Saint Paul College Policies & Procedures

05.13.00.1 - Computer Usage Procedures

General Responsibilities

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 
reporting violations.

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.

Computer-related Laws

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

Prohibited conduct in the use of the College computing resources includes (but not limited to) the 
following:

  1. Posting to the network, downloading or transporting any material that would constitute 
    a violation of the college or Minnesota State computing policies.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hosting a personal website through the use of the college computing resources without 
    proper authorization from the Dean of Information Technology.
  6. Use of computing resources for non-college commercial purposes.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Attempting to gain unauthorized access to a remote network or remote computer 
    system.
  11. Exploiting any computing resources system by attempting to prevent or circumvent 
    access, or using unauthorized data protection schemes.
  12. Performing any act that would disrupt normal operations of computers, workstations, 
    terminals, peripherals, or networks.
  13. Using computing resources in such a way as to wrongfully hide the identity of the 
    user or pose as another person.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.


Reference

Review Date

-

Policy Status

Approved

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