Computing resources (including, but not limited to, desktop and laptop systems, printers, central
computing facilities, Minnesota State-wide or college-wide networks, local-area networks, access
to the Internet, electronic mail and similar electronic information) are available only to authorized
users, and any use of those resources is subject to the Computer Usage policy. All users of the
college computing resources including students are presumed to have read and understood this
policy. This policy governs the use of computing resources at the college. Use of the college
computing resources by the students is limited to educational and research purposes. A
description of the computer usage policy is contained in the Faculty and Student Handbooks.
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609.87 through 609.89 – Computer Crime
Statute deals with definitions; destructive computer programs; intentional damage to computers,
computer systems, computer networks, computer software, etc.; theft of services and equipment;
unauthorized computer access; gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor criminal penalties; and
The College computer systems are treated like other college equipment or resources intended for
educational and research purposes and other college-sanctioned activities. It is not the practice of
the college to monitor the content of electronic mail transmissions, files or other data maintained
in its computing resources and the fileservers. The maintenance, operation and security of the
college computing resources; however, require that network administrators and other authorized
personnel have access to those resources and, on occasion, review the content of data and
communications maintained there. A review may be performed exclusively by persons expressly
authorized for such purpose and only for cause. To the extent possible in the electronic
environment and in a public setting, a user’s privacy will be honored. Nevertheless, that privacy
is subject to Minnesota State’s public records laws and other applicable state and federal laws, as
well as policies of Minnesota State Governing Board; all of which may supersede a user’s
interests in maintaining privacy in information contained in the college’s computing resources.
Minnesota and federal law prohibit the theft of a computer as well as unauthorized damage or
access to a computer, computer network, software, or related property. (See Minn. Statute,
Sections: 609.87-609.8911; 18 U.S.C. 1030). There are also state and federal wiretap laws and
various anti-fraud provisions that apply to activities on computer and network systems.
Frequently, access to the College computing resources can be obtained only through the use of a
password known exclusively to the user. It is the responsibility of the user to keep a password
confidential. While the College takes reasonable measures to ensure network and data security, it
cannot be held accountable for unauthorized access to its computing resources by other users and
hackers, both within and outside of the college. Moreover, it cannot guarantee user protection
against data loss due to system failure, fire, etc.
Prohibited conduct in the use of the College computing resources includes (but not limited to) the
- Posting to the network, downloading or transporting any material that would constitute
a violation of the college or Minnesota State computing policies.
- Unauthorized attempts to monitor another user’s password protected data or electronic
communication, or delete another user’s password protected data electronic
communications or software, without the person’s permission.
- Installing or running on any system a program or virus that is intended to or is likely to
result in eventual damage to the computer system including fileserver, personal
computer, network software or hardware.
- Performing acts that would unfairly monopolize computing resources to the exclusion
of other users, including (but not limited to) unauthorized installation of server system
software or non-job /non-work related use of Internet.
- Hosting a personal website through the use of the college computing resources without
proper authorization from the Dean of Information Technology.
- Use of computing resources for non-college commercial purposes.
- Use of software, graphics, photographs, or any other tangible form of expression that
would violate or infringe any copyright or similar legally recognized protection of intellectual property rights.
- Activities that would constitute a violation of any policy of the Minnesota State
Governing Board, including (but not limited to) the Minnesota State non-
discrimination policy and its policy against sexual harassment.
- Transmitting, storing, or receiving data, or otherwise using computing resources in a
manner that would constitute a violation of state or federal law, including (but not
limited to) obscenity, defamation, threats, harassment, and theft.
- Attempting to gain unauthorized access to a remote network or remote computer
- Exploiting any computing resources system by attempting to prevent or circumvent
access, or using unauthorized data protection schemes.
- Performing any act that would disrupt normal operations of computers, workstations,
terminals, peripherals, or networks.
- Using computing resources in such a way as to wrongfully hide the identity of the
user or pose as another person.
- Attempting to gain access to any type of private records (i.e., student, personnel,
medical) or attempting to change data or software without proper authorization.
- An individual may not send electronic messages to individuals who have explicitly
asked the sender not send electronic messages.
Sanctions for Misconduct
The College will take all violations of the Computer Usage policy seriously. Any violation of this
policy by the students will be reported promptly to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and
Student Development and will be subject to appropriate sanctions provided under the college’s
Student Conduct Code.
In addition to sanctions under appropriate student conduct code, anyone who violates
SPC/Minnesota State guidelines may be subject to any or all of the following sanctions,
depending on the nature and the seriousness of the violation:
- Fines to replace or restore damage to hardware or software and/or to compensate
staff required to carry out repair;
- Loss of computer land network system access;
- Civil proceedings; and/or
- Criminal prosecution.
The College staff will report any violation to the Computer Usage policy to the proper authorities
including, but not limited to, Minnesota State system office, local and state police, the State
Attorney General’s Office, and/or federal law enforcement (FBI or Secret Service).
The College reserves the right to suspend the accounts and inspect files and data of any student
suspected of misconduct pending the outcome of an investigation. Data and files may be turned
over to the appropriate authorities, if instructed to do so.