Western Oregon University
Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources
Issuing Department: Office of the President
Latest Revision Date: May 1, 2005
Western Oregon University requires professional behavior and acceptable use of computing resources.
The intent of this document is to promote the responsible use of University
Computing Resources, not to discourage its use.
The university encourages the sharing of information and free expression of ideas.
Information and infrastructure are provided to further this purpose. There is an
obligation on the part of those using these facilities and services to respect the
intellectual and access rights of others--locally, nationally and internationally.
When you are provided access to university computing resources, your use of them
may be explicitly or implicitly limited. For example, if you are given access to
an administrative computing system solely to enter accounting information or prepare
class rosters, it is inappropriate for you to use the system to play an online computer
game. Access to administrative systems should be used solely for the purposes for which
the access was provided.
The use of academic timesharing computers and personal computer labs is less narrowly
defined. The university library, access to academic computing resources is provided in
part so you can learn, explore, and grow as part of your education or employment at the
university. However, activities related to the university's scholarly mission take
precedence over computing pursuits of a more personal or recreational nature. For
example, those completing class assignments or conducting research for a graduate
program or publication have priority over those using computing resources to process
personal email, explore network resources, etc.
The Code of Student Responsibility prohibits, among other things, lewd or indecent
conduct, threat of imminent physical harm, sexual or other harassment, stalking,
forgery, intentional disruption of university services, and damaging or destroying
university property. Similarly, the code's prohibitions against illegal discrimination,
including discriminatory harassment and sexual harassment also apply to electronic
Access to electronic files, network communications, and related data is protected by
various Federal statutes, including the Electronic Communication Privacy Act. Similar to
unauthorized telephone wiretap, unauthorized access to a persons electronic data is
prohibited, and may subject the perpetrator to serious penalties. Examples of specifically
prohibited behaviors include:
unauthorized interception or diversion of network transmissions including deliberate
attempts to degrade system performance or capability
accessing clearly confidential files that may be inadvertently publicly readable
accessing confidential information about a person (such as their educational records)
without their consent or appropriate authorization
Keep in mind that shared systems are inherently insecure. An authorized Computing Services
or computer lab staff member may access accounts and transmissions for troubleshooting and
maintenance--and, if there is reasonable suspicion of misuse, they may access them for
investigative purposes. You should also be aware that security systems whose purpose is to
identify unauthorized users of a system may also monitor authorized users.
In general, material whose privacy must be guaranteed should not be stored on shared
computers. Good quality encryption tools are now widely available, and should be used
whenever you work with sensitive information.
Efforts to interfere with the use or operation of computing or networking resources are
prohibited. These include:
unauthorized use of these resources
distribution of computer viruses, worms, trojan horse programs, email "bombs," chain
actions that result in the denial of service to other users by triggering system
security features, or intentionally mis-configuring equipment to render it unusable
forged or counterfeited email messages
posting USENET News articles to inappropriate newsgroups, posting to moderated
newsgroups without the approval of the moderator, or cross-posting articles to many
newsgroups simultaneously ("spamming")
interference with the use of microcomputers, thin-clients, or other workstations by
the unauthorized display of output on such devices without the assent of the individual
currently using the device
It is the policy of the university not to monitor individual usage of any general facility.
However, the university reserves the right to monitor and record the usage of all facilities
if it has reason to believe that activities are taking place that are contrary to this policy
or OUS, state or federal law or regulation and as necessary to evaluate and maintain system
efficiency. The university has the right to use information gained in this way in disciplinary
or criminal proceedings.
University Computing Services is the appropriate campus agency for the negotiation of contracts
and licenses for computing facilities used on a campus-wide basis, and is the appropriate
repository for those relative contracts and licenses.
Individual units may negotiate for computing facilities of more specific nature but should be
cognizant of state and OUS contract and license requirements. Contracts with external
organizations must be approved and signed by the university Contracts Officer.
Virtually all commercial software is protected by the Federal Copyright Act. Use of university
facilities for the use of or the copying of computer software that does not contain specific
permission to copy (some licenses do allow the making of one copy for backup) is prohibited.
The unauthorized publishing of copyrighted material on a University server is prohibited and
users are responsible for the consequences of such unauthorized use.
Western Oregon University respects copyright laws and insists that its faculty, students, and
staff do likewise. Copying proprietary software, is theft, and will not be tolerated on campus.
Illegally copied software subjects the university to risk of litigation, and denies software
authors the compensation they deserve. Moreover, use of such software could result in your
suspension or dismissal from the university, and either criminal prosecution or a civil suit
for copyright infringement, or both.
The unauthorized copying and distribution of music and movies constitutes copyright infringement
under Section 106 of the U.S. Copyright Act. Violators will be removed from the network for a
period of three months.
All thesis, field studies, professional projects, or any paper developed by a graduate student
must comply with University regulations (574-031-0300) concerning fabrication, facilitating
dishonesty, and plagiarism. Material developed by someone other than the author of a thesis,
field studies, professional projects, or class paper should be clearly credited.
Internet material must be treated as published material and must be fully credited. Purchased
research materials must also be clearly identified as the work of others and not the original
work of the author. In situations where material was developed through study groups or other
formal or informal group interaction, the author is obligated to credit others for the ideas
that were developed as part of a group process.
Similarly, if you make materials available for others to retrieve or use
(via a World Wide Web server, postings to a USENET newsgroup, etc.),
be sure to respect their copyrights. In general, every document, image, or sound is copywritten
upon creation, and may only be used or redistributed with the permission of the copyright holder.
The Code of Student Responsibility and OAR 574-031-0030.
Individuals are personally responsibility for on-line statements.
Violations of computing acceptable-use policies that constitute a breach of the Code of Student
Responsibility, Faculty Handbook, or other appropriate and pertinent OUS and Western Oregon
University rules and regulations will be referred to appropriate authorities. University personnel
may take immediate action as needed to abate ongoing interference with network and system operations
or to ensure system integrity.
A hard copy of this document is always available in the
office of Human Resources.