Acceptable Use Policy

1.0 Overview

The computing resources at Champlain College support the educational and administrative activities of the College, and the use of these resources is a privilege that is extended to members of the Champlain College community. Users of these services and facilities have access to valuable College resources, to sensitive data, and to internal and external networks. Consequently, it is important that all members of the Champlain College community use these resources in a responsible, ethical and legal manner.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to all users of computing resources owned or managed by Champlain College. Computing resources include all hardware and software owned, licensed or managed by the College (including telephone equipment), and use of the College network via a physical or wireless connection, regardless of the ownership of the computer or device connected to the network.

Specific users bound by this policy include:

  • Champlain College students, including undergraduate, graduate, and online students and alumni
  • Faculty, including full-time, part-time and retired faculty members with Champlain accounts
  • Staff, including full-time, part-time and temporary workers
  • Guests
  • Members of 3rd-party organizations given access to Champlain systems, such as vendors, contractors or consultants

Users will be required to annually certify that they have read, understand and agree to follow this policy.

3.0 Your Rights and Responsibilities

As a member of the Champlain College community, the College provides you with the use of educational and/or work-related tools, including access to certain computer systems, servers, software and databases, to the campus telephone and voicemail systems, and to the Internet. You have a reasonable expectation of unobstructed use of these tools, and of protection from abuse and intrusion by others sharing these resources. You can expect your right to access information and to express your opinion to be protected as it is for paper and other forms of non-electronic communication.

In turn, you are responsible for knowing the regulations and policies of the College that apply to appropriate use of the College's technologies and resources. Current versions of these policies are available on Champlain's website: champlain.edu.

You are also responsible for exercising good judgment in the use of the College's technological and information resources. Just because an action is technically possible does not mean that it is appropriate to perform that action.

4.0 Acceptable Use

  • You may use only the computers, computer accounts and computer files for which you have authorization.
  • You may not use another individual's account or attempt to capture or guess other user's passwords.
  • You may not enable unauthorized users to access Champlain resources by using your credentials.
  • You should make a reasonable effort to protect your passwords and to secure resources against unauthorized use or access. This includes securing your system with a password-protected screensaver or by locking the system when it will be unattended.
  • You must not attempt to access restricted portions of the network, such as those containing confidential or restricted data, an operating system, security software or other administrative applications without appropriate authorization from the Information Systems team.
  • Technology resources in classrooms, labs and other public areas may not be removed or physically altered without permission from the Information Systems team.
  • You must not disable system and security software pre-installed by the College on College-owned computers. This includes, but is not limited to, encryption, anti-virus and license management software.
  • Sending "junk email" or other unsolicited advertising email to individuals who did not specifically request such material is prohibited.
  • Personal Internet use shall be permitted provided it does not interfere with the work of other students, faculty and staff; does not affect job performance; and provided that the personal use is not unlawful and otherwise complies with College policies. Users are discouraged from installing personally owned software or data on College-owned resources. Champlain College is not responsible for the loss of any personal data or software installed on College computers.
  • You must not use Champlain computing and/or network resources in conjunction with the execution of programs, software, processes or automated commands that are intended to disrupt other computer or network users, or to damage or degrade performance, software or hardware components of a system, other than in lab areas specifically designated for this type of activity and authorized by faculty or staff. Devices or accounts found to be doing so may be disabled without warning.
  • Champlain College’s status as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code prohibits it from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office. As such faculty, staff and students may not use Champlain College computing resources, including but not limited to email, web servers or networks, for political campaign fundraising or supporting or opposing a candidate for public office on behalf of the College or in a manner that gives the appearance of being on behalf of the College.
  • Tools that are normally used to assess security or to attack computer systems or networks (e.g., password 'crackers,' vulnerability scanners, network sniffers, etc.) are permitted only in lab areas specifically designed for these purposes and authorized by Champlain faculty or staff, or unless you have been specifically authorized to do so by the Chief Information Officer.
  • You must not use Champlain's computing services and facilities for personal economic gain. The only exception is the "For Sale" email distribution list, which Champlain provides as a benefit to faculty and staff who choose to participate. For Sale is a means to exchange, sell or give away personal items. Examples include such things as household goods, houses for sale or rent, and services wanted or available. Advertisements for commercial products and services are not acceptable.
  • Champlain College reserves the right to perform security self-evaluations, such as self-phishing exercises or penetration tests, as part of a campus security awareness training program. The goal of these exercises will be educate and train users to be attentive to the variety of methods being used to compromise credentials and other sensitive information.
  • You must comply with the policies and guidelines for any specific set of resources to which you have been granted access. When other policies are more restrictive than this policy, the more restrictive policy takes precedence. Here is a list of other Information Security policies:

5.0 Compliance with Federal, State and Local Laws

As a member of the Champlain College community, you are expected to abide by local, state and federal laws, including laws regarding license and copyright, and the protection of intellectual property.

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

This includes software licensed by Champlain College. Such software may not be copied to personally owned devices unless Champlain's software license explicitly authorizes such activity.

It is also prohibited to use Champlain College computing resources to actively engage in procuring or transmitting material that is in violation of sexual harassment or hostile workplace laws.

Champlain College reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities and will fully comply with investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies.

6.0 Privacy and Personal Rights

All users of the College's network and computing resources are expected to respect the privacy and personal rights of others.

  • Do not access or copy another user's email, data, programs or other files without consent.
  • Be professional and respectful when using computing systems to communicate with others. The use of computing resources to libel, slander or harass any other person is not allowed and could lead to disciplinary and/or legal action. While Champlain College does not generally monitor or limit content of information transmitted and stored on the campus network, it reserves the right to access and review such information when necessary or in response to a judicial or governmental request, requirement or order.

7.0 Violations

Any individual found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from enrollment at the College. Individuals are also subject to federal, state and local laws governing many interactions that occur on the Internet. These policies and laws are subject to change as state and federal laws develop and change.

7.1 Specific Penalties for Copyright Infringement

In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages set at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.

Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at: copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's page: copyright.gov/help/faq.

7.2 Policy Subject To Change

This policy is subject to change. You will be notified of any changes to the policy. You agree to abide by the policy as updated from time to time.