Acceptable Use Policy

Lafayette College’s information technology (IT) resources are intended to support the educational, administrative, and campus life activities of the College. The use of these resources is a privilege extended to members of the Lafayette community, who are expected to act in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner. In general, acceptable use entails behavior that respects the rights of others, does not compromise the security or integrity of IT resources, and complies with all applicable laws and license agreements.

This policy establishes specific requirements for the use of computing and network resources at Lafayette College. As with other College policies, violation of the Acceptable Use Policy can result in disciplinary action.

Scope

This policy applies to all users of IT resources owned or managed by Lafayette College. IT resources include all college owned, licensed, or managed hardware and software, as well as the college network, regardless of the ownership of the device connected to the network, the means of connecting, or the locale from which the connection is made.

Policy

  1. Federal, State, and Local Laws. Users must comply with all federal, state, and other applicable law; all applicable College rules and procedures; and all applicable licenses and contracts. Examples include but are not limited to laws pertaining to libel, copyright, trademark, child pornography, and hacking; the College’s code of student conduct; the College’s Principles of Intellectual Honesty; the College’s sexual harassment policy; and all applicable software licenses.
  2. Authorization. Users may use only those IT resources they are authorized to use, in the manner and to the extent authorized, and they must not attempt to subvert or bypass college-imposed security mechanisms. Ability to access computers, computer accounts, computer files, or other IT resources does not, by itself, imply authorization to do so. Accounts and passwords may not be shared with or used by persons other than those to whom they have been assigned by the College. Users must make a reasonable effort to protect passwords and secure resources against unauthorized use.
  3. Fair Share of Resources. Users must respect the finite capacity of the College’s IT resources and limit their use so as not to consume an unreasonable amount of those resources or to interfere unreasonably with the activity of other users. Information Technology Services may set limits on an individual’s use of IT resources or require that an individual user refrain from specific uses in order to assure that these resources can be used by anyone who needs them. Reasonableness of use will be assessed in the context of all relevant circumstances, but any use that degrades the performance of the college network or interferes with the ability of others to use IT resources or with the College’s educational or business activities will be considered unacceptable.
  4. Personal Use. Users may not use IT resources to campaign for or against a candidate for political office or for commercial purposes inconsistent with the College’s tax-exempt status. Personal use of college IT resources for other purposes is permitted when it does not interfere with the performance of one’s job or other college responsibilities, does not compromise the functionality or degrade the performance of IT resources, does not consume a significant amount of IT resources, and is otherwise in compliance with this policy. Further limits on personal use by college employees may be imposed in accordance with normal supervisory practices.

Privacy and Security

The College takes various measures to protect its information resources and users’ accounts. However, you should be aware that the College cannot guarantee privacy and that it is the responsibility of individual users to engage in prudent practices by establishing appropriate access restrictions for their accounts and safeguarding their passwords.

The normal operation of the College’s IT infrastructure requires backing up data, logging activity, monitoring general usage patterns, and other such activities. While the College does not generally review the content of information contained on a computer or transmitted over the network, exceptions are made under the following conditions:

  • when required to preserve public health and safety;
  • when required to preserve or restore system integrity or security;
  • when required by federal, state, or local law; or
  • when there are reasonable grounds to believe that IT resources are being used in violation of law or college policy.

Permission to review individual data can come only from the Vice President for ITS and CIO in conjunction with one other senior officer of the College. For more information on privacy issues, see the “Statement of Confidentiality, Privacy, and Security,” Appendix R in the Lafayette College Faculty Handbook.

Enforcement

Violations of this policy will be handled according to normal disciplinary procedures. However, a user’s IT use privileges may be temporarily suspended by Information Technology Services prior to the initiation or completion of these procedures when there is a reasonable basis to believe that an individual is in violation of this policy.