Acceptable Use Policy
Table of Contents:
- User Responsibilities & Expectations
- Individual User Notifications
- Authorized User Purposes
- Computer Equipment Usage
- Computer Lab Rules
- Computer / Network Accounts
Information Technology and Computer/Network User Policy
As an institution of higher learning, Western Oklahoma State College encourages, supports, and protects freedom of expression and an open environment to pursue scholarly inquiry and to share information. Access to networked computer information in general and to the Internet, in particular, supports the academic community by providing a link to electronic information in a variety of formats and covering all academic disciplines. Consistent with other College policies, this policy is intended to respect the rights and obligations of academic freedom, while protecting the rights of others. The computing and network facilities of the College are limited and should be used wisely and carefully with consideration for the needs of others. As with any resource, it is possible to misuse computing resources and facilities and to abuse access to the Internet. The following statements address, in general terms, the College's policy for computing use.
This policy is applicable to all individuals using College owned or controlled computer and computer communication facilities or equipment, whether such persons are students, staff, faculty, or authorized third-party users of College computing information resources. It is applicable to all College information resources whether individually controlled or shared, stand alone or networked. It applies to all computer and computer communication facilities owned, leased, operated, or contracted by the College. This includes, but is not limited to, word processing equipment, personal computers, workstations, administrative computing systems, minicomputers, and associated peripherals and software, and electronic mail accounts, regardless of whether used for administration, research, teaching, or other purposes. The College policy regarding access by external users and any subsequent revisions thereto may apply. In addition, a user must be specifically authorized to use a particular computing or network resource by the campus unit responsible for operating the resource.
3. USER RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPECTATIONS[top]
A. Access to the information resource infrastructure both within and beyond the College campus, sharing of
information and security of the intellectual products of the community all require that each and every user
accept responsibility to protect the rights of the community. Access to the networks and to the information
technology resources at Western Oklahoma State College is a privilege granted to College students,
faculty, staff, and third parties who have been granted special permission to use such facilities. Access to
College information resources must take into account the following factors: relevant laws and contractual
obligations, the requestor's need to know, the information's sensitivity, and the risk of damage to or loss by
B. Anyone who accesses, uses, destroys, alters, or damages College information resources, properties
or facilities without authorization, may be guilty of violating state or federal law, infringing upon the
privacy of others, injuring or misappropriating the work produced and records maintained by others,
and/or threatening the integrity of information kept within these systems. Such conduct is unethical and
unacceptable and will subject violators of this Policy to disciplinary action by the College, including possible termination from employment, expulsion as a student, and/or loss of computing systems
C. The College requires that members of its community act in accordance with these responsibilities, this
Policy, the College's Student or Faculty Handbook, as applicable Western Policies and Procedures, relevant
laws and contractual obligations, and the highest standard of ethics. The policies as stated in this Policy are
intended to ensure that users of College information resources shall:
" respect software copyrights and licenses,
" respect the integrity of computer-based information resources,
" refrain from seeking to gain unauthorized access,
" respect the privacy of other computer users.
D. The College reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend computing privileges and access to its
information resources. Data owners—whether departments, units, faculty, students, or staff—may
allow individuals other than College faculty, staff, and students access to information for which they are
responsible, so long as such access does not violate any license or contractual agreement, College policy,
or any federal, state, county, or local law or ordinance. However, users are personally responsible for all
activities with their user id or their computer system and may be subjected to disciplinary action and/or loss
of privileges for misuse of computing systems under their control even if not personally engaged in by the
person controlling the computer or system.
4. INDVIDUAL USER NOTIFICATIONS[top]
A. The College makes available both internal and external computing facilities consisting of hardware
and software. The College accepts no responsibility for any damage to or loss of data arising directly or
indirectly from the use of these facilities or for any consequential loss or damage. The College makes no
warranty, express or implied, regarding the computing services offered, or their fitness for any particular
B. Liability for any loss or damage shall be limited to a credit for fees and charges paid to the College for
use of the computing facilities which resulted in the loss or damage.
C. The College cannot protect individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive
to them. As such, those who make use of electronic communications are warned that they may come
across or be the recipients of materials they find offensive. Those who use e-mail and/or make information
about themselves available on the Internet should be forewarned that the College cannot protect them
from invasions of privacy and other possible dangers that could result from the individual's distribution of
D. An individual using College computing resources or facilities must do so in the knowledge that he/she
is using College resources in support of his/her work. The College owns everything stored in its facilities
unless it has agreed otherwise. The College has the right of access to the contents of stored computing
information at any time for any purpose for which it has a legitimate "need to know." The College will
make reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of computing information storage contents and to
safeguard the contents from loss, but is not liable for the inadvertent or unavoidable loss or disclosure of
E. Any individual using College computing resources and facilities must realize that computer systems
maintain audit trails logs or file logs within the computing systems computer. Such information as the
user identification, date and time of the session, the software used, the files used, the computer time, and storage used, the user account, and other run-related information is normally available for diagnostic,
accounting, and load analysis purposes. Under certain circumstances, this information is reviewed by
system administrators, either at the request of an academic department, or in situations where it is necessary
to determine what has occurred to cause a particular system problem at a particular time. For example,
analysis of audit files may indicate why a particular data file is being erased, when it was erased, and what
user identification has erased it.
F. IT employees and system administrators do not routinely look at individual data files. However, the
College reserves the right to view or scan any file or software stored on the computer or passing through
the network, and will do so periodically to verify that software and hardware are working correctly, to look
for particular kinds of data or software (such as computer viruses), or to audit the use of College resources.
Violation of policy that come to the attention of College officials during these and other activities will
be acted upon. User data on the administrative computing systems will be periodically copied to backup
tapes. The College cannot guarantee confidentiality of stored data. Users should be aware that use of one
of the data networks, such as the Internet, and electronic mail and messages, will not necessarily remain
confidential from third parties outside the College in transit or on the destination computer system, as those
data networks are configured to permit fairly easy access to transmissions.
G. The system administrator is authorized to take all reasonable steps and actions to implement and
enforce the usage and service policies of the system and to provide for security of the system. System
administrators operating computers and networks may routinely monitor and log usage data, such as
network session connection times and end-points, CPU and disk utilization for each user, security audit
trails, network loading, etc. These units may review this data for evidence of violation of law or policy
and for other lawful purposes. System administrators may access computer user files at any time for
maintenance purposes. System administrators may access other files for the maintenance of networks and
computer and storage systems, such as to create backup copies of media.
H. When system response, integrity, or security is threatened, a system administrator is authorized to access
all files and information necessary to find and correct the problem or otherwise resolve the situation.
I. Individual users are responsible for maintaining basic security for their workstation or terminal by keeping passwords secure and by securing the physical location or office where their assigned system is located.
5. AUTHORIZED USER PURPOSES[top]
Harassment of another individual on the network or connected systems is not permitted at any time. Computer users shall not intentionally develop or use programs, which harass other computer users of the
facility, infiltrate the system, or damage the software or hardware components of the system.
Use of the electronic communication facilities (such as MAIL or PHONE, or systems with similar functions) to send fraudulent, harassing, obscene, indecent, profane, intimidating or other unlawful messages is prohibited by state law. Also, the electronic communication facilities are not to be used for the transmission of commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations, promotions, destructive programs, or any other unauthorized use. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities may be reported to the authorities.
Should any student, faculty, staff or any user of the Western computer facilities complain of sexual harassment by virtue of obscene images, video or text, the person or persons who is/are the source of the complaint will have computer lab privileges revoked. If needed, special workstations are available for research in sensitive areas. These workstations are located in the Learning Resources Center.
All software protected by copyright shall not be copied except as specifically stipulated by the owner of the copyright. Protected software is not to be copied into, from, or by any Western facility or system, except in accordance with the license. This means that such computer and microcomputer software may only be copied in order to create back-up copies, if so licensed. Additional copyright information is available in the Western Computer Software Usage/Copyright Policy.
The number of copies and distribution of the copies may not be done in such a way that the number of simultaneous users exceeds the number of original copies purchased, unless otherwise stipulated in the purchase contract.
Images and written materials available via electronic resources may be subject to copyright laws. Individual users are responsible for acquiring the appropriate permissions for any usage of such materials.
6. COMPUTER EQUIPMENT USAGE[top]
Computer Equipment in the Western labs is primarily intended, although not exclusively, for classroom- related use by Western students, faculty and staff that have been assigned an account.
The usage criteria is as follows:
A. Usage directly related to classroom assignments: These include assignments in a computer course or assignments in another academic course.
B. Usage directly related to a Western function: These include clerical work of college reports, faculty dossier, in-house equipment training, etc. Usage for these purposes is both acceptable and encouraged.
C. Personal usage: Included in this category are classroom assignment papers, reports, theses or dissertations as well as any other personal usage. For profit use may be prohibited.
Computer users shall use care to ensure that they do not use programs or utilities which interfere with other computer users of the facility or which infiltrate or modify the system or an account. This includes all network links and damages caused to the software or hardware components of the system.
The well-being of all computer users depends on the availability and integrity of the system. Any defects discovered in system accounting or system security are to be immediately reported to Information Services so that steps can be taken to investigate and solve the problem. The cooperation of all users is needed to ensure prompt action.
The integrity of the system is maintained by password protection of accounts. By law, a computer user who has been authorized to use an account may be subject to both civil and criminal liability if the account is made available to unauthorized persons without the appropriate permission. If sharing is necessary, it is advisable to authorize access in writing (when possible) to protect yourself when using someone else’s account. Computer users shall not intentionally seek, provide, or modify information in, or obtain copies of files, programs, or passwords belonging to other computer users without the permission of those other computer users. This includes all system files and accounts. The password requirements for various systems are addressed in policy documents addressing specific systems.
The cooperation of all users is needed to ensure prompt action. The integrity of most systems is maintained by password protection of accounts. A computer user who has been authorized to use such a protected account may be subject to both criminal and civil liability, as well as college discipline, if the user discloses a password or otherwise makes the account available to others without the permission of the system administrator.
7. COMPUTER LAB RULES[top]
Lab hours change from one semester to another and will be posted. If you have questions, you may contact Information Services at 477-7907 or the appropriate department with which a lab is associated. A lab may be closed without prior notice in the event that a lab attendant is not available for supervision or if emergency work/maintenance on computer(s)/network(s) is required.
Computer lab staff and work-studies may not be utilized by any faculty, staff or student for any services outside their normal duties (e.g. helping to enter a report or other paper into the word processor, repairing a computer, help with software, etc.) Except by special circumstances, individuals without a computer/ network account with Western will not be given access to Western equipment. Not all software will be loaded on every machine or in every lab.
All users are expected to abide by the following rules, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
• No food, drinks are allowed unless otherwise posted
• No children or unapproved visitors
• No duplication or sharing of software programs or files
• Do not write or send abusive messages to others
• Do not reveal your personal address or phone number or those of students or colleagues
• Do not swear, use vulgarities or any other inappropriate language
• Do not provide any other user with your password
• Do not display video or materials that may be sexually, ethnically or otherwise offensive to
• Excessive noise, which disrupts other lab users, is not permitted
Users will be required to surrender a current Western ID if asked in all academic computing labs. Limited access may be provided with a driver’s license in the LRC at the discretion of the Learning Resources Center Director.
Western reserves the right to limit a computer user's session if there are insufficient resources or if the user is determined by appropriate authorities to be acting in an irresponsible or unlawful manner. Western also reserves the right to cancel, restart or place a hold on a job, process or program to protect or to improve system performance if necessary.
8. COMPUTER / NETWORK ACCOUNTS [top]
At Western, there are three types of Computer Lab accounts:
A College Account is the property of Western and is to be used by staff or faculty for administrative or academic work. The College Accounts are subject to applicable College policies, copyright and intellectual property rights and applicable federal and state laws. Account privilege and access to a College Account or information is to be authorized by the manager or department head.
A student account is the property of Western and is to be used for educational work related to the student’s association with the institution. Student accounts are subject to applicable college policies, copyright and intellectual property rights, and applicable federal and state laws. Student computer/email accounts will in most cases consist of the first name + last name (Example: for John Doe the account would be firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be assigned a randomly generated password. Registered students may use the computer lab resources to retrieve their user name and password. Initially, the student must log in to the computer lab computer with a username of “student” and a blank password. This will grant them access to limited resources on that computer including access to Moodle and Campus Connect. By following the instructions on the screen, students can retrieve their permanent user name and password that will grant them regular access to the computer lab, online classes and other technology resources.
An Affiliate Account, is the property of Western and is provided to individuals or groups who are not directly associated with the institution, but, whose access to the network has a clear and distinct connection to the College and carries with it some intrinsic value for the institution. Affiliate Accounts shall be the property of the College, are subject to applicable College policies, copyright and intellectual property rights and applicable federal and state laws. The Director of Information Technology must authorize account privilege and access to an Affiliate Accounts or information.
Privileges afforded by any account may be revoked immediately by Western at any time for failure to follow rules or attempts to:
- Defeat the security systems of any computer,
- Circumvent the accounting system,
- Use an account without authorization, or
- Use accounts for other than intended purposes,
Use of an account which invades the rights of privacy or which misappropriate the data or files of others may also subject the wrongdoer to both criminal and civil liability. Western reserves the right to bar a computer user from a College, Student or Affiliate Account if Western officials determine impropriety.
To ensure the existence of this information resource environment, members of the College community will take actions, in concert with State and Federal agencies and other interested parties, to identify and set up technical and procedural mechanisms to make the information technology environment at Western Oklahoma State College and its internal and external networks resistant to disruption.
Western Oklahoma State College does provide student email accounts. Student accounts will be generally provided in the following format: email@example.com and can be accessed when a student first retrieves their campus username and password.
Email and other network accounts will be disabled on Western Oklahoma State College’s network after a period of 30 days following the official retirement date for staff and faculty. In the event that more time is requested by the retiree, temporary extensions can be requested through the appropriate Dean or Director and relayed to the IT department. In the event of any other form of discontinued employment, account access can be disabled immediately.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
Western Oklahoma State College takes the protection of financial data very seriously and requires compliance with PCI standards. Please see the PCI compliance policy for the policies and procedures related to the safeguarding of financial data available at http://www.wosc.edu/index.php?page=pci-compliance-policy.