The Learning College Manual
Isothermal Community College strives to provide computer resources, Internet, and Network access in an environment in which access is shared equitably among users. This access is intended to be used in support of the research, educational, and administrative purposes of the College. College owned or operated computer resources are for the use of College employees, students, and other authorized individuals. The purpose of this policy is to protect the College’s technology users and computer resources and to ensure equitable access and proper management of these resources.
Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses
The College abides by the guidelines and policies of the NC Information Resource Management Commission (IRMC). The computer resources owned and operated by Isothermal Community College are intended for the use of its students, employees, and other authorized individuals for purposes related to instruction, learning, research, and campus operations. Users are expected to exercise responsible, ethical behavior when using all College computer resources. This policy makes no attempt to articulate all required or prohibited behavior by users of the computer resources of Isothermal Community College.
Unacceptable activity includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Deliberately downloading, uploading, creating, or transmitting computer viruses
- Destroying or modifying directory structures or registries; or interfering or tampering with another’s data or files
- Developing programs that infiltrate a computer or computing system, harass other users, and/or damage software
- Attempting to obtain unauthorized computer access or privileges, or attempting to trespass in the work of another individual
- Using hardware or software sniffers to examine network traffic, except by appropriate College personnel to diagnose the network for bottlenecks or other problems
- Using another person’s password or sharing of one’s own password; users who choose to share their passwords are responsible for the outcomes resulting from the use of their password
- Committing any form of vandalism on equipment, communications lines, manuals, or software; attempting to defeat or circumvent any security measures or controls
- Consuming food and/or beverages in computer labs, computer classrooms, library or in any other areas restricted to protect systems
- Wastefully using finite resources, such as large amounts of bandwidth including but not limited to, downloading music, television shows, software programs, and/or movies.
- Connecting personal network devices on the Colleges wired network. Connecting unsanctioned products (software or hardware) to the College network, or installing products for personal use. Special provisions may be made for visiting artists, lecturers, and trainers at the discretion of the Director of Information Technology. Information Technology support staff can offer assistance in gaining network access under these special circumstances, but the College cannot guarantee functionality, and assumes no responsibility for configuration of or damage to Non‑College equipment.
- Using chat rooms or instant messaging, other than in support of the research, educational, and administrative purposes of the College
- Sending hate mail, chain letters, and anonymous or pseudonymous messages
- Using, distributing, or making accessible profane, obscene, pornographic, or discriminatory images or remarks, or other content which reasonably may be considered to be offensive to another user; or participating in other antisocial behaviors
- Using computer resources for political campaigns or distribution of political material
- Using computer resources for fraud, financial gain, or for any commercial or illegal activity
- Disclosing student information in violation of the provisions of the federal statute known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
- Violating copyright laws and/or fair use provisions through 1) illegal peer-to-peer file trafficking, i.e., by downloading or uploading pirated or illegal material, including but not limited to software and music files; 2) reproducing or disseminating Internet materials, except as permitted by law or by written agreement with the owner of the copyright
Reservation of Rights and Limits of Liability
- Isothermal Community College reserves all rights in the use and operation of its computer resources, including the right to monitor and inspect computerized files or to terminate service at any time and for any reason without notice.
- The College makes no guarantees or representations, either explicit or implied, that user files and/or accounts are private and secure. No right of privacy exists in regard to E-mail or Internet sessions.
- The College is not responsible for the accuracy, content, or quality of information obtained through or stored on the College network.
- The College and its representatives are not liable for any damages and/or losses associated with the use of any of its computer resources or services.
- The College reserves the right to limit the allocation of computer resources.
- The College makes efforts to maintain computer resources in good working condition but is not liable for damages incurred by loss of service.
- College funds may not be used to purchase personal network access or products.
- The College shall not be liable, legally, financially, or otherwise, for the actions of anyone connecting to the Internet through College systems.
Wireless Internet Access
The College provides free wireless Internet access through a guest account (the only wireless access allowed for students and guests). Users of wireless access must abide by the Wireless Internet Access Guidelines as well as the Computer Resources, Internet, and Network Use Policy. Connection to the wireless network at any given time is not guaranteed. The College does not accept liability for any personal equipment that is brought to the College and therefore will not assist with configuration, installation, trouble shooting, or support of any personal equipment.
The College provides free e-mail accounts to all students who are enrolled in a curriculum program. The use of College-provided e-mail accounts must be related to College business, including academic pursuits. Incidental and occasional personal use of these accounts is acceptable when such use does not generate a direct cost to the College.
Any student under the age of eighteen, including REaCH and concurrently enrolled students, must have a parent or legal guardian sign the Computer Resources, Internet, and Network Use form and the Student E-mail Application form giving permission for that student to have e-mail access. The forms must be returned to the appropriate instructor during the first week of classes for continued e-mail access.
The College will make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and effective operation of its electronic mail systems, but users are advised that those systems should in no way be regarded as a secure medium for the communication of sensitive or confidential information. Because of the nature and technology of electronic communication, the College can assure neither the privacy of an individual’s use of the College’s electronic mail resources nor the confidentiality of particular messages that may be created, transmitted, received, or stored.
The College does not monitor electronic mail routinely but may do so to the extent permitted by law as the College deems necessary. Students should not have any expectation of privacy with his/her electronic e-mail address provided by the College. Any user of the College’s computer resources who makes use of an encryption device shall provide access when requested to do so by the appropriate College authority. The College reserves the right to access and disclose the contents of employees’, students’, and other users’ electronic mail without the consent of the user. The College will do so when it believes it has a legitimate business need including, but not limited to, those listed below.
- In the course of an investigation triggered by indications of misconduct or misuse;
- As needed to protect health and safety of students, employees or the community at large;
- As needed to prevent interference with the academic mission of the College;
- As needed to locate substantive information required for College business that is not more readily available;
- As needed to respond to legal actions; and
- As needed to fulfill the College’s obligation to third parties.
Electronic mail, including that of students, may constitute "education records" as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). Electronic mail that meets the definition of education records is subject to the provisions of FERPA. The College may access, inspect, and disclose such records under conditions set forth in the federal statute. See the Isothermal Community College Student Handbook for selected guidelines, procedures, and definitions regarding FERPA.
North Carolina law provides that communications of College personnel that are sent by electronic mail may constitute “correspondence” and, therefore, may be considered public records subject to public inspection under the North Carolina General Statutes, chapters 121 and 132.
Electronic files, including electronic mail, that are considered to be public records are to be retained, archived and/or disposed of in accordance with current guidelines established by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources or otherwise required by College policy.
Violations of College Computer Policies and Guidelines
Each individual is ultimately responsible for his/her own actions. Failure to exercise responsible, ethical behavior will result in disciplinary action as appropriate. Disciplinary action may include reprimand or denial of access. In severe cases, 1) students may be sanctioned according to procedures described in the Student Handbook; 2) other users may be barred permanently from using College computers and network access.
Certain activities violate Federal and/or NC State laws governing use of computer systems, and may be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Those convicted could face fines and/or imprisonment.
Availability of Policies
College computer policies are accessible on the College website at http://www.isothermal.edu/, are included in various College publications, and are available from any College staff member.
All users of Isothermal Community College computer resources must comply with appropriate computer policies. In using any of the College’s computer resources, users agree to comply with the policies here-in and with other policies that may apply.
I have read, understand and agree to abide by the guidelines of the College Computer Resources, Internet, and Network Use Policy as set forth in this document.
If I use wireless Internet access provided by the College, I verify that I have read, understand and agree to abide by the Wireless Internet Access Guidelines.
Print name: ______________________________________________ Date: ____________________
A parent or legal guardian is required to sign this form and the Student E-mail application form for e-mail access by any student under age eighteen.
Signature of parent or legal guardian (if required): ________________________________________
Adopted: September 19, 2003
Amended: November 18, 2003; September 6, 2007; January 28, 2009; June 29, 2010
Policy No: 602-03-01AP