The Information Technology Services of Bristol Community College are intended for use to support the educational and administrative objectives of the college. The equipment and software available are valuable resources that should be used for education, communication, and the administrative and financial needs of the college. The user of the college’s services and facilities has access to these valuable resources, sensitive data, and data that others are reliant upon. It is incumbent upon the user to behave in a responsible, legal, and ethical manner. Appropriate use of the college’s computer resources respects the rights of other computer users, the integrity of the physical facilities, and all related licenses and contractual agreements.
The college will make every attempt to provide an atmosphere where students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the public can pursue intellectual, creative activities individually or in collaboration. The following is a guideline for the use of the college's resources rather than an exhaustive list of rules and regulations. Responsible, considerate, and ethical use of all electronic and computing resources is expected.
Use of the college’s computer resources implies agreement with the terms of this policy. Use of college computer systems is a privilege rather than a right.
Computer Resources. The computers and software available in computer labs, the computers available in offices and public areas, campus networks, electronic mail, the Internet, telephone services, including voice mail and other technologies as they are developed. All software and hardware purchased with college funds become the property of the college. An exception is made for software and hardware purchased with college funds for professional development and specifically meant for personal ownership.
Information Technology. Any and all computer or electronic resources that are utilized in the search, access, acquisition, transmission, storage, retrieval, processing, or dissemination of data.
System Administrator. A person authorized by the college to develop, grant, and create user privileges, manage a computer or network, and/or ensure the effective operation of a system connected to the college data network.
Reverse Engineering. The process of recreating a design by analyzing a final product. In this context, a design may include hardware or software such as a computer program.
User. Current staff, faculty, or students. Other users, such as members of public, guests of the college, former faculty, staff, and students may use systems at the discretion of the college.
Respect for the Integrity of the System
System administrators will make every effort to maintain the integrity of the system through passwords, virus protection, and maintenance. However, users of the college’s computer resources assume their own risk and will in no way hold the college liable for any problems that occur. The college will make every effort to ensure that every computer has an approved virus screening, detection, and elimination program installed.
All users will refrain from activities that would jeopardize the ability of others to use the system effectively. This includes, but is not limited to, abuse, misuse, overuse of resources including printers, reverse engineering, deleting or tampering with software, deleting or tampering with files, sending blocking e-mail messages, or otherwise infringing on another user’s rights to work.
The college’s computers are important and valuable resources necessary for the education of students and for support of college work. Priority will be given to course-related use of computers in public spaces and labs and to work related to the functioning of the college.
All users will refrain from the unauthorized use, acquisition, or loading of software, including commercial products and those created by students, administrators or other members of the college community. College employees may install privately owned legal software on college owned computers and are responsible for its maintenance. Students wishing to download or install software related to coursework must first get permission from the lab attendant or appropriate personnel.
All users will refrain from attaching or detaching devices from the system or otherwise altering the system unless it is part of their course work and they have been authorized to do so. All users will use college computer resources in accordance with policies of the college and will not engage in illegal, obscene, or harassing activities with these facilities.
Any information posted on college web sites must meet the standards established by the college and not contain information that the college deems unsuitable for distribution. The Vice President of College Communications may review information posted by and for the college.
Any information posted on the college web site should be accurate and should contain the name of the person, organization, or department posting the information, an email address where they can be reached, a link to the college homepage, the date the page was posted, and the date of any major revisions.
To safeguard the integrity of the system and manage usage, system administrators may limit or restrict access to specific files. Additional regulations and restrictions that are appropriate for the effective utilization and integrity of specific computer facilities may be posted.
The ITS department will create and maintain the capability to deliver broadcast email messages. Broadcast email messages are permitted only if there is an immediate and universal need to share college-related information with the whole college community.
Respect for the Privacy of Others
No user may attempt unauthorized access to data that belongs to others, including but not limited to college records and the work of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the public. No user may attempt unauthorized access to restricted software, files, or information. No user may attempt to acquire a password issued to someone else or use a password issued to someone else. Exceptions to this are when a user specifically requests help from faculty or staff that involves revealing this information. Printed output is private and other users should respect this privacy.
The Internet or the local network may not be used to cause problems for another person including users of college systems and those beyond the college community. This includes, but is not limited to, sending excessive amounts of mail or harassing messages, using someone else’s name to subscribe to a service or group, placing someone else’s name, photo, address, or work on the Internet or the local network.
Users should assume that email is an insecure medium. The college will respect the privacy of email. Exceptions include investigating an alleged violation of policy, routing of lost messages, or safeguarding the integrity of the system. No college employee will be permitted to intercept, read, copy, or modify private electronic data (either in transit across a network or stored within a computer system) without the written consent of the President. Such consent will only be given in cases of suspected improper and/or illegal use.
Users should assume that the Internet in general is an insecure medium. Although data about Internet World Wide Web usage patterns are compiled automatically by certain system software and hardware, the college will respect the privacy of Web usage by individual users, except when required to respond to a legal investigation. No data about individual Web usage will be monitored, compiled, or published without the written consent of the President. Such consent will only be given in cases of suspected improper and/or illegal use.
To safeguard the integrity of the system, files should be stored on an individual’s disk drives or in directories established for their use. Information inappropriately saved on the system or information not stored in appropriate areas will be removed by the system administrator at regular intervals.
There is information available through the Internet that could be considered offensive by members of the college community. The Bristol Community College Sexual Harassment Policy explicitly prohibits the display of sexually suggestive content. If a representative of the college, the system administrator, or the computer facility staff feel that a user is in violation of the Sexual Harassment Policy, the user will be required to discontinue the activity and appropriate administrative action will be taken. College computer resources may not be used to access, produce, or distribute pornography in violation of the law.
Legal Use of the System
No user may use the computing facilities of the college for non-college commercial endeavors or non-college financial benefits.
Users agree to waive any claim and release Bristol Community College, its employees and agents, from any claim, demand, liability, cause of action or suit for damages arising out of their use of the college’s network(s), including but not limited to: loss of data, equipment failure, or consequences resulting from the preceding.
All users shall respect copyright laws that apply to software, shareware, and other files that are owned by the author or developer. Users may not copy protected software, files, or information without the express written consent of the copyright holder. Unless expressly stated, it should be assumed that information found on the Internet is protected by copyright.
Licensed materials may not be taken, copied from, or placed on the system without the express written approval of the owner of the license. Except as authorized, users may not loan or give software licensed to anyone including students, faculty, or others. Users may use software on local area networks or on multiple workstations only in accordance with applicable license agreements.
Only software for which a user is legally authorized may be installed or used on any college computer or network. College-owned software cannot be loaded on a home computer unless its license and the college specifically provide permission to do so.
The telephone system is intended for business use. Personal calls should be short and limited to those of an important nature.
Pursuant to Massachusetts campaign finance laws, no governmental resources (including computers, fax machines, modems, printers, and copy machines) may be used by any person (including a public employee, whether during work hours or otherwise) in order to promote or oppose a political candidate or ballot questions or for the purpose of disseminating materials that advocate a particular vote on a ballot question or a political candidate.
Bristol Community College officials will investigate misuse or abuse of college computer resources and appropriate action will be taken.
Related Handbook Sections
College Services & Information
Telephone & Voicemail