Policy on Responsible Use of University Computing Resources

General Statement

As a part of its mission of providing a rigorous education grounded in values, Loyola University New Orleans acquires, develops, and maintains computers, computer systems, and networks. These computing resources are intended for university-related purposes, including direct and indirect support of the university’s instruction, research, and service missions; of university administrative functions; of student and campus life activities; and of the free exchange of ideas among members of the university community and between the university community and the wider local, national, and world communities. The Loyola community, thus, is encouraged to make innovative and creative use of information technologies in support of education and research.

The rights of academic freedom and freedom of expression apply to the use of university computing resources. So, too, however, do the responsibilities and limitations associated with those rights. The use of university computing resources, like the use of any other university-provided resource and like any other university-related activity, is subject to the normal requirements of legal and ethical behavior within the university community. Thus, legitimate use of a computer, computer system, or network does not extend to whatever is technically possible. Although some limitations are built into computer operating systems and networks, those limitations are not the sole restrictions on what is permissible. Users must abide by all applicable restrictions, whether or not they are built into the operating system or network, and whether or not they can be circumvented by technical means.

The university cannot protect individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them. As such, those who make use of electronic communications are warned that they may come across or be recipients of material they find offensive. Those who use e-mail or make information about themselves available on the Internet should be forewarned that the university cannot protect them from invasions of privacy and other possible dangers that could result from the individual’s distribution of personal information.

Applicability

This policy applies to all users of university computing resources, whether affiliated with the university or not, and to all users of those resources, whether on campus or from remote locations. Additional policies may apply to specific computers, computer systems, or networks provided or operated by specific units of the university. Consult the operators or managers of the specific computer, computer system, or network in which you are interested for further information.

Policy

All users of university computing resources must:

  • Comply with all federal, Louisiana and other applicable law; all generally applicable university rules and policies; and all applicable contracts and licenses. Examples of such laws, rules, policies, contracts, and licenses include the laws of libel, privacy, copyright, trademark, obscenity, and child pornography; the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which prohibit "hacking", "cracking", and similar activities; the university’s code of student conduct; the university’s sexual harassment policy; and all applicable software licenses. Users who engage in electronic communications with persons in other states or on other systems or networks should be aware that they may also be subject to the laws of those other states and countries and the rules and policies of those other systems and networks. Users are responsible for ascertaining, understanding, and complying with the laws, rules, policies, contracts, and licenses applicable to their particular uses.
  • Use only those computing resources that they are authorized to use and use them only in the manner and to the extent authorized. Ability to access computing resources does not, by itself, imply authorization to do so. Users are responsible for ascertaining what authorizations are necessary and for obtaining them before proceeding. E-mail and related university accounts, (i.e. AIX/UNIX, TELNET, SIS, CICS) and passwords may not, under any circumstances, be shared with, or used by, persons other than those to whom they have been assigned by the university.
  • Respect the privacy of other users and their accounts, regardless of whether those accounts are securely protected. Again, ability to access other persons’ accounts does not, by itself, imply authorization to do so. Users are responsible for ascertaining what authorizations are necessary and for obtaining them before proceeding.
  • Respect the finite capacity of those resources and limit use so as not to consume an unreasonable amount of those resources or to interfere unreasonably with the activity of other users. Although there is no set bandwidth, disk space, CPU time, or other limit applicable to all uses of university computing resources, the university may require users of those resources to limit or refrain from specific uses in accordance with this principle. The reasonableness of any particular use will be judged in the context of all of the relevant circumstances.
  • Refrain from using those resources for personal commercial purposes or for personal financial or other gain. Such use is prohibited. Personal use of university computing resources for other purposes is permitted when it does not consume a significant amount of those resources, does not interfere with the performance of the user’s job or other university responsibilities, and is otherwise in compliance with this policy. Further limits may be imposed upon personal use in accordance with normal supervisory procedures.
  • Refrain from stating or implying that they speak on behalf of the university and from using university trademarks and logos without authorization to do so. Affiliation with the university does not, by itself, imply authorization to speak on behalf of the university. Authorization to speak on the behalf of the university may be granted by the Office of the President. Authorization to use university trademarks and logos on university computing resources may be granted only by the University Office of Publications. The use of a disclaimer on all communications is recommended, such as; the contents of this communication are the sole responsibility of (name of user) and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of Loyola University New Orleans. Any comments should be sent to (user’s e-mail address).

Enforcement

Users who violate this policy may be denied access to university computing resources and may be subject to other penalties and disciplinary action, both within and outside of the university. Violations will be handled through the university disciplinary procedures applicable to the relevant user. However, the university may temporarily suspend or block access to an account, prior to the initiation or completion of such procedures, when it reasonably appears necessary to do so in order to protect the integrity or security of university or other computing resources or to protect the university from liability. The university may also refer suspected violations of applicable law to appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Security and Privacy

The university employs various measures to protect the security of its computing resources and of their users’ accounts. Users should be aware, however, that the university cannot guarantee such security. Users should therefore engage in "safe computing" practices by establishing appropriate access restrictions for their accounts, guarding their passwords, and changing them regularly.

Users should also be aware that their uses of university computing resources are not completely private. While the university does not routinely monitor individual usage of its computing resources, the normal operation and maintenance of the university’s computing resources require the backup of data and communications, the logging of activity, the monitoring of general usage patterns, and other such activities that are necessary for the rendition of service. The university may also specifically monitor the activity and accounts of individual users of university computing resources, including the contents of individual e-mail accounts, login sessions and communications, only when (a) the user has voluntarily made them accessible to the public, as by posting to Usenet or a web page; (b) it reasonably appears necessary to do so to protect the university from liability; (c) there is reasonable cause to believe that the user has violated, or is violating, this policy; or (d) it is otherwise required by law. Any such individual monitoring must be authorized in advance by the Provost or the Executive Director for Information Technology.