e-mail that is obscene or harassing as defined by Anderson University’s stated mission and values.
  3. Users are to refrain from making public to Anderson University users any obscene materials or direct links to other locations on the internet through the World Wide Web, or any other related systems.
  4. Users are to refrain from sending multi-recipient emails that are unnecessary. Email groups that contain a large number of addressees will only be used by authorized personnel.
  5. Users are prohibited from sending campus-wide emails that express personal opinion or are of a political or otherwise inappropriate nature.
  6. The obscenity standards are as follows: 
    1. Materials in which a reasonable person, applying contemporary Anderson University community standards, when considering the contents as a whole, would conclude that they appeal to prurient sexual/physical interests or violently subordinating behavior rather than an intellectual or communicative purpose; or
    2. Materials that, taking into regard their content and their particular usage or application, lack any redeeming religious, literary, scientific, political, artistic, or social value.

Internet-Based Social Networking Sites

Anderson University strongly encourages the use of restraint and good judgment by its employees and students from participating in blogs and websites such as FaceBook and MySpace. If an employee or student does participate in this type of communication, the University encourages him/her to exercise good judgment in posting any information as these sites can be viewed by anyone and may by used by viewers for unintended purposes. Students and employees are reminded that potential employers are increasingly searching these sites in making hiring decisions. Students who post information and/or photographs on such sites that are inconsistent with the policies and Christian values of the University or damaging to the reputation of the University (including but not limited to obscene material, foul language, harassing statements, sexually suggestive language or photographs, or statements that defame the University) may be subject to discipline by the University, including but not limited to probation, monetary and service fines, loss of institutionally funded scholarships, suspension, or expulsion, or in the case of employment, termination. This holds true even if the student or employee did not use University computers or systems to create the posted information.

Employees who post information and/or photographs on such sites that are inconsistent with the policies and Christian values of the University or damaging to the reputation of the University (including but not limited to obscene material, foul language, harassing statements, sexually suggestive language or photographs, or statements that defame the University) may be subject to discipline by the University, including but not limited to warnings, directives to remove inappropriate content, demotion, or termination of employment.

Political Material

While Anderson University encourages civic engagement and appropriate involvement in the political processes of government, computers, email and the University’s Web site may not be used for the promotion of political candidates or partisan causes. To do so may subject the employee to discipline by the University, including but not limited to warnings, directives to remove inappropriate content, demotion, or termination of employment.

Grievance-related and Sabotage-impacting Communications

Anderson University provides procedures for employees to address grievances and encourages employees to use these procedures if warranted. As a matter of professionalism, business-related use, and civility, the University’s electronic communication and computing systems including email, voicemail, and the Web site may not be used for the purpose of airing employer-employee disputes and/or grievances, intentionally injecting messages that disrupt the peaceful and harmonious community of the campus, or spreading rumors or false/inaccurate information. To do so may subject the employee to discipline by the University, including but not limited to warnings, directives to remove inappropriate content, demotion, or termination of employment.

Wasteful Use of Resources

Users are prohibited from performing any act that will impair the operation of any facet of the computing resources of the University or the resources of any recipient of the information. Such acts include knowingly injecting computer viruses and sending excessively large mailings, large print jobs, batch programs, ‘junk mail’ (including chain letters), etc. Those who use computing resources for recreational, entertainment, personal and extracurricular work are to yield to those who have academic related need for computing resources or facilities. Examples of non-course-related work are playing computer games, printing personal or extracurricular materials (invitations, announcements, resumes, etc.), and chatting to personal friends. In periods of high demand, these uses may be disallowed in public facilities.

Procedures for Dealing with Violations

The University reserves the right to suspend/delete content of personal Web pages or email on or linked to the University Web site, on computers, or on the computing system that constitutes a violation of this policy, is in conflict with the University’s stated mission and values, or violates any provision or limitation of the Electronic Communications and Information Technology Systems and Equipment Use Policy.

Student Violations

Individuals may report incidents of harassment or obscene material or direct links involving students’ internet use to the Office of the Vice President for Student Development, which will review any complaint per established University judicial procedures as outlined in the student handbook. Possible sanctions include but are not limited to the deletion from Anderson University servers’ materials or direct links to other locations on the Internet which are found to be obscene, loss of computer resource privileges, and other sanctions available within the judicial processes, up to and including expulsion.

Employee Violations

Incidents of inappropriate use involving Anderson University employees may be addressed in conjunction with the employee’s supervisor or other appropriate administrative official of the University. Possible sanctions include the deletion of material or direct links to other locations on the internet that are found to be obscene or inappropriate, loss of computer resource privileges, and other sanctions available within the University employer-employee relationship, up to and including, immediate termination.

Email Privacy

Electronic mail enables users to place information quickly and directly into another person's computer where it can be retrieved, read, revised, stored indefinitely, downloaded, or responded to immediately. Email has made employment and academic activities of the University more efficient by enabling us to make better use of our time and by reducing paperwork. However, there is a deceptive aura of privacy that surrounds email that can mislead persons to believe that private, hostile, or unlawful statements can be confidentially communicated through email. In addition, proprietary or potentially embarrassing information can be accidentally or purposely sent within the University and to others outside the University.

To avoid these problems, remember the following:

  1. Anderson University’s email system exists for use by faculty, staff, and students in carrying out their employment and academic activities. It is not intended for personal use.Refrain from disclosing your access codes/passwords to anyone.
  2. Do not disclose your access codes/passwords to anyone.
  3. Send email only from your personal e-mail address.The privacy of e-mail sent or received on University systems and/or equipment cannot be guaranteed.
  4. Prior to sending an email message, ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable if the text of the message were posted on a bulletin board on campus or printed in the newspaper. Would public disclosure cause unnecessary embarrassment or create legal liability for yourself or the University?
  5. There should be no expectation of privacy of email sent or received on University systems and/or equipment.
  6. If the email pertains to a student, it is likely to be an "education record" that the student will have the right to inspect and review.
  7. The use of private "mailboxes" and passwords in an email system does not provide any privacy from people who will see email forwarded, printed out, or left displayed on an unattended computer screen.
  8. Anderson University makes no representations regarding the security of the email system.
  9. If Anderson University is involved in an investigation or litigation, email messages (or other computer content) may be monitored and/or read by the University as part of an investigation, in the discovery process, and may be publicized in a trial.


Anderson University © 2014 | 316 Boulevard, Anderson, South Carolina 29621 | 864-231-2000 or 1-800-542-3594 | Contact Us| Terms of Use