Policies and Procedures

Policies on the Use of Computer Systems and Facilities

The following policy contains the governing philosophy for regulating the use of Lycoming College's computing facilities and resources.

Access to the college's computing facilities and resources is a privilege granted solely to Lycoming College faculty, staff, registered students and those with special accounts. All users of the computing facilities must act responsibly and maintain the integrity of these resources. The college reserves the right to limit, restrict or extend computing privileges and access to its resources. Those who do not abide by the policies listed below should expect at least suspension of computer privileges and possible referral to the college Committee on Discipline.

IT Services should be notified about violations of computer laws and policies, as well as about potential loopholes in the security of its computer systems and networks. The user-community is expected to cooperate with IT Services in its operation of computer systems and networks as well as in the investigation of misuse or abuse. Should the security of a computer system be threatened, user files may be examined under the direction of IT Services. Policies

The college's computing policies include, but are not limited to, the list below.

  1. You must not use a computer ID that was not assigned to you, unless multiple access has been authorized for the ID . You may not try in any way to obtain a password for another's computer ID. You may not attempt to disguise the identity of the account or machine you are using.
  2. You must not use the college's network resources to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote computers.
  3. You must not deliberately perform an act which will seriously impact the operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks. This includes, but is not limited to, tampering with components of a local area network (LAN) or the high-speed backbone network, otherwise blocking communication lines, or interfering with the operational readiness of a computer.
  4. You must not attempt to modify in any way a program which the college supplies for any type of use at its sites.
  5. You must not run or install on any of the college's systems, or give to another, a program which could result in the eventual damage to a file or computer system and/or the reproduction of itself. This is directed towards, but not limited to, the classes of programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.
  6. You must not attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes.
  7. You must abide by the terms of all software licensing agreements and copyright laws. In particular, you must not make copies of copyrighted software, unless the college has a site license specifically allowing the copying of that software. Furthermore, you must not copy site-licensed software for distribution to persons other than Lycoming College faculty, staff, and students, nor may you copy site-licensed software for use at locations not covered under the terms of the license agreement.
  8. You must not deliberately perform acts which are wasteful of computing resources or which unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, creating unnecessary multiple jobs or processes, obtaining unnecessary output, or printing or creating unnecessary network traffic. Printing multiple copies of any documents including resumes, thesis, and dissertations is also prohibited.
  9. The following type of information or software cannot be placed on any College-owned computer system:
    • That which infringes upon the rights of another person.
    • That which is abusive, profane, or sexually offensive to community standards.
    • That which consists of information which may injure someone else and/or lead to a lawsuit or criminal charges. Examples of these are: pirated software, destructive software, pornographic materials, or libelous statements.
    • That which consists of any advertisements for commercial enterprises.
  10. You must not harass others by sending annoying, threatening, libelous, or sexually, racially, or religiously offensive messages.
  11. You must not attempt to monitor another user's data communications, nor may you read, copy, change, or delete another user's files or software, without permission of the owner.
  12. You must not use any of the college's microcomputers, workstations, or networks for other than a Lycoming College course, research project, departmental activity, or personal communications. These resources must not be used for personal or financial gain.

Any network traffic exiting the college is subject to the acceptable use policies of the network through which it flows (PREPnet, NSFNET, etc.), as well as to the policies listed here.

Offenders may also be subject to criminal prosecution under federal or state law, and should expect Lycoming College to pursue such action. As an example, under Pennsylvania law, it is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 and imprisonment up to seven years for any person to access, alter or damage any computer system, network, software or database, or any part thereof, with the intent to interrupt the normal functioning of an organization (18 Pa.C.S.3933(a)(1)). Disclosing a password to a computer system, network, etc., knowingly and without authorization, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to five years, as is intentional and unauthorized access to a computer, interference with the operation of a computer or network, or alteration of computer software (18 Pa.C.S.3933(a)(2) and (3)).

Recent court decisions have determined that information on college computer systems may be owned by that college.