Technology and Internet Usage Policy

Policy: PDF

The College’s technical resources – including desktop and portable computer systems, fax machines, Internet and World Wide Web access, voicemail, electronic mail (e-mail), electronic bulletin boards, and its intranet – are obviously an important and integral part of its business. Because these technologies are both new and rapidly changing, it is important to explain how they fit within the College and within your responsibilities as a student.

This policy applies to all technical resources that are owned or leased by the College, that are used or accessed from College premises, or that are used for College business. This policy also applies to all activities using any College-paid accounts, subscriptions, or other technical services, such as Internet and World Wide Web access, voicemail, and e-mail, whether or not the activities are conducted from College premises.


As you use the College’s technical resources, it is important to remember the nature of the information created and stored there. Because they seem informal, e-mail messages, voicemail messages and messages posted on the Internet are sometimes offhand, like a conversation, and not as carefully thought out as a letter or memorandum. However, even after you delete these messages or close a computer session, the information may still be recoverable and may even remain in the system. You should keep this in mind when creating e-mail messages, voicemail messages, messages on the Internet, and other documents on the computer.


The College’s technical resources are provided for the benefit of the College and its faculty, staff, and students. These resources are provided for use in the pursuit of College business or College education and are to be reviewed, monitored, and used only in that pursuit, except as otherwise provided in this policy.


Theft or other abuse of the campus network, computers, or computer time, including but not limited to:
  • Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents or for any other purpose.
  • Unauthorized transfer of a file.
  • Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification or password.
  • Use of computers or computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or University official.
  • Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
  • Illegal Use:  Transmission, distribution, or storage of any material in violation of an applicable law or regulation is prohibited.  This includes, without limitation, pornography, viruses, worms, or harmful code, material protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret, or other intellectual property right used without proper authorization.  Students shall comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
  • Threats:  Threats of bodily harm or destruction of property, or any other communication that constitutes an illegal threat or harassment.
  • Reselling:  The resale of Internet Service or otherwise making available to anyone outside the premises the ability to use the Service (i.e. Wi-Fi, or other methods of networking) without proper authorization.
  • Impersonation/Forgery:  The use of the Internet Service for the impersonation of another person for any purpose, including, without limitation, adding, removing, or modifying email or network header information, use of free email services, selling or auction services, and chat or other instant messaging services.  Identity theft, misuse, or misrepresentation of one’s identity on the Internet is a violation of NV state law and covered under
    section 18 of the United States Federal Code.
  • Disruptions and Network Unfriendly Behavior:  Any activities,intentional or otherwise, which adversely affect the ability of other Students or Clients of Sierra Nevada University to use Internet Services or the Internet.  This includes, without limitation, denial of service (DOS) attacks, unauthorized attempts to gain access to any account or computer resource not belonging to the student or employee, use of personal wireless access points from within student housing, the alternation, destruction, or misuse of information by any means or device, the interference or disruption of services.
  • Network Security:  The operation, through action or inaction, of student or College owned computers and equipment in an unsecured manner which permits others to use the Residence Hall Internet Service in a means that
    is in violation of this AUP or any applicable law or regulation including, without limitation, DOS attacks, the proliferation of viruses or worms, email relaying and unsolicited email (“email spam”).
  • Email:  Sending unsolicited mail messages, including the sending of “junk mail” or other advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such material (“email spam”).  This includes, without limitation, bulk-mailing of commercial advertising, informational announcements, and political tracts.
  • Deception:  Obtaining or attempting to obtain service by any means or device with intent to avoid payment, or advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available any software, program, product, or service, which includes, without limitation, the facilitation of the means to send email spam, initiation of pinging, flooding, mail-bombing, DOS attacks, and piracy of software.
  • Use of any technology to create, display or distribute an audio, video, digital file, picture or film of another individual without that person’s knowledge and consent while the person is in a place the individual would have reasonable expectation of privacy.


The College asks you to keep in mind that when you are using the College’s computer you are creating College documents using a College asset. The College respects the individual privacy of its students. However, that privacy does not extend to a student’s education-related conduct or to the use of College-provided technical resources or supplies.

The College’s computer, voicemail, e-mail, or telephone systems, and the data stored on them are and remain at all times the property of the College. As a result, computer data, voicemail messages, e-mail messages, and other data are readily available to numerous persons. If, during the course of your employment, you perform or transmit work on the College’s computer system and other technical resources, your work may be subject to the investigation, search, and review of others in accordance with this policy.

All information, including e-mail messages and files, that are created, sent, or retrieved over the College’s technical resources is the property of the College, and should not be considered private or confidential. Students have no right to privacy as to any information or file transmitted or stored through the College’s computer, voicemail, e-mail, or telephone systems. Any electronically stored information that you create, send to, or receive from others may be retrieved and reviewed when doing so serves the legitimate educational interests and obligations of the College. Students should also be aware that, even when a file or message is erased or a visit to an Internet or Web site is closed, it is still possible to recreate the message or locate the Web site. The College reserves the right to monitor your use of its technical resources at any time. All information including text and images may be disclosed to law enforcement or to other third parties without prior consent of the sender or the receiver.


E-mail and Internet/Web access are not entirely secure. Others outside the College may also be able to monitor your e-mail and Internet/Web access. For example, Internet sites maintain logs of visits from users; these logs identify which College, and even which particular person, accessed the service. If your education using these resources requires a higher level of security, please ask your manager or the IT department for guidance on securely exchanging e-mail or gathering information from sources such as the Internet or World Wide Web.

All students should safeguard the College’s confidential information, as well as that of faculty, staff and other students, from disclosure. Do not access new voicemail or e-mail messages with others present. Messages containing confidential information should not be left visible while you are away from your computer area.

E-mail messages containing confidential information should include the following statement, in all capital letters, at the top of the message: CONFIDENTIAL: UNAUTHORIZED USE OR DISCLOSURES IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.


Although you may have passwords to access computer, voicemail, and e-mail systems, these technical resources belong to the College, are to be accessible at all times by the College, and are subject to inspections by the College with or without notice. The College may override any applicable passwords or codes to inspect, investigate, or search a student’s files and messages. All passwords must be made available to the IT Department upon request. You should not provide a password to other faculty, staff or students or to anyone outside the College and should never access any technical resources using another person’s password.

In order to facilitate the College’s access to information on its technical resources, you may not encrypt or encode any voicemail or e-mail communication or any other files or data stored or exchanged on College systems without the express prior written permission from the IT department. As part of this approval, the IT department will indicate a procedure for you to deposit any password, encryption key or code, or software with the IT department so that the encrypted or encoded information can be accessed in your absence.


You should not copy or distribute copyrighted material (e.g., software, database files, documentation, articles, graphics files, and downloaded information) through the e-mail system or by any other means unless you have confirmed in advance from appropriate sources that the College has the right to copy or distribute the material.

Failure to observe a copyright may result in disciplinary action by the College as well as legal action by the copyright owner. Any questions concerning these rights should be directed to I.T.


If you want to install software on College computers, you must contact the IT department and request to have the software installed. Students are prohibited from installing any software on any College technical resource without the express prior written permission from the IT department.

Involving the IT department ensures that the College can manage the software on College systems, prevent the introduction of computer viruses, and meet its obligations under any applicable software licenses and copyright laws. Computer software is protected from unauthorized copying and use by federal and state law, unauthorized copying or use of computer software exposes the College and the individual to substantial fines and exposes the individual to imprisonment. Therefore, students may not load personal software onto the College’s computer system and may not copy software from the College for personal use.

The College will cooperate with the copyright holder and legal officials in all copyright matters.


Each student is responsible for the content of all text, audio, or images that they place or send over the College’s technical resources. Students may access only files or programs, whether computerized or not, that they have permission to enter.

Violations of any guidelines in this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. In addition, the College may advise appropriate legal officials of any illegal violations and cooperate in investigations conducted by legal officials.