The computing facilities at Southwestern Community College are provided for the use of Southwestern students, faculty and staff in support of the programs of the college. All students, faculty and staff are responsible for seeing that these computing facilities are used in an effective, efficient, ethical and lawful manner.

The following policies relate to their use:

  • Southwestern is the owner of the technology including but not limited to accounts, hardware, software, programs and files, and the decision-maker regarding acceptable use of the computer facilities and accounts. Southwestern reserves the right to monitor this technology at any time.
  • Equipment and facilities are to be used for college-related activities only. All access to computer systems, including the issuing of passwords, must be approved through the Information Technology (I.T.) Department.
  • Computer equipment and accounts are to be used only for the purpose for which they are assigned and are not to be used for commercial purposes or non-college related business.
  • An account assigned to an individual by the I.T. Department must not be used by others without explicit permission from the instructor or administrator requesting the account or by the I.T. Department assigning the account. The individual is responsible for the proper use and protection of the account, including proper password protection.
  • I.T. Department personnel may access others' files when necessary for the maintenance or monitoring of the computer systems. When performing maintenance, every effort is made to ensure the privacy of a user's files. However, if violations are discovered, they will be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities.
  • Electronic communications facilities (such as e-mail) are for college-related activities only. It is a violation of this policy for individuals to engage in:
    • any activity which is deliberately and maliciously harassing, threatening and discriminatory on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, or age, or that which is offensive, libelous, or slanderous;
    • any activity that is disruptive to other network users;
    • any form of harassment over the internet, commonly referred to as cyber bullying. Cyber bullying includes, but is not limited to the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, or threatening another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful e-mail messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings, including blogs.
    • any such fraudulent, harassing or obscene messages and/or other materials are not to be sent or stored.
    • using the network to conduct business or solicit services, and/or develop, introduce, or circulate inflammatory comments or subjects.
  • Unauthorized alteration of system configuration. This includes, but is not limited to, interrupting programs that protect data or secure systems, or attempting to do so. Downloading and/or installing software, or attempting to do so.
  • Loopholes in computer security systems or knowledge of a special password must not be used to damage computer systems, obtain extra resources, take resources from another user, gain access to systems or use systems for which proper authorization has not been given.
  • Peer-to-peer file sharing of software or files protected by copyright is prohibited. Copyright protected files are not to be copied from, into, or by using campus computing facilities, except as permitted by law or authorized by the owner of the copyright.
  • Computers using licensed software must ensure that the number of simultaneous users in a department does not exceed the number of original copies purchased by that department.
  • Individuals are allowed to connect personal computers and notebooks on campus in the appropriate locations. Anyone connected to the network with a personal computer or notebook must still obey all rules of the college. Computers in the classroom are only allowed with permission of the instructor. Anyone breaking these rules will have their computer or notebook confiscated until matters are resolved.
  • The use of VPN technology with personal equipment, users understand that their machines are an extension of SWCC’s network, and are subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to SWCC-owned equipment. Please reference HR 25.
  • All data that originates from SWCC is the property of SWCC no matter what device that it is located on. The proper handling of that data must go along with all of SWCC’s policies.
  • An individual's computer use privileges may be suspended immediately upon the discovery of a possible violation of these policies. Such suspected violations will be confidentially reported to the appropriate faculty, supervisor, I.T. staff, and budget authority.
  • Violations of the policies will be dealt with in the same manner as violations of other college policies and may result in disciplinary action. The full range of disciplinary sanctions is available including the loss of computer use privileges, dismissal from the College, and legal action.
  • Each lab has its own set of policies and procedures. It is the user’s responsibility to abide by the policies and procedures of these labs.
  • Employees will follow the guidelines for appropriate conduct when using social media and networking sites. (Refer to human resources procedure HR 33, Social Media Etiquette)