Computer Use and File Sharing Policy
Rockhurst Computer Use Policy
Rockhurst University is committed to providing reliable, secured, and equitable access to and use of its computing, networking, telephone, and information resources. These resources are intended for the use of Rockhurst University students, faculty, staff, and administrators in support of the college’s missions of education, and community service.
University owned or operated computing resources are provided for use by faculty, students, staff, and authorized associates of the Rockhurst University. All faculty, students, staff, and associates are responsible for use of Rockhurst computing resources in an effective, efficient, ethical, and lawful manner.
The following guidelines relate to the use of these computing resources:
- Confidentiality and Privacy
- Responsibilities of Users
- Acceptable Use
- Discipline and Sanctions
- Existing University Rules and Regulations
This Rockhurst University Computer Usage policy constitutes the University-wide policy for the computer data networks and the resources they make available, and any and all stand-alone computers that are owned and administered by Rockhurst University (“computing resource”). This policy is applicable to all students, faculty, staff and recognized organizations of Rockhurst University and all others who use or access the University computing resource. This policy reflects the ethical principles of the University community as embodied in the Statement of Mission and Values of Rockhurst and defines the privileges and responsibilities of use of the University computing environment.
Computer use has become an integral part of many University activities. While much computing is now done on individual computers, most information and communications systems either reside on central computers or use networks. Distributed resources such as computer labs provide additional computing tools. Procedures for gaining access to and making optimum use of these resources, including the steps to be taken in lodging complaints, are available to users through the Computer Services Help Desk, located on the fourth floor of Conway Hall, Room 420, 816-501-4357 (HELP).
Members of the University community who access or traverse non-University networks whether or not through the University computing resource must follow the policies of those non-University networks provided they are not in conflict with legal use, University mission and values, and this policy. The guidelines of the network traversed can usually be obtained from the network information center of the network traversed.
Rockhurst University advises all users that any and all information entered into, stored, transmitted or received via the University computing resource is not fully secure and regarding non-University networks, the levels of obtainable security vary depending on the non-University network traversed.
All users of electronic mail systems are advised that electronic mail in its present form cannot be secured and is extremely vulnerable to unauthorized access and modification. Information on methods available for protecting information on the University computing resource from loss, tampering, unauthorized search or other access is available from the Computer Services Help Desk, located on the fourth floor of Conway Hall, Room 420, 816-501-4357. Information on methods available for protection on a non-University network is often available from the information center of the network traversed.
Users are advised that the University does not guarantee the confidentiality or privacy of any information entered into, stored, transmitted or received via the University computing resource. There is no expectation of privacy in any information or data entered into, stored, transmitted or received via the computing resource.
The University may access, search, view, retrieve, modify or print information or data entered into, stored, transmitted or received on the computing resource in connection with, among other things, the following:
- maintenance or improvement of the computing resource;
- monitoring of the computing resource for viruses and other destructive computer programs;
- any work-related purpose;
- investigation of violation of University policy;
- investigation by an authorized law enforcement or other federal, state or local agency; or
- where otherwise required by law.
In general, requests for disclosure of information entered into, stored, transmitted or received on the computing resource will be honored only under one of the following conditions:
- When approved by the appropriate University officials or the head of the department involved.
- When authorized by the owners of the information.
- When required or not prohibited by federal, state or local law.
- Where appropriate and possible, the University will provide notice of disclosure to the effected computer user(s).
The Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act
The Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g and implementing regulations (“FERPA”), restricts the disclosure of student education records. Users should familiarize themselves with the attached FERPA policy and guidelines, which describe restrictions on disclosure of student education records. If you have any question about the FERPA policy or guidelines and in particular, any question on whether information in a student education record is subject to restrictions on disclosure, contact the registrar at 816-501-4057.
- The user should assign an obscure account password and change it frequently.
- The user should understand the levels of protection applicable to the University computing resource or non-University networks traversed automatically applies to files and, if and when necessary, supplement it for sensitive information.
- No one should share their password with another.
- A University computer account may be used only by the person to whom it is assigned.
- The microcomputer user should be cognizant of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs, and take all available steps to avoid being a victim or unwitting distributor of these viruses and programs.
- The user, and not the University, is responsible for any invasion of the user’s or another’s privacy and for any loss of data.
Guidelines for Acceptable Use
The computing resource is a tool integral to the functioning of the University. All who use the computing resource must understand that it is primarily for advancement of the University’s mission and values expressed through its teaching, research, public service, business and outreach functions. Use of the computing resource is permitted only in conformity with these values as expressed in University policy, including this Computer Usage Policy and other University policy, and in conformity with federal, state and local law.
The computing resource is the property of the University. Use of the computing resource is a privilege and not a right and the University may withdraw that privilege under its policies. It is prohibited to register a non-Rockhurst University.edu domain for any computer, which is connected to the University computing resource without the prior approval of the Director of Computer Services. Any approval, if given, must clearly identify that the non-edu address is using Rockhurst University resources for delivery. Any personal e-mail account or creation of a personal World Wide Web page or a personal collection of electronic material that is accessible to others must include a disclaimer that reads as follows:
“The material located at this site is not endorsed, sponsored or provided by or on behalf of Rockhurst University.”
Because of the state of the art of computing technology, the computing resource is subject to invasion and injury by unauthorized persons whether caused or facilitated intentionally, negligently or unintentionally. To protect against prohibited invasion and injury, all who use the computing resource must use it in conformity with its security protections. A University computer account may be accessed or used only by the person(s) to whom it is assigned.
The computing resource is a limited resource shared by the Rockhurst community. The resource is finite and all who use the resource must recognize that they are one of many users and overuse can bring with it negative consequences. Those who use the computing resource must also respect the needs of other authorized users.
No list of acceptable uses or prohibited activities can be complete. Below are examples of prohibited activity.
- Circumventing or attempting to circumvent any system security.
- Gaining or attempting to gain unauthorized access to any University computer account.
- Overloading causing overload or otherwise negatively impacting the performance of the University computing resource.
- Sending or collecting chain letters or unsolicited bulk mail messages to the University community or other population (e.g., “spamming” or “MLM”).
- Sending e-mail under another’s e-mail address (e.g., “spoofing”) for any purpose.
- Invading the privacy or confidentiality of any other user including without limitation accessing or attempting to access another’s account without permission from the account holder or the Director of Computer Services.
- Harassing another person, group or organization on any basis.
- Disrupting or monitoring electronic communications of another without authorization from the Director of Computer Services.
- Tapping, that is sniffing, or taping telephone or network transmissions without the express permission of all parties to the transmission.
- Preventing another authorized user from that user’s authorized access or use of the computing resource or otherwise interfering with another’s authorized use.
- Use of another’s password except with permission of the Director of Computer Services.
- Stating or implying University sponsorship or endorsement.
- Engaging in any use which results in any direct cost to the University.
Other activities, although not specifically described in this policy may result in violation of University policy. If you have a question of whether any use or anticipated use is a violation of University policy, contact the Computer Services Help Desk, located on the fourth floor of Conway Hall, Room 420, 816-501-4357.
In addition to this statement of acceptable use, below are specific categories of uses, which provide additional guidance on use.
The University computing resource is to be used primarily to advance the University’s missions of education, research and public service or for University-related business. Faculty, staff, students and others with permission may use the computing resource only for purposes related to their studies, their responsibilities for providing instruction, the discharge of their duties as employees, their official business with the University, or other University-sanctioned activity.
The use of the University computing resource for commercial purposes is only as permitted under University policy, including University intellectual property policy and this Computer Usage policy, by special arrangement with the appropriate University official, or as defined in existing conflict of interest policies. Commercial use, which is otherwise permissible, must be communicated in writing to the Director of Computer Services. Any commercial use that is accessible to others must include a disclaimer that reads as follows:
The computing resource may only be used for legal purposes. Examples of unacceptable and illegal use includes, but are not limited to, the following:
- Discrimination or harassment on the basis of race or color, sex or gender, sexual harassment, national origin or ancestry, disability or handicap, religion or creed, age, or veteran, citizenship or intending citizenship status.
- Violation of any University licensing agreement or any copyright or trademark law, including unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material.
- Libel, slander or defamation of another including other users. Destroying or damaging equipment, software or data belonging to the University or any other user.
- Accessing pornography for purposes other than education or research. Some of the prohibited uses described at the Guidelines for Acceptable Use.
The computing resource should be used in accordance with the ethical standards of the University community. Examples of unethical use, some of which may also have legal consequences, include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Use of the computing resource in ways that unnecessarily impede the computing activities of others, such as randomly initiating interactive electronic communications or e-mail exchanges, overuse of interactive network utilities and similar activities.
- Use of the computing resource for private business purposes unrelated to the mission of the University or University life, absent authorization as stated in this policy.
- Academic dishonesty, for example plagiarism or cheating.
- Violation of network usage policies and regulations.
Users of the computing resource can facilitate computing at the University in many ways. Collegiality demands the practice of cooperative computing. It includes:
- Regularly deleting unneeded files from one’s accounts on shared computing resource.
- Refraining from any use that overloads or otherwise negatively impacts the performance of the University computing resources including without limitation overuse of connect time, information storage space, printing facilities or processing capacity and overuse of interactive network utilities such as the VMS talk command or Internet Relay Chat.
- Refraining from use of sounds and visuals, which might be disruptive to others.
- Refraining from irresponsible use of any computing resource.
- Refraining from unauthorized use of a departmental or individual computing resource, such as a personal or departmental laser printer or modem.
Use of the University computing resource for political purposes is prohibited.
For Rockhurst University students, faculty, staff and recognized organizations, reporting of, discipline for and sanctions for violation of this policy are those provided at the policies applicable to the status of the violator as a student, faculty, staff or recognized organization and may include, in addition to sanctions provided at the applicable policy, such things as loss of computing privileges and reporting of the violation(s) to administrators of other computing resources and federal, state or local law enforcement authorities.
Violations of this policy by guests of the University and others with permission to use the University computing resource are to be reported to the Director of Computer Services and will be handled in the discretion of the administration. Sanctions may include, among other things, withdrawal of use privileges and reporting of the violation(s) to administrators of other computing resources and federal, state or local law enforcement authorities.
Violations of the legal and ethical use provisions of this policy are serious infractions and addressed in the manner applied to serious violations.
As part of the services available through Primary Network and UNIT, the University provides access to a large number of conferences, lists and bulletin boards. Some of these conferences, lists and bulletin boards may contain objectionable material.
Rockhurst University takes no responsibility for the content of those entities over which it has no control.
Be aware of the potential for offensive or objectionable material found, stored in, transmitted or received from conferences, lists or bulletin boards and use the University computing resource with the recognition that the University neither assumes responsibility for nor endorses any content found thereat. Use of the University computing resource to access conferences, lists and bulletin boards is at the user’s risk and use of the University computing resource to access offensive or objectionable material may subject the user to violation of federal, state and local law and University policy with the possibility of criminal prosecution and sanctions under University policy or both.
This policy is in addition to existing University rules and regulations and does not alter or modify any existing University rule or regulation. All users of the University computing resource must comply with other University policies and use of the University computing resource in violation of these other policies may be cause for sanctions under those policies in addition to this policy.
Questions and comments
Please direct any question or comments regarding this policy to Computer Services Help Desk located on the fourth floor of Conway Hall, Room 420, 816-501-4357 (HELP).
The following terms have very specific meanings in the context of this document:
- Administrator – The person having executive authority over one or more computing resource
- Central computing resource – Computers and peripherals purchased, maintained and operated by Computer Services and made available to the University community.
- Departmental computing resource – Computers and peripherals purchased by Computer Services, a University department or an administrative unit, primarily for the use of the personnel within that entity.
- Individual computing resource – Computers and peripherals purchased by Computer Services, University departments or administrative units, primarily for the use of an individual member of that entity, and which can be made available to other individuals or groups.
- Networked computing resource – Computers and peripherals connected to any University data network.
- Shared computing resource – Computers and associated peripherals that are commonly used, simultaneously, by more than one person.
- System administrator – The person or group who has system privileges and is responsible for the operation and security of one or more networked computing resource.
- Unit – The individual, group or organization responsible for performing a function within the University community.
- User – Any individual who has access to a University computing resource.
- University community – The aggregate of individuals employed by and/or enrolled as students at Rockhurst University, as evidenced by a valid school ID.