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Acceptable Technology Use

Computer, Internet, Email, And Other Electronic Communications Acceptable Use Policy

PCCUA provides access to computer equipment, programs, databases, and the Internet for informational and educational purposes.  All users of the college’s computer resources are expected to use these resources correctly and only for legal purposes.

It is the responsibility of supervisors, instructors, computer lab supervisors, library staff, and any others who use Electronic Communications to ensure that users are aware of this policy. 

Scope

This policy governs the use of all electronic communications (excluding telephones), and includes:

  • Publishing and browsing on the Internet
  • Electronic Mail (Email)
  • Electronic bulletin boards (BlackboardCE)
  • Electronic discussion groups (BlackboardCE)
  • File transfer
  • Streaming media
  • Instant messaging
  • Chat facilities

All of the above items will be referred to collectively as “electronic communications” in this document.


General Principles

Use of computing and network resources should always be legal and ethical, reflect academic honesty, and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources.  It should demonstrate respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, the right to personal privacy, and to the right of individuals to freedom from intimidation and harassment.  All federal and state laws, as well as general college regulations and policies, are applicable to the use of computing resources.  These include, but are not limited to, the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and state and federal computer fraud statutes.  Illegal reproduction of software and other intellectual property protected by U.S. copyright laws and by licensing agreements may result in civil and criminal sanctions. 


Proper Use

Computer activities approved by a supervisor, instructor, library staff, or lab supervisor for educational purposes, such as use of:

  • Internet for research
  • Library database for research
  • Internet for informational purposes
  • Email as directed by instructors
  • State-supplied software

Improper Use

This policy exists to ensure that electronic communications are properly used. Improper use of electronic communications includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Breach of copyright
  • Offensive material including pornography
  • Illegal activity, including gaining or attempting to gain unauthorized access (or “hacking”) to any computing, information, or communications devices or resources
  • Error, fraud, defamation
  • Viruses and spyware
  • Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the college or other users
  • Privacy violations
  • Service interruptions
  • Use of electronic communications in such a way as to impede the computing activities of others (such as initiating Email, chat, instant messaging)
  • Download of software from the Internet or installation of a program(s) by a student from transportable media such as, CD, floppy disks, or jump (flash) drives.
  • Unauthorized use of another user’s ID and password
  • Any and all other matters which the college, in its sole discretion, subject to PCCUA Policy limitations, and in consideration of the best interests of the public, determines to be an unacceptable purpose.

Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with this Policy may:

  • constitute a criminal offense
  • be classified as inappropriate behavior
  • pose a threat to the security of the college network
  • pose a threat to the privacy of staff and instructors
  • may expose the users of the system or other persons to legal liability
  • will be regarded as a serious matter and appropriate action will be taken when a breach of the Policy is identified

Consequences to Breaches of this Policy

Consequences to breaches of the Acceptable Use Policy will generally be categorized using the following guidelines. Any matters not addressed below will be dealt with on an individual basis and on the relevant facts.


Potentially Harmful Activities

  • A first violation, if not unlawful, will result in a warning.
  • A second violation will result in being banned from computer use for a designated period of time (deemed reasonable by supervisor, instructor, library staff, lab supervisor, or other authorized personnel).
  • A third violation may result in the student losing computer lab privileges.

Illegal Activities Any offense that violates local, state, or federal laws may result in the immediate loss of all college computing and network privileges and may be referred to the office of Vice Chancellor for Student Services for Helena-West Helena or Campus Vice Chancellors for DeWitt and Stuttgart and/or law enforcement agencies. 

PCCUA shall not be liable for any damages, including actual, special, punitive, consequential, exemplary, statutory, or other damages, attorney fees or costs, charges, fines or any monetary compensation, to any user, for any claim, lawsuit, action or other proceeding arising from, relating to, or in connection with the use of its World Wide Web connection or other Internet services.