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Network Policy

 

POLICY STATEMENT

Union County College expects all members of its community to use electronic communications in a responsible manner. The College may restrict the use of its computers and network systems for electronic communications. Specifically, the College reserves the right to limit access to its networks through College-owned or other computers, and to remove or limit access to material posted on College-owned computers, pursuant to the procedures and standards set forth in this policy.  

REASON FOR POLICY

The College seeks to enforce its policies regarding harassment and the safety of individuals; to protect the College against damaging or legal consequences; to prevent the posting of proprietary software or the posting of electronic copies of literary works in disregard of

copyright restrictions or contractual obligations; to safeguard the integrity of computers, networks, and data, either at Union County College or elsewhere; and to ensure that use of electronic

communications complies with policies of the College that have been established for maintaining public order and the educational environment. The College reserves the right to amend this policy.  

THIS POLICY APPLIES TO

All members of the Union County College community and users of College facilities and resources.  

RELATED DOCUMENTS 

The following are examples of the applicable policies and laws which are related and may be applicable to this Responsible Use Policy of Union County College.  The list is illustrative and is not an exhaustive listing of all applicable laws, policies and regulations.

 

College Policies

Other Documents

Student Handbook

U.S. Constitution

College Catalog

N.J. Constitution

Employee Handbook

Freedom of Information Act - Federal

Open Public Records Act - State

Collective Bargaining Agreements with Union County College

Electronic Communication Act of 1986

 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

 

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot Act) of 2001

 

New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act (the Wiretap Act)

 

Federal Wiretap Act

 

Stored Communication Act

 

Electronic Communications Privacy Act

 

Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended

 

NJ Law Against Discrimination

  

 

CONTACTS 

Direct any general questions about the Responsible Use of Electronic Communications Policy to your department head. If you have questions about specific issues, call the following offices:

 

Subject

Contact

Telephone

e-mail

Computers and Network Systems

Tom Cherubino, Director of Information Technologies

            908-709-7546      

cherubino@ucc.edu

Campus Code of Conduct

Dr. Ralph L. Ford, Vice President of Student Services

            908-709-7142      

ford@ucc.edu

Code of Academic Integrity

Dr. Maris Lown, Vice President for Academic Affairs

            908-709-7515      

maris.lown@ucc.edu

Discrimination

College Affirmative Action Officer

             908-709-7085      

Harassment

College Affirmative Action Officer

             908-709-7085      

Health or Safety

Director of Public Safety

            908-709-7152      


 

DEFINITIONS 

 

These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy.

 

Chain mail

E-mail message(s) originating from a central address that recommend universal forwarding.

College Computers and Network Systems; (College Systems)

Computers, networks, servers, and similar devices that are administered by or for the College and for which the College is responsible.  Throughout the policy, the shortened term "College systems" is used to mean College computers, electronic equipment, and network systems.

Education Records

Records specifically related to a student and maintained by an educational institution or a party acting on its behalf.  These records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

Electronic Communications

The use of computers and network systems in the communicating or posting of information or material by way of electronic mail, web pages, bulletin boards, or other such electronic tools.

Intellectual Property

Any product of the human intellect that is unique, novel, unobvious, and has some value in the marketplace as defined by copyright law.

Network Systems

Includes voice, video, and data networks, switches, routers and storage devices, and other infrastructure components.

System or Network Administrators

A College employee responsible for managing the operation or operating system environments of computers or network systems respectively.

Pass code/ password

All passwords/ passcodes, PINs (personal identification numbers), or other secret codes designed or otherwise created to maintain the security and privacy of data or communication systems or services.


 

OVERVIEW

Introduction to this Policy

Computers and network systems offer powerful tools for communication among members of the Union County College community and of communities outside of the College. When used appropriately, these tools can enhance dialog and communications. Unlawful or inappropriate use of these tools, however, can infringe on the rights of others. The College expects all members of its community to use electronic communications in a responsible manner.

The College maintains a voice-mail system and an electronic mail (e-mail) system to assist in the conduct of College business and activities.  These systems and all communications and information transmitted by, received from, or stored in these systems are the property of the College and as such are to be used solely for academic and College-related purposes with the exception of intellectual property created or originated by students and faculty, which shall remain the sole property of that individual.  All messages created, sent, received or stored in these systems are and remain the property of the College.  All pass codes are also the property of the College.  Unauthorized disclosure of pass codes is prohibited.

The College recognizes the complexity of deciding what constitutes appropriate use of electronic communications services. What is appropriate or inoffensive to some members of the community may be inappropriate or offensive to others.

Caution: Having open access to network-based services implies some risk. In a community of diverse cultures, values, and sensitivities, the College cannot guarantee to protect individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them.

The College cherishes the diversity of values and perspectives endemic in an academic institution and so is respectful of freedom of expression. The College does not condone censorship, nor does it endorse the inspection of electronic files other than as indicated in the policy specifics.  The College will apply this policy consistent with the principles of academic freedom as stated in the Union County College catalog.

This policy is in accordance with College policies concerning harassment, use of computers and network systems generally, and related judicial codes. Any restrictive actions taken by the College will be in accordance with guidelines and procedures set forth in these policies, codes, regulations and/or laws and judicial interpretation of the law. The restrictive actions pertaining to this policy and described below (see the "Policy Specifics" portion of this document) conform to the Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1986.  The College reserves the right to amend this policy as the need arises.

Caution:  Due to the nature of electronic communication, individuals other than the addressee may see the contents of e-mail messages.  Sending e-mail is comparable to sending a postcard via the U.S. Postal Service. 

Caution: The College reserves the right to monitor any and all communications that fall within this policy.A College representative may detect evidence of a violation while performing his or her duties operating or maintaining or repairing a system. In such instances, that individual should contact their department head for further guidance.

Caution: This policy does not abrogate local policies governing the operation and maintenance of College systems. Specifically, procedural guidelines with regard to security, privacy, and other areas of critical importance to the administration of these systems are not addressed as part of this policy, nor are violations of principles of network etiquette.  

 

PROCEDURES

Policy Specifics

    1. The College reserves the right to limit access to its networks when applicable College policies or codes, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws are violated.  The College also reserves the right to monitor or limit the volume and/or content of material transported across those networks.

    2. The College reserves the right to remove or limit access to material posted on College-owned computers when applicable College policies or codes, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws are violated.  The College also reserves the right to monitor the content of material posted on College-owned computers. In the case that faculty or staff communications have been monitored pursuant toan investigation of a potential violation of policies, obligations or laws, the College will notify the user. This same policy will apply to College-owned computers that are housed off-campus.  Any person who monitors the contents of communications is bound by the policies, laws and obligations of privacy and confidentiality.  There shall be no unauthorized disclosure of the contents of any faculty or student research.

    3.  When non-college-owned computers are attached to campus networks, the College reserves the right to monitor or generally restrict the transmission of material to and from the College network in accordance with this policy.

    4.The College reserves the right to amend this policy.  

     

    Policy Violations

    Violations of this policy may include, but are not limited to the use of electronic communications to:

    • harass, threaten, or otherwise cause harm to a specific individual(s) in an unlawful manner or is violative of duly established policy, whether by direct or indirect reference;
    • impede, interfere with, impair, or otherwise cause harm to the activities of others in an unlawful manner or is violative of duly established policy;
    • download or post to College computers, or transport across College networks, material that is illegal, proprietary, or in violation of College contractual agreements or otherwise is damaging to the institution;
    • harass or threaten classes of individuals in an unlawful manner or as a violation of duly established policy (see next "Caution").
    Caution: As a matter of policy, the College protects expression by members of its community and does not wish to become an arbiter of what may be regarded as "offensive" by some members of the community. Existing procedures will be used by the College to determine whether such material is in violation of College policy and whether certain restrictive actions are warranted.  

     

    How to Report a Violation

      1.If you believe that a violation of this policy has occurred, depending upon the circumstances, contact one of the following UCC offices listed below.

      If the complaint is by a student:

      • Department of Public Safety
      • , if an individual's health or safety appears to be in jeopardy; (Phone 908-709-7152; e-mail: alder@ucc.edu)
      • Vice President of Student Services, for all other matters. (Phone 908-709-7142; e-mail  ford@ucc.edu)

      If the complaint is by a faculty or staff member or other non-student invitee:

      • Department of Public Safety
      • , if an individual's health or safety appears to be in jeopardy; (Phone 908-709-7152; e-mail alder@ucc.edu 
         
      • Affirmative Action Officer, if the action(s) complained of may constitute sexual or other harassment or a violation of the civil rights of an individual or a group. 
        (Phone 908-709-7487)
         
      • Department of Human Resources, if violations occur in connection with the conditions and scope of employment; (Phone 908-709-7607; e-mail buda@ucc.edu)
         
      • Department of Information Technologies, if the unauthorized use or copying of software is suspected. (Phone 908-709-7546; e-mail cherubino@ucc.edu)
         
      • Department of Marketing and College Communications, if infringement of a copyright is suspected. (Phone 908-709-7501)

      2. These individuals will follow existing College policies and procedure to resolve the complaint. 

      Examples of Violations Covered by this Policy

       

      The following section presents examples of the kinds of violations covered by this policy and is not meant to be all-inclusive:

      A.Violations targeted at a specific individual(s)

        A1. Sending unwanted harassing communication by electronic mail or other electronic communications

        A2. Sending unwanted harassing communication by electronic mail or other electronic communications that is sexual in nature

        A3. Sending unwanted harassing communication by electronic mail or other electronic communications that is motivated by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation or any other protected class as defined by State and/or Federal law.

        A4. Posting or otherwise disseminating personal or sensitive information about an individual(s) protected by customarily accepted and/or legally protected confidentiality or privacy rights

        A5. Accessing or attempting to access confidential information without authorization

        A6. Using computer monitors/screens in shared facilities to display images, sounds or messages which create an offensive atmosphere or constitute harassment as defined by law or policy .

        Caution:  Confidentiality regarding student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and other federal and state laws.  All use of e-mail, including use for communicating sensitive or confidential information, will be consistent with these privacy protections and all other policies and procedures of the College.

      B. Violations causing harm to the activities of others

        B1. Propagating electronic chain mail. This does not include, however, asking others to write or forward communications in the normal course of College business

        B2. Hacking or attempting to hack into computer systems operated by the College or others.

        B3. Interfering with freedom of expression of others by "jamming," "bombing" or employing similar operations via electronic mailboxes

        B4. Forging, fraudulently altering, or willfully falsifying electronic mail headers, electronic directory information, or other electronic information generated as, maintained as, or otherwise identified as College records in support of electronic communications

        B5. Using electronic communications to forge an academic document

        B6. Using electronic communications to hoard, damage, or otherwise interfere with academic resources accessible electronically

        B7. Using electronic communications to steal another individual's works, or otherwise misrepresent one's own work

        B8. Using electronic communications to collude on examinations, papers or any other academic work

        B9. Using electronic communications to fabricate research data.

        B10. Using College networks/systems/services for commerce or personal gain unrelated to Academic work or the interests of the College

      C. Violations involving illegal, proprietary, or damaging material

        C1. Electronically distributing or posting copyrighted material in violation of license restrictions or other contractual agreements, but this shall not prohibit "fair use"of copyrighted material as that term is defined by copyright law

        C2. Launching a computer worm, computer virus or other rogue program

        C3. Downloading or posting illegal, proprietary, or damaging material to a College computer

        C4. Transporting illegal, proprietary, or damaging material across Union County College's networks  

       

      CONCLUSION

      Please remember that "cyberspace" is not a separate legal jurisdiction.  In addition to the College policies set forth above, computer-based communications and publications are bound by the normal requirements of legal and ethical behavior within the College community and elsewhere.  Keep in mind that conduct that would be illegal or a violation of College policy in the "offline" world will still be illegal or a violation of College policy when it occurs online.  Furthermore, computer users who engage in electronic communications with persons in other

      states or countries or on other systems or networks may become subject to the laws of those jurisdictions and the rules and policies of other systems and networks.

      It is not the intent of this policy to regulate the content of any communications that, if engaged in by non-electronic means, would be acceptable, protected by academic freedom or the right to free expression.  Not only do the rights of academic freedom and the freedom of expression apply to the use of College computing resources, but the responsibilities and limitations associated with those rights apply as well.  While some restrictions may be built into the College's computer operating systems and networks, they are not the only limits on what is permissible and responsible use.  Users of College computing resources must abide by all applicable restrictions, regardless of whether or not they are built into the operating system or network and whether or not it may be possible to circumvent restrictions by technical means.  It is not the responsibility of Union County College to prevent computer users from exceeding those restrictions.  Instead, it is the computer user's responsibility to know and comply with them. 

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