Computer Use Policy

Adopted by CTAB: 20 February 2003
Policy 9.1
Reference 3/27/03 - 8585

Adirondack Community College
Computer Use Policy

I. Introduction

Access to modern information technology is essential to the mission of providing the students, faculty, and staff of Adirondack Community College (SUNY Adirondack) with educational services of the highest quality. The pursuit and achievement of the SUNY Adirondack mission of education and community service require that the privilege of the
use of computing systems and software, internal and external data networks, as well as access to the World Wide Web, be made available to all those of the SUNY Adirondack community. The preservation of that privilege for the full community requires that each faculty member, staff member, student, and other authorized user comply with institutional and external standards for appropriate use.

To assist and ensure such compliance, SUNY Adirondack establishes the following computer use policy.

II. Authorized Use
SUNY Adirondack computer facilities are a resource for members of the campus community, to be utilized for work consistent with the instructional and administrative goals of the College. As a condition for use of the computing facilities, all users must adhere to the regulations below.

A. Authorized Activities
SUNY Adirondack computer facilities shall be utilized solely for work consistent with the instructional and administrative goals of the College, as defined in the SUNY Adirondack Mission statement.

B. User Privacy
Users shall respect the privacy of others. Users shall not intentionally view information of other users, modify or obtain copies of other users' files, or modify other users' passwords without their permission. SUNY Adirondack computers and networks are designed to protect user privacy; users shall not attempt to circumvent these

C. System Integrity and Denial of Service
Users shall respect the system integrity of campus computing facilities. For example, users shall not intentionally develop or use programs that infiltrate a computing system, or damage or alter the software components of a computing or network system.

D. Resource Accounting
Users shall not develop or use procedures to alter or avoid the accounting and monitoring of the use of computing facilities. For example, users may not utilize facilities anonymously or by means of an alias, and may not send messages, mail, or print files that do not show the correct username of the user performing
the operation.

E. Resource Usage
Users shall use the computing facilities in a responsible and efficient manner. Users shall not alter the lab microcomputers in any way. They are expected to refrain from deliberately wasteful practices such as printing unnecessary listings, performing endless unnecessary computations, or unnecessarily using public
terminals for long periods of time when others are waiting for the same resources.

Users shall not develop or use procedures that obstruct authorized use by others. Users shall not interfere with microcomputer setups that are intended to keep microcomputer software current and legal. Users shall not install personal software on college computers. Users shall not use applications that use an unusually
high portion of the network bandwidth. Users shall avoid wasting computing resources by game playing; by sending chain letters locally or over the network; by printing unnecessary copies of documents, files, images, or data. Campus printing must pertain to academic work or personal intellectual growth.

F. Copyrights and Licenses
Users shall not violate the legal protection provided by copyrights and licenses held by SUNY Adirondack. Users shall not make copies of any licensed or copyrighted computer program found on any SUNY Adirondack computer or storage device without the written authorization of Campus Technology (CT). US Federal copyright law grants
authors certain exclusive rights of reproduction, adaptation, distribution, performance, display, attribution, and integrity to their creations. Works of literature, photographs, music, software, film, and video works can all be copyrighted. Examples of probable violations of copyright laws include, but are not limited to: making unauthorized copies of any copyrighted material (such as commercial software, text, graphic images, audio, and video recordings); distributing copyrighted materials over computer networks or through other means; resale of data or programs, or the use of them for non-educational purposes or for financial gain; public disclosure of information about programs (e.g., source code) without the owner's authorization.

G. Campus Network
Users shall not utilize the campus network to provide Internet access to any outside source, be it commercial or private.

Actions that are detrimental or inappropriate when accessing the College and Internet resources include but are not limited to the following:

Network naming conventions: All student users must use the username assigned by the College (e.g., "abcd1234") for the computer name that will be displayed on the network. The description field must be left blank.

Shared connections: A network connection supplied by the College is solely for the use of the individual subscriber assigned to that connection. Connections may not be shared among multiple users. Network subscribers cannot use any mechanism (either hardware or software) to provide network connectivity to
non-subscribers. Users are personally responsible for all use of their computers and network connections and will be held accountable for any violations that occur involving their computer or network connections.

Network infrastructure: All adds, moves, and changes of network infrastructure electronics including but not limited to products such as repeaters, hubs, concentrators, bridges, routers, and switches must be coordinated and installed by college personnel. This includes all cabling patched into the devices that
provide connectivity.

Assigned IP address: Alterations of any kind to the assigned IP address or related settings, including using an unauthorized IP address is prohibited.

File Sharing: Users are responsible for the security of the system. All student shared files must be password protected. If you mis-configure the file sharing, others may be able to affect and alter your computer. You are responsible for the content of files that you distribute. Current laws may permit you to be sued for libel, invasion of privacy, or software piracy. SUNY Adirondack is not responsible for any loss of data that may occur if you choose to activate file sharing.

Copyright: Distribution of copyrighted materials such as computer software and music is normally prohibited, except where a portion of copyrighted material may be part of the public domain or under the “fair use” exception. Providing copyrighted materials, including copyrighted music in mp3 format, is a violation of
Federal Copyright Laws (U.S.C. Title 17).

Monetary gain: Network access for monetary gain or for business activities of groups or organizations is prohibited. Re-sale of access or services is prohibited.

Domain registration: The registration of commercial host names to a Network IP address is prohibited.

Servers: Establishing a server or providing a service that over-utilizes the shared bandwidth is prohibited. FTP, Web servers, e-mail servers, and Napster are examples of server programs.

Port Scanning: Scanning for computers on any network using port scanners or network probing software including packet sniffers is prohibited.

The college networks are monitored and violators of SUNY Adirondack policy will be denied service and referred to the proper authority, as noted in section V of this policy.

H. Electronic Mail Policy
The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of SUNY Adirondack’s e-mail system by its students, faculty, and staff. Electronic Mail is a tool provided by the College to complement traditional methods of communications and to improve education and administrative efficiency. Use of the College's e-mail system evidences the
user's agreement to be bound by this policy. Violations of the policy may result in restriction of access to SUNY Adirondack’s e-mail system and/or other action.

Adirondack Community College owns all e-mail accounts run on its system.

While incidental non-business personal use of e-mail is acceptable, conducting business for profit using College resources is forbidden. While the College will make every attempt to keep e-mail messages secure, privacy is not guaranteed and users should have no general expectation of privacy in e-mail messages sent through the institutional system. Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary for the CT staff or other appropriate campus officials to access e-mail files to maintain the system, to investigate security or abuse incidents or violations of this or other Institutional policies. Such access will be on an as needed basis and any e-mail accessed will only be disclosed to those individuals with a need to know or as required by law. Individuals are responsible for saving e-mail messages as they deem appropriate. Due to limited resources, the SUNY Adirondack Campus Technology department has the right to restrict the amount of user space on the e-mail
server as necessary and to purge and remove e-mail accounts of students who have not registered for a semester, as well as for other individuals no longer affiliated with the College.

When using e-mail as an official means of communication, students, faculty, and staff should apply the same professionalism, discretion, and standards that they would use in written business communication. Furthermore, students, faculty, and staff should not communicate anything via e-mail that they would not be
prepared to say publicly. Students, faculty, and staff may not improperly disclose college information in e-mail that they are privileged to access because of their position at the College. CT maintains the College's official e-mail system. Any inappropriate e-mail, examples of which are described below and elsewhere in this policy, is prohibited.


  • The creation and exchange of messages that are harassing or threatening.
  • The unauthorized exchange of proprietary information or any other privileged, confidential or sensitive information.
  • The creation and exchange of advertisements, solicitations, or chain letters.
  • The creation and exchange of information in violation of any laws, including copyright laws, or institutional policies.
  • The knowing transmission of a message containing a computer virus.
  • The misrepresentation of the identity of the sender of an e-mail.
  • The use or attempt to use the accounts of others without their permission.

Newsgroups that are provided as a service to faculty, staff, and students are for posting college-related information. These will be monitored by those responsible for their content; any posted material deemed inappropriate may be removed without prior notification.

I. Recreational Use
Recreational use of computing facilities, including computer games and social network communication, is allowed only when no other instructional, research, or administrative function requires the resources being used. Anyone using a computer for recreational purposes is required to relinquish the computer immediately
to someone needing it for academic or administrative purposes.

J. Academic Dishonesty
Practicing any form of dishonesty through use of computing facilities (for example cheating, plagiarism, or fraud) is prohibited.

K. Harassment
Using computers or networks to harass, abuse or intimidate another person is prohibited. Users shall not develop or use programs that harass other users. Users shall be sensitive to the public nature of shared facilities and take care not to display on screens in such locations images, sounds, or messages that could
create an atmosphere of discomfort or harassment for others.

L. Child Pornography
Federal Child Pornography Law makes it illegal to create, possess, or distribute graphic depiction of minors engaged in sexual activity, including computer graphics. Computers storing such information can be seized as evidence.

M. Pornography
All users should be sensitive to the display of pornography in publicly visible forums.

N. Personal Web Pages
Users may create their own homepages. Faculty and students will have FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access to a personal directory on the college server where they can maintain their own homepage files. Under no circumstances should personal space and/or files be shared with other users. In designing a personal
homepage, keep in mind that homepages may not be used for personal profit or to violate copyright. The College reserves the right to monitor all work on the server and remove any personal homepage or files it determines have violated any of the policies.

O. The College Website & Use of the Web Servers
The SUNY Adirondack website, which begins at the home page is a volume of documents on several servers created by diverse authors which, as linked, represents the College as an official publication. All departmental or student group web pages that are part of the official college website are screened,
monitored, coordinated, supervised, and controlled by the college webmaster, who retains the right to edit the pages.

All official college web pages must be designed to meet SUNY Adirondack’s standards of technology or content. In addition, all official college web pages must meet standards and guidelines established by SUNY, New York State, and the federal government.

All authorized users of the web servers (for official or personal pages) will be restricted to 10 megabytes of hard drive space per website, and all space is to be dedicated to web page use only. The College may allow authorized individuals more than 10 megabytes of space if a legitimate need is described to the webmaster. No personal file storage or other file activity is permitted on the web servers.

When notified that they are exceeding the 10-megabyte limit, authorized users must delete a necessary amount of material in a period specified by the webmaster or risk deletion of all files.

Unless granted special permission, web server and website user responsibilities and access policies are the same as those under Section III of this document. See sections on privacy, copyright, personal software, harassment, libel, slander, accounts, sharing of access, permitting unauthorized access, termination of access, circumventing security, breaching security, abuse of resources, private commercial purposes, political advertising or campaigning.

Hate speech, and non-college sponsored e-commerce are prohibited on all personal and official college web pages.

Any official or personal web pages that employ technological features beyond HTML and CSS must be submitted for review and approval to the college webmaster.

Web pages using applications such as ASP, Java, JavaScript, or client-side VBScript must be submitted for review and approval by the college webmaster.

Worldwide write access is prohibited on any personal or official page.

When a violation of these policies occurs, SUNY Adirondack reserves the right to remove any content in any file or folder on the web server without advance notice or consultation, and to revoke server permissions to any authorized user.

Incidences of violations found by the webmaster will be reported to the Director of Campus Technology.

All college-based groups (including student groups) who select external web developers will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining quality control procedures and meeting the standards of technology and content set by the college webmaster or any overriding authority such as SUNY or New York State.

External developers, with no current, formal, or direct affiliation with the College, will not be authorized to possess individual accounts on the college’s web servers. All departments or student groups who choose to have an external developer work on their web pages must contact the Director of Campus Technology prior to commencing work.

All web pages, images, or files that are located on the college web servers must be maintained and updated to reflect current and accurate content. In no instances should the web servers be utilized for storage or archiving purposes. Files that are no longer active or current must be removed from the college web servers periodically, upon the request of the college webmaster, or risk removal as deemed appropriate by the webmaster. The webmaster will periodically remind the campus community to purge its web server directories of all inappropriate or out-of-date files.

Web publishers are responsible for the content of the pages they publish on the college web server and are expected to abide by the standards set forth herein.

Content must be relevant to the College. Web authors and publishers are required to comply with all SUNY Adirondack college policies, as well as all local, state, and federal laws concerning appropriate use of computers and the Internet. Departmental web pages must conform to the design standards set forth by the College. See Checklist for Developing and Publishing New Web Pages located at:

The purpose of college web pages is to provide information to students and colleagues and must contain the following as a minimum:

All TITLE tags located within HTML files must use the following format to foster consistency, clear page identification, and increase rankings in search engines:

TITLE FORMAT: Page Title – Departmental Name, Adirondack Community College Example: <TITLE>Electronic Journals, Scoville Library, Adirondack Community College</TITLE>

All official web pages must include the college name “Adirondack Community College.” Rationale: This will help identify the location if the user has entered the website without going through the home page.

All official pages must include a link back to the SUNY Adirondack home page (

In no instances should file names include spaces. Hyphens (-), underscores (_), alpha and numbers 0-9 are permissible.

Correct Examples: FileName.html, File-Name.html, File_Name.html
Incorrect Example: File Name.html

All official web pages must meet the minimum web accessibility requirements as set forth under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and mandated by the New York State Office for Technology Policy 99-3. This policy requires that all New York State agencies' websites provide universal accessibility to persons with disabilities.

All official pages must include the following Meta tags for searching and identification purposes. If assistance is required, use the following code example and replace all underlined information with keywords and a description that are specific to your web page.


<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Include important keywords from your web page here (i.e., SUNY, public, higher education, Adirondack, community colleges, Timberwolves, music, liberal arts, Warren County)">

<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Include a brief description of your web page here (i.e., Adirondack Community College is a comprehensive community college in the Northern U.S., known for its quality transfer and career oriented program )">


The College will host websites for non-college, non-profit organizations as long as their function is relevant to the overall college mission, and as long as there is an active member of the SUNY Adirondack campus community (faculty or staff holding a current appointment) who will serve as the sponsor for that website. Sponsors will be issued a special group account that may be used by the web developer, and sponsors will be responsible for maintaining and monitoring the organization's web pages. All new websites or web pages must be submitted by the sponsor for review and approval to the college webmaster prior to uploading to the college servers. Sponsors must also notify the college webmaster any time the content on any of the pages has
been modified. These non-campus, hosted websites must comply with all the policies that are required of official college web pages. The college webmaster reserves the right to edit content and revoke server permissions to any authorized user who does not abide by the policies set forth by SUNY Adirondack.

III. Authorization

Campus Technology authorizes the use of SUNY Adirondack computer facilities by members of the campus community (faculty, staff, students, and other affiliated individuals or organizations authorized by SUNY Adirondack). All who use SUNY Adirondack computer facilities have the responsibility to do so in the manner outlined in this policy.

A. User Accounts

Use of SUNY Adirondack’s computer systems requires that a user account be issued by the College, granting access to a particular system. Every computer user account issued by SUNY Adirondack is the responsibility of the person in whose name it is issued. College recognized clubs and student organizations may be issued a user account. Faculty advisors shall designate a particular person(s) authorized to act on behalf of the club or organization. This person(s) is responsible for all activity on the account and will be subject to College disciplinary procedures for misuse. The following will be considered theft of services, and subject to penalties described in Section 3, below.

  1. Acquiring a username in another person's name.
  2. Using a username without the explicit permission of the owner and of Campus Technology.
  3. Allowing one's username to be used by another person without explicit permission of Campus Technology.

B. Termination of Access to SUNY Adirondack Computing Facilities

  1. Intentional violation of policies contained in this document will result in immediate termination of access.
  2. Access will also be terminated for:
    • Student access upon complete withdrawal from college courses.
    • Student access at the end of each semester.
    • Faculty/staff access upon termination of employment. Requests to extend access may be made to the Director of Campus Technology.
  3. Emeritus faculty and staff retain eligibility for use of SUNY Adirondack computing facilities.

C. Restricted Access Systems

Access to selected administrative computers and programs is restricted on a "need-to-know" basis conforming to State University of New York policy guidelines. Unauthorized access or attempted access to these machines or data will constitute theft of services and will be subject to the penalties described in Section V, below. Authorization for use of these systems is granted solely by Campus Technology.

D. Password Security

It is mandatory that user accounts be kept secure by keeping passwords secret, and changing the passwords often. Users must set a password which will protect their account from unauthorized use, and which will not be guessed easily. Avoid selecting easily guessable passwords, for example nicknames, birth
dates, and phone numbers. Users must report to Campus Technology any use of a user account without the explicit permissions of the owner and of Campus Technology.

E. Computer Labs

Use of SUNY Adirondack computer labs does not generally require that a user account be issued. The authorization to utilize College computer labs is granted to members of the campus community on condition that they adhere to the regulations specified in Authorized Use.

IV. Limitations on Users' Rights

The issuance of a password or other means of access is to assure appropriate confidentiality of SUNY Adirondack files and information and does not guarantee privacy for personal or improper use of college equipment or facilities. SUNY Adirondack provides reasonable security against intrusion and damage to files stored on the central facilities. SUNY Adirondack also provides some facilities for archiving and retrieving files specified by users, and for recovering files after accidental loss of data. However, the College is not responsible for unauthorized access by other users or for loss due to power failure, fire, floods, etc. SUNY Adirondack makes no warranties with respect to Internet services. Users should be aware that SUNY Adirondack computer systems and networks may be subject to unauthorized access or tampering. In addition, computer records, including e-mail, are considered "records" which may be accessible to the public under the provisions of the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

V. Unauthorized Use

Violation of the regulations above is unethical and may constitute a criminal offense. Offenses will be dealt with according to any or all of the following: applicable Federal laws, Chapters 156 and 165.15 of the New York State Penal Law; the SUNY Adirondack Student Code of Conduct; other laws, regulations, and policies of the campus, the State University of New York, the State of New York and the United States of America. Offenses may result in the suspension or permanent closing of usernames, campus disciplinary action, legal action, and/or other action. When Campus Technology becomes aware of a possible violation, it will initiate an investigation in conjunction with the campus Security Administrator and/or relevant campus offices including the Offices of Student, Academic Affairs and/or Human Resources. In order to prevent further unauthorized activity during the course of such an investigation, Campus Technology may suspend authorization for use of all computing facilities for the user(s) involved in the violation.

Appendix A: Definitions

  1. Computing Facilities include all minicomputers, servers, microcomputers, networks, and computer peripherals owned or operated by SUNY Adirondack.
  2. Users are individuals who make use of SUNY Adirondack computing facilities. Most users are students, faculty, and staff members of SUNY Adirondack. Some users are non-campus personnel authorized by the campus to make useof computing facilities, including volunteers for local non-profit agencies, scholars visiting from other SUNY institutions, and the like.
  3. A username is a unique code assigned to each large system user by the SUNY Adirondack Campus Technology department. When used with a password chosen by the user or assigned by Campus Technology, the username allows access to the large system computing facilities of the College.
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