This policy covers all college-owned computer resources including hardware, software, and network equipment, from here on referred to as the “computer system.” The computer system of West Virginia Wesleyan College is available to the students, faculty, and staff in support of the mission of the college. It is expected that users of these resources will engage in activities such as academic work, communicating with others, and accessing various information sources in the performance of normal college-related job responsibilities. Using college computers on an occasional basis for personal use, such as corresponding with friends or family through electronic mail, may also be considered appropriate, but in all cases, usage should defer to college-related activities. The computer system may not be used for commercial or solicitation purposes without the express written consent of appropriate school officials. The computer resources provided by the College are the sole and exclusive property of the College and may not be moved or altered without the permission of the Computer Center, which bears sole responsibility for computer installation and maintenance of the college-owned computers and network equipment.

It is expected, in return, that users must respect the rights and privacy of others, and must obey school policies and state and federal laws that may apply to their activities while using the computer system. Although the college, in its official capacity, will make every effort to respect the privacy and civil rights of users of the computer system, it should be understood by all users that the computer system is owned and operated by the College. The institution reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to monitor any and all aspects of the activities on the system, and to take appropriate action when necessary to uphold legal, moral, or ethical standards. Use of the college computer system means that you agree to abide by the rules and responsibilities set forth in this policy.

There are several legal obligations for users of the computer system. The examples provided here are the most significant, but should not be considered a complete list. It is the responsibility of users to be aware of and respect state and federal statutes that may regulate their activities.

  • Users must obey copyright laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, and respect the intellectual property of others. This includes but is not limited to music and other downloads.
  • Software license agreements must be honored. The college makes every effort to properly purchase and license all software installed on the institution’s computer systems. There is no stated or implicit consent given to users to copy any of the programs or data residing on these systems.
  • Users must have approval from the Computer Center before installing any software on a college-owned computer. This includes but is not limited to programs downloaded from the Internet. Unlicensed software will be removed as found unless a license is provided. Unsupported software may be removed by the Computer Center as needed to improve computer performance.
  • It is a violation of West Virginia law to access a computer system without authorization or to gain access to a computer system for the purposes of fraud or malicious activities such as the destruction of files or programs.
  • It is a civil offense to make false statements about another person (libel), especially if it results in the loss of that person’s good name (defamation).
  • The creation or knowing distribution of a computer virus or “worm” is a violation of federal statute.
  • The creation or knowing distribution of a chain letter is a violation of federal statute.
  • No user may alter or upgrade the operating system of any college-owned computer without purchasing a license and scheduling the installation with the Computer Center.

Although certain activities of users may not be strictly illegal, there may be cases where a user might violate the ethical standards of the college. Guidelines for appropriate behavior as found in the campus handbooks and catalogues apply to the use of the computer system. Common sense and a personal sense of responsibility are important here.

  • Users of the college computer system will refrain from accessing or electronically transferring text or graphics images that would be deemed hateful, demeaning, or pornographic by the prevailing standards of the college community
  • The computer system, especially the electronic mail capabilities, will not be used to create offensive or disruptive messages. This includes messages which contain sexual implications, racial slurs, gender-specific comments, or any other comment that offensively addresses someone’s age, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, national origin, or disability.
  • The privacy of other users’ files and electronic mail messages is to be respected at all times. No user, with the exception of authorized system administrators, shall access, or attempt to access, another user’s files or electronic mail messages without the explicit consent of that user. In addition, no unauthorized attempt shall be made to obtain the passwords or access codes of any other user, and no use of another person’s user ID or password is allowed unless specifically approved by a computer system administrator.
  • No attempt will be made by any user to secure unauthorized access to system files or confidential academic or administrative records.
  • No College-owned computer, computer component, projector, printer, or other related items shall be removed from campus for any reason except when issued for mobile or remote use.
  • Any user who causes damage, takes a computer off-campus for repair or other reasons, or incurs charges in other ways without approval from the Computer Center will be responsible for damages and expenses incurred.
  • The intentional destruction of any work-related files or other resources used in the course of your job is strictly prohibited upon your departure or at any other time. All files, programs, and other tools used for work whether licensed software or freeware placed on College-owned computers are the property of West Virginia Wesleyan College and may not be removed or copied.
  • All users must register any peripheral device before connecting it to the network. This includes, but is not limited to: wireless routers, switches, hubs, and network printers.

Beyond the legal and ethical guidelines in this policy, responsible users of the college’s computer systems should recognize the fact that they are members of a larger electronic community. As good citizens of this community, users can take several steps to make utilization of the college’s resources a rewarding experience for themselves and others.

  • The College’s electronic mail system should be used primarily for communicating college-related messages. Employees should not forward chain letter, junk mail, jokes, or other messages that distract or interfere with the work of themselves and others. This also greatly increases your chance of receiving and spreading a virus.
  • Send mail only to the person(s) who should receive it. Sending something to everyone on the address list uses unnecessary server resources and clutters many mailboxes.
  • Report improper use or vandalism of any computer resource.
  • Limit time on shared computers in the library, and defer to non-recreational users.
  • Clean old files and documents off of shared resources such as file servers and electronic mailboxes.
  • Make considerate use of computer resources in public areas. Refrain from accessing programs that produce loud noises or contain graphic material that may offend others.
  • Network printers should be used primarily for academic printing. Please refrain from printing large numbers of copies for personal use.
  • Users will make every attempt to avoid the unintentional spread of computer viruses through awareness of the problem and by consulting the Helpdesk website on a regular basis for recommended virus safeguard procedures.
  • If abuse by a user under these guidelines is discovered, the Computer Center may at its discretion restrict user privileges on the relevant machine.
  • Users and all College units and divisions developing web pages must have the web page design approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications.

If disciplinary action is required for violations of this policy, sanctions may range from loss of computer privileges to expulsion or job termination. Disciplinary actions for students will be addressed by the Vice-President for Student Affairs, for faculty by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and for staff by the Vice-President for Administration. Grievances and appeals may be filed in accordance with the respective guiding policy documents for students, faculty, and staff.