Appendix IV - Guidelines for Responsible Computer Use

Midlands Technical College provides all students with access to computers, college network resources, Internet and email services. Computers are available for student use in various locations on the MTC campuses including the Academic Success Centers, Online Services Centers, and MTC Libraries. Students should check with these centers for operating hours and other pertinent information.

Use of MTC computing resources is a privilege granted to all MTC students; however, the college reserves the right to amend or suspend these privileges at any time.

College Email Accounts

Midlands Technical College provides email accounts to all MTC students. The college sends vital information to students through these accounts, and students are responsible for checking their college email accounts on a regular basis. All MTC email accounts are owned by the college; however, each account user is given exclusive access to their account.

The college reserves the right to discontinue any email accounts at any time for reasons of discontinued enrollment, abuse of computing privileges or for other reasons deemed appropriate by college management. College email accounts are subject to account size limitations, and all users are responsible for ensuring their accounts do not exceed these limitations.

The college reserves the right to monitor all activities on all computers owned by the college; this includes emails sent and received on college-owned computers. In the event of email system malfunctions, select college staff are authorized to look at the contents of email accounts to resolve these malfunctions. The college respects the privacy of all students, and monitors the use of college computing resources to ensure that all system users are afforded fair and equal privileges.

Midlands Technical College cannot guarantee that electronic communications will be private; therefore students must be aware that electronic communications can, depending on the technology, be forwarded, intercepted, printed, and stored by others. Students must accordingly be careful about the topics covered in electronic communications, and should not send a message containing sensitive/personal information, inappropriate material or derogatory discussion.

Computer Security

The college’s computer resources are provided to support the education of students and perform the administrative functions of the college, and all hardware, software, equipment and electronic information located on the college-owned computer systems are the property of Midlands Technical College.

The use of college computing resources to produce data, programs, reports and other information for personal gain is prohibited. The systems manager will monitor all activity and the contents of directories to ensure appropriate use.

Students who perform unauthorized access to computer files or otherwise abuse computing resources and privileges will be subject to discipline under college guidelines and will be subject, as well, to appropriate civil and criminal action.

User IDs and Passwords

Students must be responsible for all activity performed with their personal user IDs. They must not permit others to perform any activity with their user IDs, and they must not perform any activity with IDs belonging to other users. Regardless of the circumstances, individual passwords must never be shared or revealed to anyone other than the authorized student user. Students should choose passwords that are difficult to guess and do not use derivatives of user IDs, common character sequences, details of their personal history or a common name or phrase.

Downloading or Sharing Copyrighted Music and Other Materials

Midlands Technical College prohibits all users of its computer systems and networks from illegally downloading or sharing music, movies, software, and other copyrighted material. These activities can violate both copyright and criminal law, and are punishable by financial penalties and possible imprisonment.

Illegal downloading and distributing of copyrighted materials can take place over P2P (Peer to Peer) file sharing networks, email, and other file sharing means. Using any of these means to obtain copyrighted materials without paying for those materials is illegal, and individuals who do so can be held legally responsible for those activities.

Unauthorized Activities

Other activities that are prohibited on college computing resources include, but are not limited to, the following: abusing college computing equipment, sending chain mail, letting others use your college email account, using accounts that belong to someone else, playing games unless they have been specifically allowed, and using computing resources to threaten or harass anyone.

College Disciplinary Actions for Violating Guidelines for Responsible Computer Use

The college’s Student Code, found in Appendix I, includes the expectation that students understand and abide by these Guidelines for Responsible Computer Use. Any student alleged to violate these guidelines will be subject to full disciplinary action, up to and including the loss of computing privileges, suspension and/or expulsion.

When a student is alleged to be abusing computing resources, all of his or her computing privileges will be suspended immediately to protect the computing resources and to ensure reliable service to the rest of the community. An incident report will be completed and submitted to the Director of Student Affairs within five days after the alleged violation.

Due process of the law will be afforded in dealing with infractions of the college’s Student Code. Consequently, any disciplinary sanction imposed on a student will follow the provision of MTC’s Student Code.

Computing privileges remain suspended during this process.

Students should refer to Appendix I for details concerning the college’s disciplinary and sanction procedures under the MTC Student Code.

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