Sarah Lawrence College provides computer resources to students, faculty, and staff for academic purposes and for their use on college business. The College has established standards and policies for the acceptable use of these resources and expects users to be familiar with and honor them.
In order to maintain a computing environment which best serves the needs and protects the welfare of both individuals and the academic community, the college regulates access to and use of college-owned computing resources. These resources include connections to the college network, access by means of college-sponsored communication links, and access to computing resources located off campus.
Access to computers and computing resources is a privilege granted by the college to its students, faculty, and employees unless such access is suspended or denied for cause. Access to some computer programs, features, information, and networks may require a written request. Access to information that is private or confidential, as determined by the owner or by the college, may be restricted.
Because computing systems have such great power, activities that might seem at first to be merely mischievous can harm the entire college community and beyond. Any unauthorized access or interference with system functionality is unacceptable. Guidelines such as those established in the Student Handbook, Facts for Faculty, and the Personnel Manual apply to the use of computing resources, as do community standards of consideration for others and the primacy of Sarah Lawrence's educational mission. Federal, state and local laws, regulations, and judicial decisions also apply.
In general, any uses of Sarah Lawrence College's computer facilities which infringe on another individual's right to privacy, adversely affect the user community, or are not allowed under the terms of our software licenses, are prohibited. Examples of prohibited uses include, but are not limited to:
- Accessing or using a password-protected computer account assigned to another person
- Hiding your identity or using someone else's identity in electronic communications
- Sharing a password to a protected account with another person
- Any deliberate act which denies or interferes with the access and use rights of others
- Unauthorized access or attempts to access data, computer systems and/or networks on or off the college's campus (hacking)
- Intentional damage to hardware, software, security devices or codes
- Intentional creation or distribution of viruses, worms or other forms of electronic mayhem
- Commercial activities, such as development of software for sale, work undertaken to support any company, or other contracted work
- Use of deliberately offensive language or other communication which has the effect of harassing or intimidating another person as guided by existing harassment policy
Violations of copyright/civil law, including but not limited to the copying, storing, displaying, or distributing copyrighted material using college systems or networks without the express permission of the copyright owner, except as otherwise allowed under the copyright law. Under the Federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, repeat infringements of copyright by a user can result in termination of the user's access to college systems and networks.
While recreational use of computing facilities is not prohibited, all such use is of lowest priority. If there is contention for access, games and other recreational may be prohibited without prior notice. The College does not permit the installation on College-owned computers of third-party software (ex/iTunes, BitTorrent and other products) for streaming, purchasing or storing video or audio content.
Security and Privacy Rights
Individuals using College-owned computing equipment can expect the College to take reasonable steps to ensure the security and integrity of information kept in or on, or transmitted by, that equipment. At the same time, the College reserves the right to protect the integrity of its computing enterprise. The privacy rights of individuals using College-owned equipment, therefore, have some limits. In particular, the College claims the following rights:
- The right to monitor the volume (but not the content) of information communicated on campus networks;
- The right to audit for the presence of commercial software packages installed on its computing equipment;
- The right to examine, under specific instances where there is evidence or substantial reasonable concern that a violation of computing use regulations has occurred, the content of data, text, images, and/or executable computer files;
- The right to implement procedures to protect the integrity of the systems and networks (e.g. virus scans)
The College cannot guarantee the security of individual offices nor can it guarantee any piece of equipment against failure. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the user to ensure that data and other valued information assets are adequately backed up and secured. Computer networks are not secure. Although it is counter to policy for an unintended recipient to deliberately read another person’s electronic communications, the College cannot guarantee that an electronic message will not be read or examined by an unintended recipient, either on or off campus. It is, therefore, recommended that computer networks not be used to transmit information that is confidential, sensitive, or for which privacy rights might be a concern. If you must use email to send confidential or sensitive student information, please send such messages in an encrypted, password-protected document format, such as encrypted and password-protected PDF formats. Some official College web services have been designated as secure for transmitting sensitive information (ex/MySLC). When using such services, please follow all user guidelines for that specific type of service.
Failure to comply with guidelines for acceptable use of computer resources will normally result in a warning. Serious or multiple infractions of computer-use policies may result in sanctions by the College. The due process rights of individuals in cases of possible infractions are the same as for non-computing violations of College regulations, and are described in the relevant handbooks. Some computer-use infractions may violate local, state, or federal law; civil and/or criminal sanctions may be independently applicable.