Acceptable Use Policy for Computer Resources

Randolph-Macon College makes computing facilities available to students, faculty, and staff for their use in pursuing the educational and research goals of the College. When a community shares any resource, the community needs to adopt a set of principles that determine what constitutes proper use of that resource. Such principles should assure that the resource is put only to uses that are ethical, legal, responsible in terms of preservation of the resource, and considerate of all members of the community. The following regulations are intended to serve as a basic outline of such a set of principles for Randolph- Macon’s computing facilities.

All students, faculty, staff, and other users of computer resources are required to review and accept the terms contained in the Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy via the college’s online cybersecurity training platform.  Failure to review and accept the policy can lead to suspension of access to college network and IT resources.

Note: Violating these regulations, or the principles upon which they are based, constitutes an offense against the Randolph-Macon community and will be treated as such. Punishment for such violation ranges from removal of computing privileges to action under the college’s Student Conduct Code and the Code of Academic Integrity to prosecution under laws including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (as amended), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, the Computer Virus Eradication Act of 1989, Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, the Virginia Computer Crimes Act, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Technology Regulations

1.   Computer equipment, facilities, and network accounts are owned by the College.

2.   Consideration of and respect for the rights, property (whether intellectual, electronic, or material), and time of others are central to the responsible use of computing facilities.

3.   Inconsiderate or malicious actions such as stealing or using another’s password or data, degrading the performance of the computer system, employing abusive or objectionable language, using more than one machine except where required for class work, and using another person’s account are forbidden. These facilities are for use by all Randolph-Macon students, faculty, and staff.

4.   Usernames and passwords are issued for individual access to computer resources. Members of the community must protect the privacy of their passwords. Sharing usernames and passwords with others to access computer resources is prohibited.

5.   Any action that interferes with another person’s use is prohibited.

6.   Computing resources must be conserved. Do not waste them by sending prank messages, printing or downloading large files, sending SPAM messages, or other frivolous actions. Do not destroy equipment or resources. Do not remove equipment from its designated area. Since network disk space is limited and network and computer lab systems are purged at appropriate times, users should keep their files on their own storage media (OneDrive, DVD, jump drive) unless instructed otherwise or in designated storage folders on network or cloud servers that are to be used for class work only.

7.   Only authorized software may be used on college-owned equipment. The use of personal copies of software on RMC equipment without permission is not allowed.

8.   Use only legal versions of copyrighted software in compliance with vendor licenses. Piracy of computer software is stealing and is punishable by law. It will not be tolerated at Randolph-Macon College. Public Domain software is for use by the college and is not intended to be passed on to users.

9.   Online security and awareness training will be required from time to time for accessing IT Resources; including, but not limited to: wifi, email, learning management systems, and other applications.  Security training assignments must be completed in a timely manner to protect your identity, data, and access to RMC systems and applications.  Access to the network may be suspended if required security training is not completed in a timely manner.  

 Unacceptable use of resources includes:

1. Using another person’s system, User ID, password, files, or data without permission.

2. Using computer programs to decode passwords or other access control information.

3. Sharing one’s username and/or password with another person.

4. Attempts to circumvent or subvert system or network security measures.

5. Purposefully engaging in any activity that might be harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or propagating viruses, disrupting services, damaging files, or making unauthorized access or modification of college data.

6. Using college systems for commercial purposes, such as using electronic mail to circulate advertising for products or services.

7. Downloading, copying or using illegal copies of copyrighted materials in print, audio or video formats; storage of such copies on college systems, or transmitting illegal data (e.g., P2P {peer-to-peer} sharing of any copyrighted materials including music and video) over the college’s networks.

8. Using apps, mail or messaging services to harass or intimidate another person, for example by broadcasting unsolicited messages, by repeatedly sending unwanted mail, or by using someone else’s name or User ID.

9. Wasting computing or network resources (e.g., by intentionally placing a program in an endless loop, by printing excessive amounts of paper, or by sending chain emails  or unsolicited  mass mailings).

10. Using the college’s systems or networks for personal gain (e.g., by selling access to a User ID or to college systems or networks, cryptocurrency mining, or by performing work for profit with college resources in a manner not authorized by the college).

11. Use of personal, wireless access routers, hubs, or switches in offices, buildings and residence halls are prohibited. These units (referred to as rogue access points/network devices) both compromise network security and interfere with the performance of the college wireless access points and network equipment.

12. Personal computers should not be connected to wired connections in offices and academic rooms on campus.

13. For clarity, any of the following actions are strictly prohibited on the RMC Network:

A. Offensive content of any kind

B. Promoting discrimination or antagonism on the basis of race, gender, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.

C. Illegal activities or promoting illegal activities.

D. Commercial messages.

E. Personal financial gain.

F. Sending college-sensitive information by email or over the Internet.

14. Engaging in any other activity that does not comply with the general principles outlined above.

Policy Enforcement

The College considers any violation of acceptable use or guidelines to be a serious offense and reserves the right to copy and examine any files  or information resident on college systems allegedly related to unacceptable use. Violators are subject to college disciplinary action. All current and future policies of the college are applicable and enforceable in regards to network use. These include, but are not limited to, the RMC policy on Non-Discrimination and Harassment, the Code of Academic Integrity, RMC Information Security Program Policy, Security Incident Response Policy, IT Resources Acceptable Use Policy, the Code of Student Conduct and all policies printed in the student handbook (Fishtales), the faculty handbook, and the staff handbook. In addition, copyright and intellectual property laws and all federal and state laws, including those regarding distribution of obscene materials, are applicable