Electronic Information Resource Usage Policy

Electronic Information Resource Usage Policy


1.1            Use of University electronic information resources is a privilege, not a right.  This policy sets out the responsibilities of students who use the electronic information resources at AUC.  These include the academic and administrative networks, computer systems and labs, online information resources (whether hosted on or off campus), telecommunications systems and all Internet resources accessed through AUC systems – including network bandwidth.

1.2            The electronic information systems at AUC are provided for the purposes of instruction, research, personal development and administration.  This policy informs students of the University’s expectations and their responsibilities.  This policy applies to all users of AUC system resources, including those who access these resources from off campus.

Academic Purpose

2.1            The University seeks to provide an environment in which academic usage of electronic information resources has the first priority and in which there is respect for freedom of inquiry and expression; opposition to censorship; privacy and confidentiality; freedom from sexual harassment and protection of intellectual property.  In particular, the same standards and principles of intellectual and academic freedom already supported by the University in other areas extends to material received through the network.  This extends also to publication: the same standards of intellectual and academic freedom developed for faculty and student publication in traditional media are applicable to publication in electronic media.  These standards are set out in the University’s Intellectual Property Policy.

2.2            In addition, respect for law, for due process and the presumption of innocence are crucial elements of this environment.


3.1            Students are expected to abide by the policies of the University, whose existence makes the use of these electronic information resources available.  Every student is also expected to be considerate of other users, including faculty and staff.  Examples of infringements of these principles may include, but are not limited to the following.

3.1.1         Using the AUC electronic information resources for unauthorized, illegal or criminal purposes.  For clarification, visiting pornographic websites or other urls that are inappropriate with the educational objectives of the University or which pose a risk to the school’s systems are not an authorized use of the electronic resources.

3.1.2        Unauthorized reproduction of copyright material is prohibited and constitutes infringement that carries the risk of civil and criminal liability to both the University and the student, as set out in Title 17 United States Code Chapter 5: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html.

3.1.3         Students who engage in plagiarism will be subject to academic dismissal.

3.1.4         Unauthorized use of the electronic information resources for commercial enterprises.

3.1.5         Substantially and willfully interfering with another person’s authorized use.

3.1.6         Compromising or attempting to compromise privacy or confidentiality.  In particular, attempts to read another person’s electronic mail or other protected files will be treated as a serious violation of these policies.

3.1.7         Modifying or attempting to modify system assets or facilities without authorization, including software or hardware installation.  This includes the use of the AUC system as a staging ground to crack other systems.

3.1.8        Obstructing other users work or access by consuming gratuitously large amounts of system resource (e.g., network bandwidth or printers).  This includes, but is not limited to, downloading large files for non-academic purposes, peer-to-peer networking, game playing or other monopolizing of the electronic information resources for entertainment or personal use.

3.1.9         Accessing accounts and passwords without authorization or allowing unauthorized persons to access the user’s authorized account.

3.2            Individuals using AUC electronic information resources or systems will be held responsible for their own actions and will be subject to applicable laws and AUC policies.

Privacy and Security

4.1            AUC network and system administrators are expected to treat the contents of user’s electronic files as private and confidential.  However, normal operation and maintenance of the systems requires backup and caching of data and communications, the logging of activity and the monitoring of general usage patterns.  In particular, students should be aware that any AUC electronic information resources that they are given access to, including computers located in the computer labs, are not intended as a private resource.  Therefore any personal use of these resources should be undertaken with that understanding.

4.2            In all matters relating to privacy and security of individual accounts and communications, along with requests for release of information, AUC electronic information resource / computer system users are required to abide by applicable laws and University policies.  These generally regard electronic records as private and confidential.  However, they allow for examination or disclosure of those records in response to a proper subpoena or court order from external attorneys, police, and/or administrative agencies and in response to on-campus investigations following established University review procedures.

Due Process; Complaints and Sanctions

5.1            Violations of the policy stated here are treated like any other AUC policy violation and are governed by the same procedures.  Notification of possible violations may be made to the campus Information Technology Services (“ITS”) Help Desk at telephone extension 259 or to abuse@aucmed.edu.

5.2            In particular, the person against whom the complaint is made will be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.  Nonetheless, though status should not be altered pending action on charges, system administrators are authorized to immediately take actions such as locking accounts when the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff or property is at risk.  As soon as practical, the ITS Director will be contacted to either authorize or suspend an investigation.  The means of investigating may include, but not be limited to, monitoring traffic and files, including the contents thereof.  The subject will be notified of the investigation, and of his or her rights, including the right to due process, as soon as practical.

5.3            Sanctions for violating this policy can include all regular sanctions (admonition, warning, reprimand, suspension, dismissal, etc.).  In addition it can include loss of electronic information resource / computer systems access.

Open Access

6.1            The University is committed to allowing access to all electronic information resources to all members of its community, free of restrictions such as age or residency status.

Evolving Policy

7.1            The University’s ITS policies are designed to reflect current conditions.  As information technology continues to develop and conditions change, we will review our policies accordingly.

7.2            All students will be held accountable for complying with policies notified to them from time to time.