II.G. Use Of System Computers

II.G.1. Use of System Computers

II.G.1.01 - Policy

The System Board of Trustees reconfirms its commitment to the free and unfettered exchange of ideas that is the hallmark of an institution of higher education, and to the rights of the faculty and students to access, debate, disagree and discuss all educational materials without regard to the popularity or controversial nature of the ideas conveyed.

II.G.1.02 - System Property

The System provides computing and network resources for the use of students, employees and others affiliated with the System for educational or System-related activities and to facilitate the efficient exchange of useful information.

Affiliation with the System includes all university students, faculty, staff, and administrators associated with or enrolled in programs delivered by partner universities at The University Center and other college sites.

Students, employees and System affiliates are encouraged to use the computers, software packages, electronic mail (e-mail), or System network and software. However, the equipment, software and network capacities provided through the System computer services are and remain the property of the System.

System users are expected to conduct themselves in compliance with all policies of the System and relevant laws of the United States and Texas and to demonstrate the same high ethical and professional manner when communicating using computing resources as is required in face-to-face or written communications.

II.G.1.03 - Public Access Computer Terminals

All LSCS public access terminals are provided to support the teaching, research and educational functions of the System.

Members of the public who are not enrolled in academic and technical college-level courses will be permitted to use such facilities for research purposes only when the use does not deny a student or employee access. Any member of the public whose use is not in accord with this policy may be asked to cease use of the computer, leave the facility, and forfeit rights to utilize System computers.

Minors who are not enrolled in System academic and technical college-level courses shall only be permitted to utilize a computer that has been installed with a filtering device.

Parental or guardian permission is required for all minors who wish to enroll in academic and technical college-level courses. Such permission acknowledges that college level course work might contain materials or subject matter considered to be adult in nature.

II.G.1.04 - E-Mail Privileges

Access to the System's e-mail and similar electronic communication systems is a privilege that is extended to current employees, students and affiliates that are in good standing. The privilege of access ends with the termination of employment or the failure to reenroll in an LSCS educational program.

II.G.1.05 - Confidentiality

The System cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of electronic documents. Any messages or information that a person believes may be confidential by law should not be communicated over the e-mail.
The System reserves the right to access e-mail to engage in routine computer maintenance and housekeeping, to carry out internal investigations, to prepare responses to requests for public information or to disclose messages, data or files to law enforcement authorities.

II.G.1.06 - Records

Messages sent as electronic mail should meet the same standards for distribution, display and retention as if they were tangible documents or instruments. As with all records maintained by the System and to the extent required by law, files saved in the System's information system, including e-mail, may be subject to release in response to a public information request.

II.G.1.07 - Prohibited Use

The following conduct by computer users will be treated as a violation of this policy and may subject the user to discipline, including loss of computing privileges, up to and including termination for an LSCS employee and dismissal for a student:

  1. Anonymous or forged e-mail messages.
  2. Unauthorized attempts to access another person's e-mail or similar electronic communications or to use another's name or e-mail address, or to send unauthorized e-mail or similar electronic communications.
  3. Use of System e-mail or other network resources for commercial purposes or for personal financial gain.
  4. Attempted or actual access to a restricted computing resource without authorization or use for purposes beyond the authorization.
  5. The transmission of copyrighted materials without the written permission of the author or creator through System e-mail or other network resources in violation of U.S. copyright law (See Copyright and Intellectual Property Subsections, Section IV. Human Resources, Board Policy Manual).
  6. Computing resources used in a manner that disrupts the work or educational environment.
  7. Intentional use of System computing resources to store, download, upload, display, print or e-mail computer images that constitute "obscene materials" as defined by Section 43.21 of the Texas Penal Code that are not directly related to or required for a specific educational course or research directly related to an educational program.
  8. The display or transmission of messages, images, cartoons or other messages or images that are sexually explicit or that demean a person on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability or religion may constitute prohibited harassment. [See Policy Section IV - Human Resources]
  9. The uploading or downloading of unauthorized materials to any System server.
  10. The sharing of an account, password or other authentication device that was provided to permit access to restricted computing resources.
  11. Attempted or real access to compromise (or hack) any computing resource.

II.G.1.08 - Overloading Computing Resources

Nothing in this policy shall prohibit the System or college system operator from intercepting and stopping e-mail messages, other computer programs, or websites which have the capacity to overload any computer resource. Discipline may be imposed for intentional overloading of System computer resources.

II.G.1.09 - Procedure

The Chancellor, or designee, shall develop procedures for appropriate implementation of this policy.


LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

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