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Acceptable Use Policy

Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Rockland Community College on April 30, 2020

Technology Resources support the mission of the College, as well as, all educational, instructional, research, and administrative activities. As an Authorized User of Technology Resources, you have access to valuable resources and sensitive data of the College. The use of Technology Resources is a revocable privilege extended to all members of the College community and it is vital for everyone to act in a responsible, ethical, honest, and legal manner when using Technology Resources. Authorized User accounts will be terminated in accordance with account timelines established by the College.

The purpose of this Policy is to outline the acceptable use of Technology Resources at the College. The College is committed to ensuring open discourse and the free expression of viewpoints and beliefs. This commitment includes ensuring that academic dialogue is free from unwarranted institutional intrusion and oversight. With the values of open discourse and institutional restraint as guideposts, this Policy articulates and promotes the ethical, legal, secure, and acceptable use of Technology Resources by all members of the Rockland Community College community and confirms the College’s responsibilities in connection with accessing such information.

Authorized Users of Technology Resources are responsible for ensuring that their activities adhere to the educational standards of the College’s educational mission, to properly use and protect such resources and to respect the rights of others. Within reason and in a manner consistent with the College’s educational mission, freedom of speech and unimpeded access to information will be honored. Authorized Users who violate the law or Rockland Community College policy regarding the use of the College’s Technology Resources are subject to loss of access to those resources as well as to College disciplinary and/or legal action as outlined in this Policy.

Applicability:

This Acceptable Use Policy (“Policy”) applies to all Authorized Users of Technology Resources at Rockland Community College. All such users, by virtue of their use of College Technology Resources, accept the responsibility for using such resources only for appropriate activities consistent with the College’s mission. Authorized Users are responsible for reading, understanding, and behaving in a manner consistent with this Policy and other related policies pertaining to the College’s Technology Resources.

Policy:

This Policy sets forth the standards by which Authorized Users may use Technology Resources. By using or accessing the College’s Technology Resources, Authorized Users agree to comply with this Policy and other applicable College policies that may be implemented from time to time, as well as all federal, state, and local laws, including copyright and licensing laws. Use of Technology Resources signifies the Authorized User’s understanding and agreement with this Policy.

Ownership:

The College’s Technology Resources are not owned by any individual or department at the College. Any Technology Resources that are leased, licensed, or purchased under research contracts or grants must be administered under the terms of this Policy and the Institutional Data Security Policy for as long as they remain within the lawful possession, custody, and/or control of the College. In addition, Authorized Users must use such Technology Resources in a manner consistent with U.S. copyright law.

Note: Information Technology developed and patented by a Rockland Community College employee in accordance with the College’s Intellectual Property Policy is exempt from this Policy provision

Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability:

Rockland Community College makes no representations as to the performance, accuracy, or reliability of the College’s Technology Resources. The College disclaims all warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, to the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable law, including, but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.

By using the College’s Technology Resources, Authorized Users agree that the College, its Trustees, President, administration, faculty, or employees shall have no liability whatsoever for damages in any form under any theory of liability or indemnity in connection with an Authorized User’s use of College Technology Resources, even if the College has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Authorized Users further recognize that Rockland Community College has no control over the content of information servers on external electronic systems or the Internet. The College, therefore, disclaims any responsibility and/or warranties for information and materials residing on non-College information servers on external electronic systems or the Internet. Such materials do not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or values of the College.

Appropriate Use:

The College’s Technology Resources may be used for legitimate Rockland Community College purposes only. While the College makes Technology Resources available primarily to achieve its goals of education and research, and for administrative activities, it realizes the need to permit the personal use of such resources for the convenience of the campus community. Thus, it is reasonable to allow the use of Technology Resources for email, document preparation, or other activity that can facilitate convenience or enhance productivity, to the extent that the activity is within the limits prescribed by this Policy.

General guidelines for acceptable use of Technology Resources are based on the following principles and Authorized Users must:

  • Behave responsibly and respect the name of the College and the integrity and security of Technology Resources and the College network at all times;
  • Behave in a manner consistent with the College’s mission and comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and College policies;
  • Be considerate and respect the rights and property of others, including privacy, confidentiality, and intellectual property (e.g. do not violate Copyright laws or use software procured with academic use licenses for commercial applications or development, unless the license explicitly permits such use);
  • Use computing resources for College related work in an appropriate manner (e.g., do not utilize shared resources such as CPU cycles or network bandwidth to a degree that adversely impacts academic or research activities);
  • Comply with security measures employed by the College and protect your account information from access by others; and
  • Report violations of this Policy to the College’s Chief Information Officer.


If an Authorized User is not clear on what constitutes an appropriate use, the user should contact the Chief Information Officer to determine whether a particular activity is permissible.

Unacceptable Use:

Authorized Users are not permitted to:

  • Engage in any activity that is illegal under local, state, federal, or international law while utilizing Technology Resources. These include, but may not be limited to, child pornography, obscenity, harassing communications, software piracy, or threats of violence;
  • Violate the rights of any party or property protected by copyright, patent, or similar laws or regulations including, but not limited to, the unauthorized copying of copyrighted material including, digitization and distribution of photographs from magazines, books, or other copyrighted sources, copyrighted music, Bit Torrent and other forms of Peer-to-Peer sharing of copyrighted information and the installation of any copyrighted software for which the College or the end user does not have an active license. Note, however, that it is not a violation of this Policy if the unlicensed use of the copyright protected work is done in accordance with the legal doctrine of Fair Use as defined in 17 US Code Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976;
  • Purposefully introduce malicious programs to the College’s network, computers, or storage areas (e.g., viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc.) or otherwise attempt to intentionally damage, destroy, or disrupt Technology Resources or the integrity of such resources or waste human or electronic resources as they relate to the College’s Technology Resources;
  • Delete or tamper with another user’s files or with information stored by another user on any information-bearing media. Even if the Authorized User’s files are unprotected, with the exception of files obviously intended for public reading, such as Webpages, it is improper for another user to read them unless the owner has given permission (e.g. in an announcement in class or on a computer bulletin board);
  • Tap phone or network transmissions, including wireless transmissions;
  • Reveal your College account password or any other related passwords to others or allow use of your account by others. This includes family and other household members when work is being done at home;
  • Use Technology Resources to actively engage in procuring or transmitting material that is in violation of sexual or gender-based harassment or hostile workplace laws:
  • Use Technology Resources for private business, commercial or political activities, fundraising or advertising on behalf of non-College organizations or make fraudulent offers of products, items, or services originating from any College account;
  • Use a wireless router or other routing or electronic device that has not been authorized for use on the College Network or in conjunction with other Technology Resources;
  • Effect security breaches or disruptions of network communication;
  • Access data of which the Authorized User is not an intended recipient or log into a server or account that the Authorized User is not expressly authorized to access as a function of his/her College position. For purposes of this section, disruption includes, but is not limited to, network sniffing, pinged floods, packet spoofing, denial of service, and forged routing information for malicious purposes;
  • Execute any form of network monitoring which will intercept data not intended for the Authorized User, unless this activity is a part of Authorized User’s normal job or duty and been approved by the Director of Technical Services;
  • Circumvent user authentication or security of any host, network, or account;
  • Use any program, script, or command or send messages of any kind, with the intent to interfere with, or disable, a user's session;
  • Provide information about, or lists of, College employees or students to parties outside of the College other than FERPA compliant transactions; and
  • Download non-academic or non-College business related data or programs, including but not limited to freeware and shareware, unless explicitly authorized by the College.


Any questions you may have as to whether your use of Technology Resources for academic, research, or educational purposes could violate the spirit of this Policy should be brought to the attention of your supervisor for prior approval.

Enforcement:

The College considers violations under this Policy to be serious offenses and will take such action it deems necessary to protect its network from events that threaten or degrade operations. The College reserves the right to disconnect or disable, without warning or prior notice, any computer, account, or service that poses a security or performance threat to College resources or services or that otherwise violates College policies. Access may be later restored after the incident has been reviewed and the risk mitigated or eliminated. Any Authorized User found to have violated this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action, including the restriction and possible loss of network privileges. A serious violation could result in more serious consequences, up to and including suspension or termination from the College or investigation and/or prosecution by the appropriate local, state, or federal authorities. College is not liable for the actions of anyone connected to the Internet through the Technology Resources. All users will assume full liability, legal, financial or otherwise, for their actions.