Information Technology Resource Use Policy

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Burlington College makes its information technology resources (including computing devices, network resources, and on-line services) available to faculty, staff, and students, with the objective of supporting the educational mission of the College. The intent of this policy is to guide individuals on the acceptable use of the College’s resources.

Background
The computing and network resources and services owned or administered by Burlington College are limited and should be used wisely and carefully with consideration for the needs of others. The Burlington College Office of Information Technology is responsible for administering the computing and network resources and services used by the College. By agreement with other offices in the College, the Office of Information Technology may delegate that responsibility to those offices.

Applicability
This policy applies to all college locations (owned or leased property including all college learning sites and student residence housing), and locations at which the College is responsible for providing information technology resources. It applies to all computers, tablets, smartphones, and other computing or communications devices owned or leased by the College, or for which the College is otherwise responsible, regardless of where they are in use. It applies to all College information systems, networks, and services, regardless of where or by what devices they are accessed.

User Responsibilities
By using computers, information systems, and networks for which Burlington College is responsible, you assume personal responsibility for acceptable use and agree to comply with this policy and other applicable Burlington College policies as well as all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Among the laws specifically pertinent to colleges and universities are:

  • Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)
  • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)
  • USA Patriot Act
  • TEACH Act
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

You are responsible for the security of your username, password, and any other credentials you may receive in order to make use of the College’s information technology resources. Unless your credentials were fraudulently or illicitly acquired, you are responsible for the use of all information technology resources secured by your credentials.

Acceptable Uses

Users may:

  • Use computing or network resources to support the educational mission of the college;
  • Use computing or network resources for personal computing only in compliance with this policy;

Unacceptable Uses

Users may not:

  • Access, or attempt to access, information which is not their own, unless explicitly invited to do so by the owner of that information;
  • Use system privileges, or attempt to gain system privileges, other than those explicitly granted by the Burlington College Office of Information Technology;
  • Use information technology resources, or knowingly allow information technology resources under their control to be used, in violation of applicable laws;

Examples of Unacceptable Uses

The following are examples of unacceptable use; this is not an exclusive list of all unacceptable uses. Users may not:

  • Use IT resources without proper authorization;
  • Use IT resources for profit, commercial use, or political purposes not connected to the mission of the College;
  • Harass, defame, intimidate, or threaten anyone through the use of computing or network resources. Such uses may also violate other Burlington College policies, including harassment and/or sexual harassment;
  • Attempt to monitor, intercept, analyze, or modify network traffic or transactions not specifically addressed to your computer;
  • Attempt to alter or reconfigure any Burlington College IT resources, network infrastructure, or servers;
  • Attempt to obtain privileges for which you are not authorized;
  • Attempt to access, modify, or delete another user’s files, configuration, software, or e-mail without the expressed agreement of the owner;
  • Attempt to learn another user’s password(s) or personal information;
  • Attempt to alter or obscure your identity or your computer’s identity, including but not limited to your IP address and e-mail address, while communicating on any network;
  • Interfere with or disrupt computer or network accounts, services, or equipment of others including;
  • Consume excessive resources, including local storage, local network bandwidth, and Internet bandwidth;
  •  Download and/or share copyrighted material for which you do not have the proper authorization;
  • Knowingly use IT resources in violation of the licensing agreements into which the College has entered.
  • Use IT resources for any activity that would jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the College. Please see below, “Political Activity Prohibited.”
     

Political Activity Prohibited
As a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the College cannot use its resources (including its communications system, services, or equipment) or permit its resources to be used, to intervene in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. Violation of this prohibition could cause the College to lose its tax-exempt status or incur excise taxes. Accordingly, no user of the College information system may, whether officially or unofficially, and whether or not the message is marked “Personal” or otherwise, transmit on any part of the College communications, system, services, or equipment, any message or other material which is intended to, or may be interpreted as, participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. Examples of activities which have been interpreted by the Internal Revenue Service to be such intervention in a political campaign include:

  • Endorsing or opposing any candidate for public office
  • Donating or contributing to any candidate’s campaign
  • Participating or engaging in political fundraising events
  • Publishing or distributing statements for or against any candidate, including doing so by sending or forwarding any such statements over the College computer, email, and internet access system
  • Engaging in any other activity that favors or opposes any candidate for public office.


Implementation
The Director of Information Technology is responsible for the implementation of this policy, and may develop such procedures as needed to that end. In suspected cases of violation of this policy, the Office of Information Technology will immediately take such measures as it deems necessary to safeguard College information technology resources and inform the appropriate academic or administrative officers of the policy violation. Violation of this policy will subject the user to all applicable disciplinary procedures and may result in dismissal from the College (students) or termination of employment (employees). The College reserves the right, without prior notice, to access and review all information stored or transmitted on the computing and network resources that it administers.