5.22 Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources

5.22.1 Computers and Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use

Policy Overview

Alexandria Technical & Community College is pleased to offer students and staff access to network, computer, and state-of-the-art technologies. Access to campus technologies is to assist users in meeting their individual educational and professional goals and must be used in a considerate, respectful, ethical, and lawful manner. Access is a privilege – not a right! Ultimate responsibility for use that does or does not conform to this policy is with the individual user(s) who originates or perpetuates the use.

Alexandria Technical & Community College reserves the right to review users' electronic data, Internet use, and communications to protect the integrity of campus technologies against inappropriate use that is not related to educational or professional activities and to protect authorized users from the effects of unauthorized or inappropriate use.


This policy applies to all users of all Information Technology (IT) systems, including but not limited to students, faculty, and staff. Alexandria Technical & Community College IT systems include but may not be limited to the computers; terminals; printers; networks; modem banks; online and offline storage media; and related equipment, software, and data files. The policy applies to use both on campus and off site.

User Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security

Alexandria Technical & Community College makes every effort to ensure reasonable privacy and confidentiality for all users. However, users are advised that data stored to or sent from campus computers and networks is not guaranteed to be private. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Visual monitoring of the content of user's computer displays
  • Periodic administrative/system maintenance tasks
  • Random or targeted monitoring of the system to ensure compliance with Alexandria Technical & Community College, state, and federal policies and laws
  • Monitoring use of network and related computer systems to provide services and to protect the rights or property of Alexandria Technical & Community College, its employees, or students
  • Assessing security measures

All reports and issues should be directed to one of the following:

  • Human Rights Officer; Location: Safety and Security
  • Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs; Location: Academic Affairs Office
  • Dean of Technology; Location: Academic Affairs Office

Conditions of Use

Inappropriate use of the college computer technologies includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Harassing, offending, or intimidating others or interfering with their reasonable and normal usage
  • Damaging or degrading the performance of Information Technology systems
  • Violating copyright laws and license agreements
  • Using another user's password or network account
  • Trespassing in another user's account, work, or data
  • Intentionally misusing or disrupting computer facilities or resources
  • Using the network for commercial purposes or non-educational political lobbying
  • Distribution of illegal or copyrighted licenses or digital media

Failure to observe ATCC Network, Computer, and Technology Use Policies can result in disciplinary action according to the Student Handbook. In addition, the college may require restitution for costs incurred as a result of violation of the guidelines. Violation of this or other college computer policies may result in one or more of the following:

  • Disciplinary and legal actions
  • Suspension of computer privileges
  • Expulsion from the college

Computer and Network Hardware, Software, and User Accounts

All Alexandria Technical & Community College computer technologies are property of ATCC and are to be used for college-related activities only. Commercial, political, illegal, and noncollegiate-related activities are prohibited on campus computer facilities.

Computer Systems Approval

All access to computer systems, including the issuing of network login IDs, must be approved by ATCC Technical Support Staff. Users are responsible for maintaining the security of their network account and are required to take every precaution to ensure account security by setting and protecting their account passwords. Campus network security should not be compromised by sharing passwords or allowing the use of personal user accounts by other users. Users must use reasonable precautions, including changing passwords periodically, and file protection measures, such as backing up data. All requests for increased user access require written approval by division department head or instructor to the ATCC Technical Support Staff.

Noncollegiate-related Activities

The ATCC computer equipment and network access are not to be used for commercial or noncollegiate-related activities. Users are expected to limit their personal use of Internet and e-mail to times and places that will not interfere with others' access to technologies needed to complete institutional and academic business.

Tampering with Network and Computer Resources

Users may not deliberately attempt to access unauthorized content or to degrade the performance of any campus computer system by any method including, but not limited to, knowingly distributing or launching computer viruses on any system. Users are obligated to immediately report knowledge of or suspicion of any and all computer security issues to ATCC Technical Support Staff or Student Help Desk.

Modification of Computer Hardware or Software Configuration

Users may not load, download, copy, or otherwise introduce any application software including, but not limited to, games, chat, or messaging software on any ATCC computer facility. Exceptions include software owned by or licensed to the college and written prior approval from the Dean of Technology. Students may load classroom software under the direction and supervision of the instructor. No modifications will be made to college-owned hardware without the authorization of the ATCC Technical Support Staff or the Dean of Technology.

Physical Security

To the extent that facilities allow, users are responsible for the physical security of all Information Technology systems.

Internet Usage

Internet service is intended to be used as a learning and research tool for collegiate activities only. Users are expected to comply with this intent and also with generally accepted conventions and practices of the Internet community as a whole. Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at your own risk. Alexandria Technical & Community College denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through Internet services.

Spirit of the Internet

Users may not participate in any activity that violates the spirit of cooperation that is the basis of the Internet.

Degradation of Computer Performance

Users may not deliberately attempt to degrade the performance of a computer system on the Internet, including the college network.

Illegal Material

The displaying, copying, downloading, posting, or distributing of pornographic or otherwise illegal material on or via any campus computer network service or other device will not be tolerated.

Posting Web Pages

Creation and/or posting of WEB pages by student users will not be permitted unless authorized by and full responsibility taken by program advisor or instructor.

Internet Use

Users will be held personally responsible for the results of their Internet activity on any ATCC computer.

Electronic Communications

Users are expected to use electronic communications (e-mail, etc.) for collegiate activities only. Inappropriate or harassing messages or content will not be tolerated. Users should avoid sending any content they would not want public.

Harassing Messages

Harassing messages include, but are not limited to, any message or image that may harass an individual or group because of their sex, race, religious beliefs, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any other difference or trait.

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Downloading or distributing copyrighted material, including through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, without the permission of the copyright owner is against the law. Illegal downloading or distribution of copyrighted materials can result in the offender being prosecuted in criminal court and/or sued for damages in civil court. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can be as high as five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. If sued in civil court, offenders may be responsible for monetary damages, attorneys' fees and civil penalties up to $150,000 per work distributed. Use of Alexandria Technical & Community College's resources for unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials is forbidden.

Peer-to-Peer file sharing is prohibited on the campus network at Alexandria Technical & Community College. Disciplinary actions are defined in 2.5 Student Code of Conduct, Discipline and Discipline Appeals.

Noncollegiate Communications

Noncollegiate items include, but are not limited to, chain letters, recipes, personal announcements, and messages that could result in personal gain or revenue for the sender.


Mass addressed messages (SPAM), multiple repeats of the same message, and forwards of chain letters are not allowed. Any attempt to disguise the origin of an electronic message is prohibited.

ATCC e-mail Address

ATCC will not provide student e-mail addresses to off-campus parties. It is the responsibility of users to provide their e-mail addresses to parties with whom they want to correspond.

Copyright Laws and Software License Agreements

Users must adhere to all applicable copyright and software license agreements when using ATCC computer technologies. Users who violate copyrights are subject to campus discipline and possible legal action. ATCC will accept no responsibility for a user's illegal practices and will support enforcement efforts by vendors or law enforcement agencies.

Copyright Laws

Materials covered by copyright include, but are not limited to, books, magazines, software, photos, and music in either recorded or digital form. Copyright information provided here is only in part. For complete information, please refer to Title 17, U.S. Copyright Code at http://www.loc.gov.

Transfer of Materials

ATCC computers and other equipment, including CD writers, photocopiers, scanners, etc., may not be used to duplicate, copy, download, store, or transfer material that is covered by copyright without written authorization from the copyright holder.

Duplicating or Copying

ATCC Technical Support Staff may examine any material prior to the material being duplicated or copied in any way using ATCC equipment and may refuse permission to use any ATCC equipment.

Pirated Software

"Pirated" software is any software that is copied or installed without proper license. This includes copies of disks, software acquired from the Internet (excepting Freeware and Shareware), and software installed beyond the number of licenses held. It also includes programming codes copied from a copyrighted program without authorization.

Unlicensed Software

Unlicensed "pirated" software may not be introduced on any ATCC computer, including laptops leased by users. ATCC Technical Support Staff will remove unlicensed software when found and will confiscate unauthorized copies of software titles used on campus.

Title 17, U.S. Copyright Code

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) is protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary works; musical works (including any accompanying words); dramatic works (including any accompanying music); pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural works.

Copyright protection extends to both published and unpublished works and is automatically secured when the work is created. Copyright notice (copying mark or statement on the work) is no longer required under U.S. law; therefore, lack of copyright notice written on works does not mean that the work is not copyright protected. Copyright protection includes words in electronic format.

Copyright protection provides the owner of the copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
  • To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership or by rental, lease, or lending;
  • To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual work;
  • To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
  • The person using campus equipment and materials in a manner that violates copyright is liable for an infringement.

If you have any questions regarding copyright, information is available at http://www.loc.gov.

Alexandria Technical & Community College makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the computer facilities and resources it is providing. Alexandria Technical & Community College will not be responsible for any damages that users suffer. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mis-deliveries, or service interruptions caused by its own negligence or a user's error or omission. The college reserves the right to amend this policy at any time with or without notice. This campus policy is subject to be in compliance with Minnesota State Procedure 3.27, http://www.minnstate.edu/board/policy/327.html.

Approved by: ATCC Leadership Council
Effective Date: 02/09/09
Last Date Revised: 1/02/09