Information Technology Policies
The computer and networking resources are the property of Whitman College. Whitman students are entitled to an account to access those resources. The account is for the exclusive use of the person who is assigned the account and password. Lending of an account to another person is not permitted, and is considered to be a violation of college policy and may result in disciplinary action. All students should read the Information Technology Policies. These policies include Whitman’s compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act regulations addressing peer-to-peer file sharing and an Acceptable Use Policy.
The last three sections of the Acceptable Use Policy — involving Conduct, Authorization and Enforcement of Policies — are particularly important to students and are listed below.
Activities that violate the Acceptable Use Policy include, but are not limited to, those in the following list:
- Using a computer account that does not rightfully belong to you.
- Violating copyright laws and their fair use provisions through inappropriate reproduction or distribution of copyrighted files (including movies, music, computer software, text and images).
- Using the Campus Information Technology (IT) infrastructure to gain unauthorized access to other computer systems.
- Unauthorized connecting of equipment to the campus network (this includes personal routers/access points in residence hall rooms).
- Attempting to break into the system by circumventing data protection schemes or uncovering security loopholes. This includes the wrongful use of programs that are designed to identify security loopholes and/or decrypt intentionally secure data.
- Knowingly or negligently performing an act that will interfere with the normal operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks.
- Attempting to damage or to place excessive load on a computer system or network by using programs, such as (but not limited to) computer viruses, Trojan Horses and worms.
- Deliberately wasting or overloading computing or printing resources, or deliberately using excessive bandwidth on the network.
- Violating terms of software licensing agreements.
- Using college resources for non-academic commercial activity such as creating products or services for sale, without express college approval.
- Using electronic mail or other Information Technology resources to abuse, harass, or intimidate members of the college community on any basis including race, ethnic origin, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. Users are reminded that sexually suggestive materials displayed inappropriately in public places, the classroom, or the workplace may constitute sexual harassment.
- Propagating mass mailings with the intent of flooding (“spamming” or “bombing”) the accounts of others.
- Forging the identity of a user or machine in an electronic communication.
- Transmitting or reproducing materials that are slanderous or defamatory, or that otherwise violate existing laws or college regulations.
- Attempting to wrongfully monitor or tamper with another user’s use of the college’s Information Technology infrastructure (such as reading, copying, changing or deleting another user’s files or software) without the knowledge and agreement of the owner.
- Personal use of Whitman College computing resources by staff employees during working hours is an issue that will be determined by the employee’s supervisor.
- Use of college computing and network facilities for non-academic commercial monetary gain requires the approval of the college and may require a written contract that gives full details of any financial obligation and/or charge for use, if any.
- Connecting network devices, such as routers or wireless access points, to the campus system will require authorization from the Chief Information Officer or their designee.
- Setting up a domain on a computer located on the Whitman College network will require authorization from the Chief Information Officer or their designee.
- Authorization decisions may be appealed to the appropriate dean or supervisor.
Enforcement of Policies
Failure to comply with any of the above policies may result in termination of network privileges, college disciplinary action, and/or criminal prosecution. It is understood that users may unwittingly create problems for others by, for example, employing programs that monopolize the network bandwidth.
In such case, the Chief Information Officer (or their designee) will contact the user and explain why and how the user needs to modify their electronic behavior. A policy clarification letter may be written. In cases of repeated problematic behavior, the CIO may recommend to the appropriate dean or supervisor that a formal warning be placed in the user’s college record. If so, the user will be notified of this recommendation and will be allowed the opportunity to provide a response to the recommendation in advance of the dean’s/supervisor’s decision.
The Chief Information Officer (or their designee) may suspend access to computing resources temporarily at any time, if there is clear evidence to suggest that the resource(s) are being used in a manner that seriously compromises the security and/or integrity of the resource(s). In such a case, the owner of the account will be sent notification of this action within twelve hours and assisted in extracting such files as are immediately needed (e.g., for class assignments) and/or establishing a new, secure account, as appropriate.
Upon suspension, a user shall discuss the issue with the Chief Information Officer (or their designee) in order to reestablish an account. The account shall be reestablished within one business day of a satisfactory conclusion to this meeting. If the account is not reestablished to the user’s satisfaction, they may appeal to the appropriate office of the college. The Chief Information Officer (or their designee) may also choose to refer the case for disciplinary action in accordance with established procedures.