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Acceptable Use Policy


This policy defines the boundaries of acceptable use of Spring Arbor University (SAU) computing and communication resources, including computers, networks, electronic mail services, electronic information sources, voice mail, telephone services, and other communication resources. In addition, this policy reflects the goal of SAU to foster academic excellence within the context of the SAU Concept while respecting the principles of freedom of speech and the privacy rights of SAU students, faculty, employees, and guests.

 SAU.s computing and communication resources are the property of SAU. They are to be used for the advancement of SAU.s educational, research, service, community outreach, administrative, and business purposes. Computing and communication resources are provided for the use of faculty, staff, currently admitted or enrolled students, and other properly authorized users. When a user.s affiliation with SAU ends, SAU will terminate access to computing and communications resources and accounts. SAU may, at its discretion, permit the user to have the access to accounts and e-mail forwarded or redirected for a limited period of time.

 Users of SAU.s computing and communications resources are required to comply with this policy, other applicable SAU and Board of Trustee policies and state and federal laws. When necessary, enforcement will be consistent with other applicable Board of Trustee policies and SAU administrative policies and procedures.

Requirements and Prohibited Uses

Requirements for the Use of SAU Computing and Communications Resources

  1.    Users must comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations, and with SAU and Board of Trustee policies.

  2.    Users must be truthful and accurate in personal and computer identification.

  3.    Users must respect the rights and privacy of others, including personal property rights.

  4.    Users must not compromise the integrity of electronic networks, must avoid restricted areas, and must refrain from activities that may damage the network, transmitted or stored data.

  5.    Users must maintain the security of their personal account and are advised to protect and regularly change their account passwords. Individuals responsible for system administration are required to regularly change passwords to protect information and maintain security.

Prohibited Uses of SAU Computing and Communications Resources

  1.    Unlawful communications such as threats of violence, obscenity, and harassing communications, are prohibited.

  2.    Use of SAU computer resources for private business or commercial activities, fund-raising or advertising on behalf of non-SAU organizations is prohibited.

  3.    The unauthorized reselling of SAU computer resources is prohibited.

  4.    Unauthorized use of university trademarks or logos and other protected trademarks and logos is prohibited.

   5.    University may include links to commercial Web sites to provide information related to the mission or function of the University or department. Any link that generates, or has the potential to generate, revenue to the college or department must be approved through the Office of Business Affairs.

   6.    Any alteration of addresses, uniform resource locator (URL), or other action that masks the or domains as a host site is prohibited.

   7.    Unauthorized anonymous and pseudonymous communications are prohibited. All users are required to cooperate with appropriate SAU personnel or other authorized personnel when investigating the source of anonymous messages.

   8.    Misrepresenting or forging the identity of the sender or the source of an electronic communication is prohibited.

   9.    Unauthorized acquisition attempts to acquire, and use of passwords of others are prohibited.

 10.  Unauthorized use and attempts to use the computer accounts of others are prohibited.

 11.  Altering the content of a message originating from another person or computer with intent to deceive is prohibited.

 12.  Unauthorized modification of or deletion of another person.s files, account, or news group postings is prohibited.

13.  Use of SAU computer resources or electronic information without authorization or beyond one.s level of authorization is prohibited.

14.  Interception or attempted interception of communications by parties not authorized or intended to receive them is prohibited.

15.  Making SAU computing resources available to individuals not affiliated with SAU without approval of an authorized SAU representative at or above the level of dean or director is prohibited.

16.  Intentionally or recklessly compromising the privacy or security of electronic information is prohibited.

17.  Infringing upon the copyright, trademark, patent, or other intellectual property rights of others in computer programs or electronic information (including plagiarism and unauthorized use or reproduction) is prohibited. The unauthorized storing, copying or use of audio files, images, graphics, computer software, data sets, bibliographic records and other protected property is prohibited except as permitted by law.

18.  Interference with or disruption of the computer or network accounts, services, or equipment of others is prohibited. The intentional propagation of computer .worms. and .viruses,. the sending of electronic chain mail, denial of service attacks, and inappropriate .broadcasting. of messages to large numbers of individuals or hosts are prohibited.

19.  Failure to comply with requests from appropriate SAU officials to discontinue activities that threaten the operation or integrity of computers, systems or networks, or otherwise violate this policy is prohibited.

20.  Revealing passwords or otherwise permitting the use by others (by intent or negligence) of personal accounts for computer and network access without authorization is prohibited.

21.  Altering or attempting to alter files or systems without authorization is prohibited.

22.  Unauthorized scanning of networks for security vulnerabilities is prohibited.

23.  Attempting to alter any SAU computing or networking components (including, but not limited to, bridges, routers, and hubs) without approval or beyond one.s level of authorization is prohibited.

24.  Wiring, including attempts to create network connections, or any extension or retransmission of any computer or network services unless approved by an authorized Technology Services Network Administrator is prohibited.

25.  Negligent or intentional conduct leading to disruption of electronic networks or information systems is prohibited.

26.  Negligent or intentional conduct leading to the damage of SAU electronic information, computing/networking equipment, and resources is prohibited.

Information Posted to SAU Computers or Web Pages

Restriction on Use of SAU Web Pages

 SAU Web pages may be used only for SAU business and only authorized individuals may modify or post materials to these pages. No other pages may suggest that they are University Web pages. If confusion is possible, pages should contain a disclaimer and links to SAU sites.

  Responsibilities of Individuals Posting Materials

 By posting materials and using SAU computing facilities, the user represents that he or she has created the materials or that he or she has the right to post or use the materials. The storage, posting, or transmission of materials must not violate the rights of any third person in the materials, including copyright, trademark, patent, trade secrets, and any rights of publicity or privacy of any person. The materials posted must not be defamatory, libelous, slanderous, or obscene.

  Prohibition against Commercial Use

 The site may not be used for unauthorized commercial purposes.

 University Control of SAU Web Pages

 The use of the site is at the sole discretion of SAU. SAU does not guarantee that the user will have continued or uninterrupted access to the site. The site may be removed or discontinued at any time at the discretion of SAU in accordance with SAU policy, or as needed to maintain the continued operation or integrity of SAU facilities.

  SAU makes reasonable efforts to protect the integrity of the network and related services, but SAU cannot guarantee backup, disaster recovery, or user access to information posted on personal computers or Web pages.

  Access to services and file storage must be approved for authorized SAU Technology Services personnel.

 Electronic Mail and Electronic Communications

 Conditions for Restriction of Access to Electronic Mail

 Access to SAU e-mail is a privilege that may be wholly or partially restricted without prior notice and without consent of the user:

   1.     if required by applicable law or policy

   2.    if a reasonable suspicion exists that there has been or may be a violation of law, regulation, or policy


   3.    if required to protect the integrity or operation of the e-mail system or computing resources or when the resources are required for more critical tasks as determined by appropriate management authority.

 Access to the e-mail system may require approval of the appropriate SAU supervisory or management authority (e.g., department head, system administrator, etc.).

  Conditions for Permitting Inspection, Monitoring, or Disclosure

 SAU may permit the inspection, monitoring, or disclosure of e-mail, computer files, and network transmissions when:

   1.     required or permitted by law, including public records law, or by subpoena or court order

   2.    SAU or its designated agent reasonably believes that a violation of law or policy has occurred


   3.    necessary to monitor and preserve the functioning and integrity of the e-mail system or related computer systems or facilities.

 All computer users agree to cooperate and comply with SAU requests for access to and copies of e-mail messages or data when access or disclosure is authorized by this policy or required or allowed by law or other applicable policies.

 SAU Responsibility to Inform of Unauthorized Access or Disclosure

  If SAU believes unauthorized access to or disclosure of information has occurred or will occur, SAU will make reasonable efforts to inform the affected computer account holder, except when notification is impractical or when notification would be detrimental to an investigation of a violation of law or policy.

  Prohibition against Activities Placing Strain on Facilities

  Activities that may strain the e-mail or network facilities more than can be reasonably expected are in violation of this policy. These activities include, but are not limited to: sending chain letters; .spam,. or the widespread dissemination of unsolicited e-mail; and .letter bombs. to resend the same e-mail repeatedly to one or more recipients.


  Confidentiality of e-mail and other network transmissions cannot be assured. Therefore all users should exercise caution when sending personal, financial, confidential, or sensitive information by e-mail or over the network.

 Privacy and Security

 Routine Logging and Monitoring

 Certain central service and network activities from workstations connected to the network are routinely logged and monitored. These activities include:

   1.     use of passwords and accounts accessed

   2.    time and duration of network activity

   3.    access to Web pages

   4.    access to network software

   5.    volume of data storage and transfers


   6.    server space used for e-mail.


 Detailed Session Logging

 In cases of suspected violations of SAU policies, especially unauthorized access to computing systems, the System Administrator concerned may authorize detailed session logging. This may involve a complete keystroke log of an entire session. In addition, the system administrator of the facility concerned may authorize limited searching of user files to gather evidence on a suspected violation.

  Responsibility for Data Security

  Software and physical limitations, computer viruses, and third party intrusions can compromise security of data storage and communications. SAU takes reasonable precautions to minimize risk. Technology Services is not obligated to maintain backups of any file for any particular length of time. Users must protect and back up critical data. Individual users and departments should develop policies and practices to ensure regular backups of data and implement steps to ensure that all critical data is compatible with all current generations of computing equipment, storage media, and media readers.

  Restriction of Access to Sensitive Data

  All SAU departments should implement policies to ensure that access to sensitive data is restricted to those employees who have a need to access the information. Passwords restricting access to information should be changed on a regular basis and systems should be developed and implemented to assure password records are regularly updated by appropriate supervisors.

  Right to Examine Computers and Equipment

  University-owned computers and equipment may be examined to detect illegal software and to evaluate the security of the network.

 Violations and Enforcement

 Reporting Violations

 Any actual or suspected violation of the rules listed above should be brought to the Director of Network Services or System Administrator of the equipment or facility most directly involved. In the case of a serious violation, a report may be made to Vice President/CIO of Technology Services.

  SAU Response to a Reported Violation

 Upon receiving notice of a violation, SAU may temporarily suspend a user.s privileges or move or delete the allegedly offending material pending further proceedings.

  A person accused of a violation will be notified of the charge and have an opportunity to respond before SAU imposes a permanent sanction. Appropriate cases will be referred to the SAU Student Development office, employee.s supervisor or to appropriate law enforcement authorities.

  In addition to sanctions available under applicable law and SAU and Board of Trustee policies, SAU may impose a temporary or permanent reduction or elimination of access privileges to computing and communication accounts, networks, SAU-administered computer labs or rooms, and other services or facilities.

  If SAU believes it necessary to preserve the integrity of facilities, user services, or data, it may temporarily suspend any account, whether or not the account user is suspected of any violation. SAU will provide appropriate notice to the account user. Servers and computers that threaten the security of University systems will be removed from the network and allowed to reconnect only with the approval of Director of Network Services or the Vice President/CIO of Technology Services.

  Applicable Law and Policies

SAU students and employees are bound by all applicable law and SAU Board of Trustee and University policies.