Academic Computing Policies
Genesee Community College has a number of policies relating to computer use. Please take the time to become familiar with them. If you have questions about these policies, feel free to stop into the Student Resource Center (T212) on campus or to contact Patricia Chaya, Dean of Students.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Genesee computer systems shall not be used for transmission of information that promotes:
- discrimination on the basis of age, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, creed, color, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation;
- sexual harassment;
- copyright infringement;
- personal political beliefs;
- personal business interests; or
- any unlawful activity
Statement of Privacy and Confidentiality
- Network and system managers will treat the contents of electronic files as private and confidential. Any deliberate inspection of electronic files, and action based on such inspection, will be governed by all applicable U.S. and New York laws and by College policies.
- Electronic mail at Genesee is as private as possible. Attempts to read another person’s electronic mail or other protected files will be treated with the utmost seriousness. The system managers will not read mail or non-world-readable files unless absolutely necessary in the course of their duties, and will treat the contents of those files as private information at all times.
- All users should be on notice that the system managers do periodic security checks of Genesee systems including, but not limited to, password and file checks.
- The system may have utilities or operating procedures which disclose student information; users can control this information in a manner consistent with other sources of directory information. The College will provide students with the information necessary to exercise their FERPA rights and suppress directory information.
- As a part of system maintenance, Computer Services may run programs that examine user files and transmission of data. This will not be construed as a deliberate inspection of user files or data.
Users of Genesee computing resources have the following responsibilities:
- Users are expected to comply with all hardware and software licensing agreements. Software is licensed by the College for users and may be subject to limitations.
- Users are expected to make no unauthorized attempts to gain access to any account not belonging to the user on any Genesee system. Any suspected unauthorized use of a user account should be reported immediately to the Director of Academic Computing or the Director of Computer Services.
- Users are expected not to use any Genesee system as a staging ground to crack (or break into) other computer systems.
- Users are expected not to use any Genesee system through unauthorized dial-up access.
- Users are expected not to use any Genesee system for illegal or criminal purposes.
- All users are responsible for their own telecommunications access charges, if any.
- Any user who finds a possible security hole on any Genesee system is obliged to report it to the Director of Academic Computing or the Director of Computer Services.
- Users are responsible for all use of their accounts, including choosing safe passwords and ensuring file protections are set correctly.
- Access is granted to individuals, not groups of individuals; passwords are not to be shared under any circumstances.
- Keep in mind that many people use the Genesee system for day to day work. Obstructing this work by consuming large amounts of system resources (disk space, CPU time) or be deliberately crashing the machine(s) will not be tolerated. Users are asked to clean up disk space and/or stop processes except in emergencies.
- Genesee computer technology facilities and resources are not to be used for commercial purposes or non-College related activities.
- Users are responsible for the integrity of their own data. Where appropriate, users need to make back-up copies of their data files.
- Genesee computing resources are not to be used to transmit any communication where the meaning of the message, or its transmission or distribution, would violate any applicable law or regulation or be obscene, abusive or highly offensive or objectionable to the recipient or recipients thereof.
- Users are expected to avoid offensive of inflammatory speech. Users must respect the rights of others in the local user community and the Internet at large. Personal attacks are an unacceptable use of the network. If you are a victim of a “flame,” take the time to respond rationally; seek assistance from Computer Services staff, if necessary.
- Users are expected to avoid the knowing or inadvertent spread of computer viruses. Do not import files from unknown sources. If you do obtain software from remote sources, follow proper procedure to check for viruses before use. Virus scanning software is available from the Computer Services department.
- Impersonation is not permitted. Real names must be used; pseudonyms are not allowed. Anonymity is not allowed; individuals must take responsibility for their action and words.
- Users are not allowed to run “sniffers;” these are computer programs that search computer networks for information such as users ids and passwords.
- Users are not to share their passwords with anyone under any circumstances. Users who are asked for their passwords are to report the request immediately to the Director of Academic Computing or the Director of Computer Services.
Procedure for Dealing with Students who Misuse College Computing Resources
The use of computing and information processing resources is a privilege granted by the College to students who have demonstrated an appropriate need in their program of study or work assignment at Genesee Community College. All users of GCC computer resources must comply with the applicable statutes of New York State and Federal law, in particular, Chapter 514 of the New York State Penal Law. The purpose of this procedure is to outline the steps which will be followed if student misuse of computing resources is suspected.
A. Student – A student is an individual who is registered for and is participating in any college program of instruction.
B. Computing Resources – Computing resources consists of, but are not limited to, computing equipment, software, program code, manuals, computer data, program output, printers, computer paper, computing services, CPU time, etc.
C. Misuse of Computing Resources – the following shall constitute the definition of a person who misuses the college computing resources:
- A person is guilty of unauthorized use of a computer when he or she knowingly uses or causes to be used a computer or computer service without authorization and the computer utilized is equipped or programmed with any device or coding system, a function of which is to prevent the unauthorized use of said computer or computer system.
- A person is guilty of computer trespassing when he or she knowingly uses or causes to be used a computer or computer service without authorization and he thereby knowingly gains access to computer material.
- A person is guilty of unlawful duplication of computer related material when having no right to do so, he or she copies, reproduces, or duplicates software in any manner.
- A person is guilty of misuse when he or she intentionally seeks information on, obtain copies of, or modifies files or passwords belonging to others.
- A person is guilty of misuse when he or she intentionally develops or uses programs that harass other users, infiltrates a computing system, or damages or alters the software or data components of a computing system.
- A person is guilty of misuse when he or she authorizes individuals who are not associated with the college to use an account, or uses the academic computers for non-academic related work.
- A person is guilty of misuse when he or she fails to cooperate with or follow established computing resource procedures.
Any member of the college faculty or staff (including employees of SCT or employed students) may identify a student as a potential misuser of computer resources. After identification, the Director of Computer Services or his/her representative may deny the student access to computing resources for a period of up to 24 hours. The Dean of Students and appropriate Associate Dean shall be notified immediately.
After consultation with the appropriate Associate Dean, Director of Computer Services and involved faculty, the Dean of Students may extend the period during which access is denied for up to ten additional instructional days. During this period, the following College disciplinary procedures shall be implemented.
The initiation of internal disciplinary procedures shall not preclude referral of the situation to off-campus authorities.
The determination of student misuse of computing resources shall be made by a College Hearing Board established for that purpose. The Board shall consist of the following members:
- The Dean of Students who shall serve as Chairperson.
- A faculty member appointed by the Chairperson of the Academic Assembly or by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs if the Chairperson is not available.
- An administrator appointed by the College President.
- A student appointed by the President of the Student Government Association or by the Director of Student Activities if the SGA President is not available.
In each situation, the student will be officially charged with violation of this procedure by the Director of Computer Services who shall be responsible for coordinating the presentation of evidence with the Chairperson of the Hearing Board. The following agenda shall be followed in conducting a meeting of the Hearing Board:
- Presentation of charges
- Pleas by student charged
- Presentation of evidence
- Rebuttal of evidence
- Determination of guilt or innocence
- Presentation of information relative to penalty (if appropriate)
- Rebuttal of information relative to penalty (if appropriate)
- Determination of recommended penalty (if appropriate)
The Hearing Board shall consider all evidence presented to it, determine guilt or innocence and, if appropriate, make a recommendation to the College President relative to an appropriate penalty. Penalties may include, but are not limited to:
- Denial of access to computer resources for a definite or indefinite period of time.
- Suspension for a definite or indefinite period of time.
- Dismissal from the College.
- In the case of a student who has withdrawn from college, denial of readmission.
If because of a tie vote, the Hearing board is unable to make a single recommendation, the Board shall summarize its findings and present alternative recommendations to the President.
Overall management of the disciplinary process shall be the responsibility of the Dean of Students. The Dean shall ensure that each student who is charged with violation of this procedure shall have the following procedural rights:
- Be provided a written statement regarding the nature of the problem and evidence related hereto.
- Be advised of the date and place of the hearing at least three instructional days in advance.
- Be advised that he/she is entitled to be represented and advised by a person of his or her choice.
- Be advised of the procedure to be followed during the hearing, including the right of the student to review any material presented to the Board, and to either participate or to remain silent.
- The right to appeal the recommendation of the Hearing Board directly to the College President.