Columbia College Ethics Code for Computer Users
Computer facilities operated by Columbia College are available for the use of students, faculty and staff. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use these facilities for research and instruction. Use of resources for academic and administrative objectives takes precedence over personal use. In order to make it possible for everyone to have access to computing resources on campus, it is necessary to establish fair-use guidelines. Use of Columbia College computer facilities is a privilege and all users are expected to adhere to the following ethical guidelines when using Columbia College computing resources.
- Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner and terms of publication and distribution.
- Because electronic information is so volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of author integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secrets and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community. 1
1 Columbia College endorses this statement and intellectual rights developed by EDUCOM, a non-profit consortium of colleges and universities committed to the use and management of information technology in higher education.
Ethical and Responsible Use of Computers
- The College provides computing equipment and facilities to students, staff and faculty for purposes of work (business), instruction and research. It is a violation of College policy to use College computers for commercial purposes.
- When working in College computing labs users will be aware of and follow rules posted for fair use.
- Use of College computing resources for academic objectives takes precedence over use of those facilities for personal reasons.
- Computer communications systems and networks promote the free exchange of ideas and information, thus enhancing teaching and research, as well as enabling employees to work more efficiently and productively. Computer users must not use electronic communications systems of any kind to send material that is obscene, illegal, discriminatory, or intended to defame or harass others, or to interfere with their work on the computer.
- Students, faculty and staff who use the computers have the right to security of their computer programs and data. Computer users must not access files or information that belong to other users or to the operating system, without permission. Employees, students and anyone associated with Columbia College should note that electronic communication (media) and services provided by Columbia College are the property of same and their purpose is to facilitate business, teaching and research.
- United States copyright and patent laws protect the interests of authors, inventors and software developers and their products. Software license agreements serve to increase compliance with copyright and patent laws and to help insure publishers, authors and developers of a return on their investments. It is against federal law and College policy to violate the copyrights or patents of computer software. It is against College policy and may be a violation of state or federal law to violate software license agreements. Students, faculty or staff may not use programs obtained from commercial sources or other computer installations unless written authority has been obtained or the programs are within the public domain.
- Security systems exist to ensure that only authorized users have access to computer resources. All passwords are confidential and should not be given out for others to use. The College prohibits the use of another person’s password or identity to access confidential information and files. Computer users must not attempt to modify system facilities or attempt to crash the system, nor should they attempt to subvert the restrictions associated with their computer accounts, the networks of which the College is a member, or microcomputer software protections.
- Abusers of computing privileges will be subject to disciplinary action. Violators will be subject to Columbia College’s disciplinary procedures as detailed in the catalog, up to and including termination or expulsion. The computer systems administrator reserves the right to examine user computer files and messages to resolve complaints and/or grievances to ensure reliable system operation.
- Abuse of the networks, or of computers at other campuses connected to the networks, or of personnel who assist in the labs, will be treated as abuse of computing privileges at Columbia College.
- Computer users shall cooperate in any investigation of violation of responsible use.
- Damage to or destruction of any Columbia College computer or computer equipment will subject the offender to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion and financial repayment to the College.
The following are examples of ethical or responsible use of computers:
- Using electronic mail to correspond with colleagues at other colleges or universities.
- Sharing files of programs or data with team members working together on a research project.
- Copying software placed in public domain.
- Using computing equipment for grant supported research with approval from the Vice President for Columbia College Global.
- Reporting nonfunctional computing equipment to lab assistants or technical services repair staff, or Residential Life staff for residence hall equipment.
The following are examples of unethical or irresponsible uses of computing resources:
- Using computer facilities for work done on behalf of a commercial firm.
- Sending or showing electronic files, such as mail messages or images, containing material offensive to others who may see the file.
- Copying a file from another computer user’s account without permission.
- Copying copyrighted computer software for use on another computer.
- Unplugging or reconfiguring computer equipment to make it unusable or difficult to use.
- Installing software on College computers without the permission of Technology Services.
- Downloading materials from the Internet and submitting them for credit as one’s own work.
- Downloading or displaying obscene images or messages.
Acceptable Use Policy
All users of College computing resources must adhere to the following:
- Ensure the security and confidentiality of all College data and information.
- College technology resources shall not be used for commercial purposes unless authorized by the college.
- It is prohibited to use college computing system/network resources to store, access or send material that is obscene, illegal, discriminating, or intended to defame or harass others, or to interfere with their work on the computer. “Computing system/network resources” include but are not limited to all computers, networks, voice, video, e-mail and other applications.
- It is prohibited to share CC login credentials with others. All users are responsible for activities carried out with the use of these credentials.
- Comply with all College policies.
- Comply with all federal, state, and other applicable laws including copyright regulations.
- Intentional unauthorized use is prohibited, including any modification or disruption to computing resources and systems.
Use of any Columbia College computing resource constitutes full acceptance of the terms and conditions of College policies, including the Investigation and/or Monitoring of Employee Electronic Communications or Files policy. Violations of the terms and conditions of this policy could result in revocation of system privileges and may result in further disciplinary actions up to and including immediate student dismissal and employee termination from the College.
Columbia College reserves the right to change this policy without notice.
Student Email (use of Email for Official Correspondence with Students)
- College use of email
Email is a mechanism for official communication within Columbia College. The College has the right to expect that such communications will be received and read in a timely fashion. Official email communications are intended to meet only the academic and administrative needs of the campus community. As steward of this process, the Executive Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs is responsible for directing the use of the official student e-mail system.
- Assignment of student email
Official College email accounts are available for all enrolled students. The addresses are all of the form [Name]@cougars.ccis.edu. These accounts must be activated before the College can correspond with its students using the official email system. Official email addresses will be maintained in the Colleague Student Information System and will be considered directory information unless students request otherwise.
- Redirecting of email
If a student wishes to have email redirected from their official @cougars.ccis.edu address to another email address (e.g., @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, etc.), they may do so, but at their own risk. The College will not be responsible for the handling of email by outside vendors or by departmental servers. Having email redirected does not absolve a student from the responsibilities associated with official communications sent to his or her @cougars.ccis.edu account.
- Expectations about student use of email
Students are expected to check their email on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with College-related communications. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical. “I didn’t check my email”, error in forwarding mail, or email returned to the College with “Mailbox Full” or “User Unknown” are not acceptable reasons for missing official College communications via email.
- Authentication for confidential information
It is a violation of Columbia College policies, including the Student Code of Conduct, for any user of official email addresses to impersonate a College office, faculty/staff member, or student, or to use the College email to violate the Student Code of Conduct.
Users should exercise extreme caution in using email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters, and should not assume that email is private and confidential. It is especially important that users are careful to send messages only to the intended recipient(s). Particular care should be taken when using the “reply” command during email correspondence.
- Educational uses of email
Faculty will determine how electronic forms of communication (e.g., email) will be used in their classes and will specify their requirements in the course syllabus. This “Official Student Email Policy” will ensure that all students will be able to comply with email-based course requirements specified by faculty. Faculty can therefore make the assumption that students’ official @cougars.ccis.edu accounts are being accessed and faculty can use email for classes accordingly.
- Email Account Activation
Students will receive an email account at the time they register for classes. Individuals will sign an acceptance form which will include the College’s Code of Conduct. Returning students will not have to reactivate their account as long as they have not missed three consecutive terms. Upon graduation, a student may elect to have his/her email account moved to the Alumni e-mail account, or deactivated.
- Deactivation of account
Non-attendance for three consecutive terms will constitute reason for revoking the account and the deletion of data pertaining to it. Hardship cases will be handled by the Office for Academic Affairs on a case-by-case basis.
Columbia College Global Student Email
Assignment of email address - Individuals will be issued an official Columbia College student email address (also known as CougarMail) when they apply to the College. This email account will become a lifetime account upon enrollment and subsequent attendance.
Student responsibilities - Official correspondence from faculty and staff will be communicated through the Columbia College email address. Students are responsible for the information received and are required to monitor their email account on a regular basis. Since students are required to monitor their email account, and for the student’s convenience, Columbia College email addresses may be forwarded to another email account as desired. If a student opts to forward his/her account to another email address, he/she assumes responsibility for the reliability of this address and will be held responsible for the information sent over CougarMail, even if there is a problem with the alternate email service.
Users are expected to have read the Columbia College Computer Use Policy prior to use of the email system. Use of the email system constitutes full acceptance of the terms and conditions of the policy and consent to monitoring. The consequences for not complying with the conditions of the policy could result in disciplinary action including revocation of system privileges.
Student rights - Students may use their account for personal email in accordance with the Columbia College Computer Use Policy.
Security - Cougar Mail provides a secure sign-on and secure transfer of email within the Cougar Mail system. However, students should be aware that Columbia College cannot be responsible for the security of information forwarded to other accounts.
Columbia College Global Alumni Email
Alumni eligibility - All alumni who have received degrees from the College are eligible to receive a lifetime email account (also known as CougarMail).
Alumni responsibilities - Official College correspondence may be communicated through the Columbia College email address. Columbia College e-mail addresses may be forwarded to another email account as desired.
Users are expected to have read the Columbia College Computer Use Policy prior to use of the email system. Use of the email system constitutes full acceptance of the terms and conditions of the policy and consent to monitoring. The consequences for not complying with the conditions of the policy could result in revocation of system privileges.
Alumni rights - Alumni may use their account for personal email in accordance with the Columbia College Computer Use Policy.
Security - Cougar Mail provides a secure sign-on and secure transfer of email within the Cougar Mail system. However, alumni should be aware that Columbia College cannot be responsible for the security of information forwarded to other accounts.