Acceptable Use Policies for Students
The following policy contains the governing philosophy for regulating the use of West Chester University's computing/information network facilities and resources. Access to the University's computing/information network facilities and resources is a privilege granted solely to West Chester University faculty, staff, registered students, and those with special accounts. All users of the computing/information network facilities must act responsibly and maintain the integrity of these resources. The University reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend computing/information network privileges and access to its resources.
Those who do not abide by the policies listed below are subject to suspension of computer privileges and possible referral to the appropriate judicial process.
Student Affairs division should be notified about potential violations of laws and policies governing information use, intellectual property rights, or copyrights. Information Services should be notified about potential loopholes in the security of its computer systems and networks. The user community is expected to cooperate with the computing department in its operation of computer systems and information networks as well as in the investigation of misuse or abuse. Should the security of a computer system or information network be threatened, suspected user files may be examined.
The primary use of computing/information network facilities is for academic activities. Other nonrestricted use such as entertainment is secondary and must yield to academic use and/or University business use. Entertainment and other secondary uses may be restricted when they are interfering with academic use.
The University's computing/information network policies include, but are not limited to, the list below.
An individual shall use only the computer or network ID that was assigned
to him/her, unless multiple access has been authorized for the ID.
Users may use only the password(s) provided to them and shall not try in
any way to obtain a password for another user's computer or network ID.
Attempting to disguise the identity of the account or machine you are
using is prohibited.
Use of the University's network resources to gain or attempt to gain
unauthorized access to remote computers is prohibited.
Any deliberate act which may seriously impact the operation of computers,
terminals, peripherals, or networks is prohibited. Such acts include, but are
not limited to, the following: tampering with components of a local area
network (LAN) or the highspeed backbone network, otherwise blocking
communication lines, or interfering with the operational readiness of a computer.
Attempting to modify in any way a program or diskette which the University
supplies for any type of use at its sites is prohibited.
No person shall knowingly run or install on any of the University's
computer systems, or give to another, a program which could result in the
eventual damage to a file, computer system, or information network, and/or the
reproduction of itself. This is directed towards, but not limited to, the
classes of programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.
No person shall attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover
All persons shall abide by the terms of all software licensing agreements
and copyright laws. In particular, unauthorized copying of copyrighted software is prohibited,
unless the University has a site license specifically allowing the copying of that software.
Furthermore, the copying of site licensed software for distribution to persons other than
West Chester University faculty, staff, and students, or the copying of site-icensed
software for use at locations not covered under the terms of the license agreement, is prohibited.
Deliberate acts which are wasteful of computing/information network
resources or which unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others are prohibited. These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, creating unnecessary multiple jobs or processes, obtaining unnecessary output, or printing or creating unnecessary network traffic. Printing multiple copies of any document including resumes, theses, and dissertations is also prohibited.
The following type of information or software cannot be placed on any
University-owned computer system:
- that which infringes upon the rights of another person.
- that which may injure someone else and/or lead to a lawsuit or criminal charges; examples of these are: pirated software, destructive software, pornographic materials, or libelous statements.
- that which consists of any advertisements for commercial enterprises.
No person shall harass others by sending annoying, threatening, libelous,
sexually, racially, or religiously offensive messages. This includes all materials deemed offensive
by existing University code of conduct laws.
Use of the University's computer/information network resources to monitor
another user's data communications, or to read, copy, change, or delete another user's files or software,
without permission of the owner, is prohibited.
Use of the University's microcomputers, workstations, or information networks must be
related to a West Chester University course, research project, work-related activity, departmental activity,
or for inter-personal communications. Use of these resources for personal or financial gain is
prohibited. If the non-business usage of information services results in a direct cost to the university for any reason, it is the individual's responsibility to reimburse the university.
Any network traffic exiting the University and/or using University resources/ infrastructure is subject to the acceptable use policies of the network through which it flows (Internet, SSHEnet, etc.), as well as to the policies listed here. Such as abusing Internet Services Providers (ISP) services using University network/resources.
Existing University policies such as the Sexual Harassment Policy, the Student Disciplinary
Policy, the Facilities Use Policy, etc., listed in University publications, will be enforced as they relate to a violation of the Computer Use Policy.
Potential violators may also be subject to criminal prosecution under federal or state law,
and should expect the University to pursue such action.
Violation of one or more of these published policies will result in a loss of access to the University computing/information network systems with possible referral to the appropriate judicial process.
Potential violators may also be subject to criminal prosecution under federal or state law, and should expect the University to pursue such action. As an example, under Pennsylvania law, it is a felony punishable by a fine up to $15,000 and imprisonment up to seven years for any person to access, alter or damage any computer system, network, software or database, or any part thereof, with the intent to interrupt the normal functioning of an organization [18 Pa.C.S. §7612]. Disclosing a password to a computer system, network, etc., knowingly and without authorization, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to five years, as is intentional and unauthorized access to a computer, interference with the operation of a computer or network, or alteration of computer software [18 Pa.C.S. §7611(a)(2) and (3)].