User Responsibilities

Cooperative Use.  Collegiality demands the practice of cooperative computing. In addition to following the intent of other policy statements on student conduct and employee conduct, it entails:

  • Regular deletion of unneeded files from one′s accounts on shared computing resources.
  • Refraining from overuse of connect time, and network services such as information storage space, printing facilities, processing capacity and bandwidth.
  • Refraining from use of sounds and visuals, which might be disruptive or offensive to others.
  • Refraining from use of any computing resource in an irresponsible manner.
  • Refraining from unauthorized use of departmental or individual computing resources.

Violations. Violation of any portion of the Computer Usage Policies will result in suspension of one’s privileges for use of Rhodes computers and information technology services until the appropriate dean or vice president approves reauthorization of access to equipment and services, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed under other College rules, such as the Honor Code or Social Regulations. Users must not conceal or help to conceal or “cover up” violations by any party. Users are expected to report any evidence of actual or suspected violation of these policies to the Chief Information Officer.

Rhodes College is authorized to investigate alleged or apparent violations of college policy or applicable law using whatever means appropriate. Rhodes reserves the right to monitor use of Rhodes computers and to access, inspect and/or download any and all information stored on Rhodes′ computers in the course of such investigation. Information Services is authorized by the college to investigate policy violations and apply reduction or elimination of access privileges while the matter is under review and/or as a penalty for violations. These sanctions may apply to computing accounts, networks, college-administered computing rooms, and other services or facilities. A college user accused of a violation will be notified of the charge and will have an opportunity to respond to the college disciplinary body appropriate to the violator’s status, before a final determination of any penalty.

Unauthorized Access. Users must not access or attempt to access data or services on a college system they are not authorized to access. Users must not defeat or attempt to defeat any college system’s security, for example, by ‘cracking’ or guessing user identifications or passwords. Additionally, users must not permit or assist any unauthorized person to access college systems. Unauthorized use includes giving a valid username and password to any unauthorized individual, business, or agency outside of the Rhodes community. Unauthorized use also includes giving an authorized user access to a service or equipment for which the user is not authorized by giving a valid username and password. Users are responsible for the security of their college system accounts and passwords. Accounts and passwords are not to be shared. Users are presumed to be responsible for any activity carried out under their college system accounts. Users must not conceal their identity when using college systems, except when anonymous access is explicitly provided. Users must not masquerade as or impersonate others.

Unauthorized Services. Users must not run unauthorized servers, including but not limited to DNS, DHCP, email, file sharing, print, video or audio streaming, web, peer-to-peer, or other application services. Such services disrupt and in some cases disable central services. Authorization to run a service may be obtained upon approval from the Chief Information Officer.

Denial or Disruption of Service. Users must not deny or disrupt or attempt to deny or disrupt service to other users by means of excessive consumption of resources, distribution of computer “worms” or viruses, excessive computing load or deliberately causing the failure of any system resource, including email, bandwidth, or web services. Knowing or reckless distribution of unwanted mail or other messages is prohibited. Uses of computer resources that may cause excessive network traffic are prohibited. Equipment causing service disruptions will be removed from the network immediately, the user notified of the removal, and then arrangements made for repairing the equipment to avoid further disruption upon reconnection to the network.

Data Networks. Users publish information in electronic forms on Rhodes equipment and/or over Rhodes′s networks. Rhodes has no intention or opportunity to screen such private material and thus cannot assure its accuracy or assume any responsibility for this material. Users must observe all applicable policies and laws when using such networks. Users must not download or post material that is illegal, such as child pornography or proprietary, such as copyrighted music, software, video, text or other intellectual property. Discovery of such material will result in its immediate removal and possible legal action.

Modification of Data or Equipment. Without specific authorization, users of college systems must not cause, permit, or attempt any destruction or modification of data or computing or communications equipment, including but not limited to alteration of data, reconfiguration of control switches or parameters, or changes in firmware. Users must not make or attempt to make any deliberate, unauthorized changes to data on a college system. Users must not intercept or attempt to intercept data communications not intended for that user’s access, for example, by ‘promiscuous’ bus monitoring, network “sniffing,” port scanning, wiretapping, or using an unprotected system that has been logged on. Without specific authorization by the Chief Information Officer, users must not remove any College-owned or -administered equipment or documents from a college system. This rule protects data, computing and communications equipment owned by Rhodes College, or any other person or entity authorized as part of the Rhodes computing community.

Threats and Harassment. Users may not post information that is slanderous or defamatory in nature or display graphically disturbing or sexually harassing images or text on electronic bulletin boards or web pages, and on college owned computers. Likewise, users may not use a college system to threaten or harass any person. A user must cease sending messages using a service provided by Information Services or interfering in any way with another user’s normal use of college systems if the aggrieved user makes a reasonable request for such cessation to the appropriate dean or vice president. Additional action, if necessary, shall follow the procedure outlined in the college’s policy on harassment.

Unfortunately computer abuse, harassment, malicious behavior, and unauthorized account access do happen. If you are a victim of a threat or other harassment, please consult the policy and procedures for harassment in the Handbook. Additionally, please keep copies of the harassing email messages, dates, and times of unauthorized access, etc., for investigative purposes. If you need Information Services to make a copy of the transaction for you, please contact the Help Desk.

Privacy of Personal Records. The College observes the requirements of the following regulations:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
  • Gramm-Leach-Blilely Act of 1999 (GLBA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Every individual who, in the course of performing their duties, has access to personal data is charged with maintaining the highest standards of conduct with regard to those data. Accordingly, the College requires everyone with access to these data to take whatever actions are warranted to protect the privacy of individuals covered by these regulations and abstain from any activity that might compromise that privacy. Violations of these principles will be handled in a manner consistent with the procedures outlined above in “User Responsibilities” and elsewhere in the Handbook.