Technology Guide : Appropriate Use of Technology

Hampton University Appropriate Use of Technology Policy

Hampton University provides and maintains technologies to advance teaching, learning, research, and administrative activities in support of the University's mission.  The University views access to all of its technology resources as a privilege that is granted to members of the University community so long as it is used responsibly.  Hampton University reserves the right to monitor and investigate violations or suspected violations of policy and security.

Students utilizing technology resources shall be held to the standards of conduct set forth elsewhere in the Student Handbook.  The faculty and staff shall be held to the standards of conduct set forth elsewhere in the Faculty and Staff Handbooks, respectively.  All University rules, particularly those pertaining to the Code of Conduct and the consequences of acts of dishonesty, harassment, plagiarism, piracy and illegal or inappropriate use of software are applicable to the use of computers, cell phones, personal data assistants (PDAs), and other technologies.

Users can have a reasonable expectation of privacy, except those times when system administrators find cause to investigate network activity for purposes related to operations and compliance with University policy and federal and state laws.  The vice president of student affairs will process violations of University policy by students.   The director of human resources and the provost will process violation of University policy by faculty and/or staff. Infringements made known to the assistant provost for technology by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Business Software Alliance, MGM and NBC Universal Properties and the like will be processed by the assistant provost for technology with written notification to the vice president of student affairs or director of human resources and/or provost where applicable.

Users found in violation of this policy may direct appeals to the vice president for student affairs, the director of human resources and/or the provost within three business days.  A written response will be provided within ten business days.

The following is intended to ensure that all members of the University computing community can be afforded privacy in his/her work; that no one will be unwillingly subjected to abusive behavior of others using the system; that the resources available to the community are not consumed by only a few individuals; and that electronic vandalism does not destroy computer resources.  It should be understood clearly that the following points are illustrative and not all-inclusive.

  1. Only authorized persons defined as students, faculty, staff and members of Hampton University sanctioned programs, may use Hampton University's computing facilities and equipment (computers, printers, networks, software, etc.) for legitimate purposes relating to teaching, coursework, research, and administration at Hampton University.
  2. Members of an academic community are entitled to privacy of their work.  It is a violation of University policy for an individual faculty, staff or student to share their own login information with others to use, to obtain a password that belongs to someone else, or to access another user's files or e-mail account on the network.  These violations are forms of theft and will not be tolerated.
  3. Any faculty, staff or student may not access any file that is not their own unless that file has been made publicly accessible.  This access prohibits the reading, writing, and editing of directories and passwords belonging to others.  This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, files left on a computer hard drive or any removable storage device, i.e., zip disks, thumb drive, CD-ROM/DVD. Posting a message under someone else's name is prohibited.
  4. Taking advantage of another person who inadvertently leaves a computer without logging off is no different than entering an unlocked room and stealing, reading a personal letter, or destroying property.
  5. Using any technology resource to annoy or harass or defame is prohibited.  This applies to the use of phone mail, electronic mail, conferencing, news group bulletin boards and message facilities.  This includes but is not limited to flooding individuals or news groups with large volumes of electronic mail designed to disrupt and/or annoy.
  6. The Virginia Code, Section 18.2-372 & 374 sets forth the definition of obscene material. The code also states that the distribution, production or sale of obscene items is illegal, and punishable by law. Federal law also criminalizes the transportation of such materials in interstate commerce. Hampton University must comply with these laws and will enforce them among all students, faculty, staff and visitors.

    Using the Hampton University network to view pornographic materials is a violation of University policy. It is also a violation of University policy to attempt to circumvent network security systems. Furthermore, the use of Hampton University computers and network services to create or post pornographic and/or obscene material on a Hampton University computer or server or onto any online community such as Face Book, My Space or Black Planet, is a violation of University policy. It is also against University policy to utilize any university technological resource to create, post or maintain any derogatory information pertaining to another individual. Violators will be subject to the disciplinary action of expulsion and/or termination.

  7. Knowingly engaging in any activity that might damage the operating systems or the data stored on any computer, removing or modifying the system files, or disrupting services is a violation of University Policy.
  8. Knowingly distributing a virus or any attack on the network resources or any individual computer is a violation of University Policy.
  9. Disseminating chain letters, sending unauthorized mass emails for personal gain and other "spreading schemes" is an inappropriate use of the network.  Users participating in such activities may have their e-mail privileges restricted or revoked and may also be subject to disciplinary action of expulsion and/or termination.
  10. The Virginia Code 18.2-152.5, states, a person is guilty of the crime of computer invasion when he uses a computer network and intentionally examines without authority any employment, salary, credit or any other financial or personal information relating to any other person.  "Examination" under this section requires that offenders to review the information relating to any other person after the time at which the offender knows or should know that he is without authority to view the information displayed.

    Hampton University must comply with these laws and will enforce them among all students, faculty, staff and visitors.
  11. Attempting to circumvent the action of system software written to implement protection mechanisms is prohibited. Protection mechanisms include but are not limited to the establishment of accounts, passwords, disk quotas, and time and space limitations.  Any attempt to get around the protection mechanisms established by the University is a violation of the disciplinary code.  If you find that some action on your part has placed you in violation of the mechanisms, you must report the incident to the Assistant Provost for Technology and/or the Dean of Men or Dean of Women.
  12. Unauthorized copying and/or downloading of music, software or other media constitute a violation of copyright laws.  Such behavior is a violation of University Policy and the United States laws. Activity not authorized by copyright owners, their agents, or the law is prohibited and may be punishable by law.  All unauthorized media must be removed from any computer on the university's network.
  13. The University's systems or networks cannot be used for personal gain; for example, selling access to your user id or to university systems or networks, or by performing work for profit with university resources in a manner not authorized by the university.