Computer Usage Policy
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Computer Usage Policy

Interpretation and Revision

Saint Paul College provides its students wide access to information resources and technologies. Technological resources at the College are shared by its users; misuse of these resources by some users infringes upon the opportunities of all the rest. The College makes its technology available for educational purposes and requires users to observe legal mandates whose aim is to safeguard equipment, networks, data and software that are acquired and maintained with public funds.

General Responsibilities

Computing resources (including, but not limited to, desktop and laptop systems, printers, central computing facilities, System-wide or college-wide networks, local-area networks, access to the Internet, electronic mail and similar electronic information) are available only to authorized users, and any use of those resources is subject to this policy. All users of the College computing resources including students are presumed to have read and understood this policy. This policy governs the use of computing resources at the College. Use of the College computing resources by the students is limited to the educational and research purposes.

Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609.87 through 609.89 - Computer Crime
Statute deals with definitions; destructive computer Programs; intentional damage to computers, computer systems, computer networks, computer software etc.; theft of services and equipment; unauthorized computer access; gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor criminal penalties; and reporting violations.

Thus, Saint Paul College computer systems are treated like other College equipment or resources, intended for educational purposes and other College-sanctioned activities. It is not the practice of the College to monitor the content of electronic mail transmissions, files, or other data maintained in its computing resources and the fileservers. The maintenance, operation and security of the College computing resources, however, require that network administrators and other authorized personnel have access to those resources and, on occasion, review the content of data and communications maintained there. A review may be performed exclusively by persons expressly authorized for such purpose and only for cause. To the extent possible in the electronic environment and in a public setting, a user's privacy will be honored. Nevertheless, that privacy is subject to Minnesota State’s public records laws and other applicable state and federal laws, as well as policies of System Governing Board; all of which may supersede a user's interests in maintaining privacy in information contained in the College’s computing resources.

Computer-Related Laws

Minnesota and federal law prohibit the theft of a computer as well as unauthorized damage or access to a computer, computer network, software, or related property. (See Minn. Stat., sections. 609.87-609.8911; 18 U.S.C. 1030). There are also state and federal wiretap laws and various anti-fraud provisions that apply to activities on computer and network systems.

Frequently, access to the College computing resources can be obtained only through the use of a password known exclusively to the user. It is the responsibility of the user to keep a password confidential. While the College takes reasonable measures to ensure network and data security, it cannot be held accountable for unauthorized access to its computing resources by other users and hackers, both within and outside college. Moreover, it cannot guarantee users protection against data loss due to system failure, fire, etc.

Prohibited Conduct

Prohibited conduct in the use of College computing resources includes (but not limited to) the following:

  1. Posting to the network, downloading or transporting any material that would constitute a violation of the College or Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system computing policies.
  2. Unauthorized attempts to monitor another user's password protected data or electronic communication, or delete another user's password protected data, electronic communications or software, without that person's permission.
  3. Installing or running on any system a program or virus that is intended to or is likely to result in eventual damage to the computer system including fileserver, personal computer, network software or hardware.
  4. Performing acts that would unfairly monopolize computing resources to the exclusion of other users, including (but not limited to) unauthorized installation of server system software or non-job/non-work related use of Internet.
  5. Hosting a personal Web site through the use of the College computing resources without proper authorization.
  6. Use of computing resources for non-College commercial purposes.
  7. Use of software, graphics, photographs, or any other tangible form of expression that would violate or infringe any copyright or similar legally recognized protection of intellectual property rights.
  8. Activities that would constitute a violation of any policy of the System’s Governing Board, including (but not limited to) the System’s non-discrimination policy and its policy against sexual harassment.
  9. Transmitting, storing, or receiving data, or otherwise using computing resources in a manner that would constitute a violation of state or federal law, including (but not limited to) obscenity, defamation, threats, harassment, and theft.
  10. Attempting to gain unauthorized access to a remote network or remote computer system.
  11. Exploiting any computing resources system by attempting to prevent or circumvent access, or using unauthorized data protection schemes.
  12. Performing any act that would disrupt normal operations of computers, workstations, terminals, peripherals, or networks.
  13. Using computing resources in such a way as to wrongfully hide the identity of the user or pose as another person.
  14. Attempting to gain access to any type of private records (i.e., student, personnel, medical) or attempting to change data or software without proper authorization.
  15. An individual may not send electronic messages to individuals who have explicitly asked the sender not to send electronic messages.

Sanctions for Misconduct
Saint Paul College will take all violations of the Computer Usage Policy seriously. Any violation of this policy by the students will be reported promptly to the Dean of Student Development & Services and will be subject to appropriate sanctions provided under the College’s student conduct code.

In addition to sanctions under appropriate student conduct code, anyone who violates Saint Paul College guidelines may be subject to any or all of the following sanctions, depending on the nature and the seriousness of the violation:

  • Fines to replace or restore damage to hardware or software and/or to compensate staff required to carry out repair;
  • Loss of computer and network system access;
  • Civil proceedings; and/or
  • Criminal prosecution.

Saint Paul College staff will report any violation to this policy to the proper authorities including, but not limited to, Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system office, local and state police, the State Attorney General’s Office, and/or federal law enforcement (FBI or Secret Service).

The College reserves the right to suspend the accounts and inspect files and data of any student suspected of misconduct pending the outcome of an investigation. Data and files may be turned over to the appropriate authorities, if instructed to do so.

In addition to the above Computer Usage Policy, the students are bound by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System Policy 5.22 Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources (http://www.mnscu.edu/board/policy/522.html) and Procedure 5.22.1, Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources (http://www.mnscu.edu/board/procedure/522p1.html).