Mars Hill University Computer Code of Conduct

This document is designed to state the acceptable use of computer systems, networks, and other information technology resources at Mars Hill University (hereafter 'The University'.)

The University community is encouraged to make use of information technologies in support of educational and administrative purposes. The University supports access to information with numerous views for the interest, information, and enlightenment of students, faculty, and staff.

Consistent with this document, the University supports the use of information technology resources in a manner that recognizes both the rights and the obligations of academic freedom.

The University recognizes the importance of copyright and other protections afforded to the creators of intellectual property. Users are responsible for making use of software and other information technology resources in accordance with copyright and licensing restrictions. Using information technology resources in a manner violating these protections, or furthering the unauthorized use or sale of protected intellectual property, is prohibited.

The University cannot protect individuals against the receipt of potentially offensive material. Those who use electronic communications occasionally may receive material that they might find offensive. Those who make personal information available about themselves through the Internet or other electronic media may expose themselves to potential invasions of privacy.

Information technology resources are provided to support the University's scholarly, educational, and administrative activities. Information technology resources are limited, and should be used wisely and with consideration for the rights and needs of others.

Users are expected to use computer and network resources in a responsible manner. Users should take appropriate precautions to ensure the security of their passwords and prevent others from obtaining access to their computer resources.

Users may not encroach on others' use of computer resources. Such actions include, but are not limited to, tying up computer resources with trivial applications or excessive game playing, sending frivolous or excessive messages, including chain letters, junk mail, and other similar types of broadcast messages, or using excessive amounts of storage.

The following behaviors are prohibited while using University information technology resources, including computers and networks owned or operated by the University, or to which the University is connected:

  • Modifying system or network facilities, or attempting to crash systems or networks;
  • Using personal software on University computers;
  • Using network resources which inhibit or interfere with the use of the network by other.
  • Using, duplicating or transmitting copyrighted material without first obtaining the owner's permission, in any way that may reasonably be expected to constitute an infringement, or that exceeds the scope of a license, or violates other contracts;
  • Tampering with software protections or restrictions placed on computer applications or files;
  • Using University information technology resources for personal for-profit purposes;
  • Sending messages that are malicious or that a reasonable person would find to be harassing;
  • Sending personal messages from the University network that are threatening in nature;
  • Subverting restrictions associated with computer accounts;
  • Using information technology resources to obtain unauthorized access to records, data, and other forms of information owned, used, possessed by, or pertaining to the University or individuals;
  • Accessing another person's computer account without permission. Users may not supply false or misleading data, or improperly obtain another's password in order to gain access to computers or network systems, data or information. Obtaining access to an account name or password through the negligence or naiveté of another is considered to be a specifically prohibited use;
  • Intentionally introducing computer viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, or other rogue programs into information technology resources that belong to, are licensed to, or are leased by the University or others;
  • Physically damaging information technology resources;
  • Using, or encouraging others to use, information technology resources in any manner that would violate this or other University policies or any applicable state or federal law; and
  • Falsely reporting or accusing another of conduct that violates these rules without a good faith basis for such an accusation.

Users should remember that information distributed through the University's information technology resources might be considered a form of publication. Although the University does not take responsibility for material issued by individuals, users must recognize that third parties may perceive anything generated at Mars Hill University as in some manner having been produced under the University auspices. Accordingly, users are reminded to exercise appropriate language, behavior, and style in their use of information technology resources.

The University encourages all members of its community to use electronic resources in a manner that is respectful of others. While respecting users' privacy to the fullest extent possible, the University reserves the right to examine any computer files. The University reserves this right for bona fide purposes, including, but not limited to:

  • Enforcing polices against harassment and threats to the safety of individuals;
  • Protecting against the use of illegal software;
  • Protecting against or limiting damage to University information technology resources;
  • Complying with a court order, subpoena or other legally enforceable discovery request;
  • Investigating and preventing the posting of proprietary software or electronic copies of texts, data, media or images in disregard of copyright, licenses, or other contractual or legal obligations or in violation of law;
  • Safeguarding the integrity of computers, networks, software and data;
  • Preserving information and data;
  • Upgrading or maintaining information technology resources;
  • protecting the University or its employees and representatives against liability or other potentially adverse consequences.

The University may restrict the use of its computers and network systems when presented with evidence of violation of University policies, or federal or state laws, or when it is necessary to do so to protect the University against potential legal liability. The University reserves the right to limit access to its information technology resources, and to remove or limit access to material stored on University information technology resources.

All users are expected to conduct themselves consistent with these responsibilities. Abuse of computing privileges may subject the user to disciplinary action as established by applicable University policies.

The University and users must recognize that federal and state laws pertaining to civil rights, harassment, copyright, security, and other statutes governing use of electronic media bind all members of the University community. These rules do not preclude enforcement under such laws.

Allegations of conduct that is believed to violate the Mars Hill University Computer Code of Conduct should be reported in writing to the Network Administrator and the Director of Information Technology. To ensure the fairness of any proceedings that may follow a reported violation, the individual filing the report should not discuss or provide copies of the allegations to others.

Nothing in the section shall be interpreted to prohibit an individual from pursuing such other administrative or legal rights as he or she may have.

Violators may have their network privileges revoked and/or face other disciplinary action.