SEARK Technology Policy

Technology Policy

Southeast Arkansas College -

Internet/Technology Acceptable Use Policy

The Following Internet Acceptable Use Policy Applies to the Southeast Arkansas College Students

1. Introduction Southeast Arkansas College (SEARK) provides its students with technology resources and a local area network with access to the Internet. The purpose of these technologies is to: a) enhance the programs and services provided by SEARK, b) conduct SEARK business, c) support SEARK projects, and d) ensure that students are equipped with the necessary tools for communication, research, collaboration, and other tasks required to fulfill class obligations. Each student is expected to use resources for these purposes.

  • Currently, each SEARK student has been provided access to Internet connectivity. The student body relies on this connectivity in order to adequately perform their assigned duties and responsibilities.
  • SEARK provides approximately 1000 or more students access to a networked computer. This represents the majority of the students in the agency.
  • All SEARK students must carefully review and adhere to these Internet acceptable use guidelines.

2. Appropriate Use of Technology

2.1. Technology as a required resource and privilege Appropriate uses of technology include:

  • Accessing the Internet for curriculum related research and information gathering; • Utility and applications software that accomplish tasks and fulfill class functions;
  • Communication and collaboration between students and/or other appropriate entities;
  • Access to the Internet for up-to-date information published by SEARK other state agencies, and various other providers of information that may be necessary in order to complete assigned tasks;
  • Activities or projects that support assignments of students (i.e., word processing programs, spreadsheet programs, various educational tools, etc.)

2.2. Privacy of Information

SEARK reserves the right to monitor and/or log all network activity with or without notice, including e-mail and all web site communications, and therefore, users should have no expectation of privacy in the use of these resources.

  • The Agency will not monitor e-mail transmissions on a regular basis, though the construction, repair, operations and maintenance of electronic messaging systems may occasionally result in monitoring random transmitted or stored messages.
  • Messages may be monitored during the course of investigations of illegal activity.
  • The agency will not provide third parties with access to stored electronic messages without the written consent of the sender and recipient except in special circumstances, such as investigating illegal activity or misuse of the system, or resolving a technical problem.

2.3. Governor's Policy Directive

Governor's Policy Directive GPD-5, 1997 clearly states that... "Use of any and all State-owned equipment and supplies shall be restricted to official state use only. Unauthorized or personal use of equipment or supplies may be grounds for dismissal."

2.4. User Restrictions

SEARK students will not excessively use the agency network, computer systems, and servers including access to the use of the Internet and other information resources during regular class hours for business unrelated to the class. Limited personal use of these resources is allowed during breaks and lunch time. Only games that are part of the workstation's operating system will be permitted to be used during normal break times and only without sound features activated.

2.5. Unacceptable Uses

The following general uses are prohibited:

  • Interference with the security or operation of the computer systems;
  • Vandalizing equipment, software, or hardware;
  • Attempting to alter or gain access to unauthorized files or systems;
  • Using technology in a way that interferes with class obligations;
  • Violating the rights of others by publishing or displaying any information that is defamatory, obscene, known to be inaccurate or false, profane, or threatening.
  • It is unacceptable for a user to use, submit, publish, display, or transmit on the network or on any computer system any information which:
  • Violates or infringes on the rights of any other person, including the right to privacy;
  • Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, or otherwise biased, discriminatory, or illegal material;
  • Inhibits other users from using the system or the efficiency of the computer systems;
  • Encourages the use of controlled substances or uses the system for the purpose of criminal intent;
  • Uses the system for any other illegal purpose. • It is also unacceptable for a user to use the facilities and capabilities of the system to:
  • Knowingly transmit material, information, or software in violation of any local, state or federal law;
  • Conduct any non-governmental-related fund raising or public relations activities;
  • Engage in any activity for personal financial gain, such as buying or selling of commodities or services with a profit motive;
  • View, download or send pornographic or other obscene materials;
  • Visit and/or participate in chat rooms not designed for professional interactions specifically related to one's job;
  • Endanger productivity of SEARK.

3. Internet

3.1. Purpose of Internet Access

The Internet provides a wealth of information useful for educational purposes. With Internet access a student of SEARK can utilize the many research and resource tools available online. These tools can aid in preparing reports or projects required by the agency.

All SEARK students may access the Internet and other information resources and services at any time that in the judgment of the user, such access and use will benefit SEARK programs and services.

3.2. Internet Access Guidelines

When online, students should abide by conventional etiquette guidelines developed for the Internet ('netiquette').

3.3. Appropriate Use of Web Access

Students are responsible for making sure they use this access correctly and wisely. Students should not allow Internet use to interfere with their classroom responsibilities.

Acceptable uses include:

  • Access to and distribution of information that is in direct support of the business of SEARK. •
  • Providing and simplifying communications with other students and staff members.
  • Communication of information related to educational development or to remain current on topics of general SEARK student interest;
  • Announcement of new laws, rules, or regulations by the staff to the students;
  • Encouraging collaborative projects and sharing of resources.

Inappropriate uses of web access include, but are not limited to:

  • Viewing, downloading or sending pornographic or other obscene materials;
  • "Surfing" the Web for inordinate amounts of time;
  • Otherwise endangering productivity of SEARK.
  • Purposes which violates a Federal or Arkansas law;
  • Dissemination or printing copyrighted materials (including articles and software) in violation of copyright laws.

4. Appropriate Network Use and User Accounts Guidelines Use of the state’s Internet connection and E-mail resources is a privilege and it is expected that all students abide by acceptable user guidelines. Appropriate network and user account guidelines include: • SEARK students will only access those computer accounts which have been authorized for their use and must identify computing work with their own names or other approved IDs so that responsibility for the work can be determined and users can be contacted in unusual situations. • SEARK students will use accounts for authorized purposes. This policy shall not prevent informal communication, but accounts will not be used for private consulting or personal gain. • Network administrators may review files and communications to maintain system integrity and ensure that users are using the system responsibly. Staff should not expect files and documents to always remain private. • Users are encouraged to maximize the use of the technologies covered under this user policy to reduce the cost of postage, letters, reports, etc. 5. Copyright Guidelines 6.1. Purpose of Software Availability SEARK provides utility and application software that enhances the efficiency and productivity of its students. SEARK students must honor copyright laws regarding protected commercial software used at the agency. 5.2. Compliance With Copyright Laws • Copyright laws do not allow a person to store copies of a program on multiple machines, distribute copies to others via disks or Internet, or to alter the content of the software, unless permission has been granted under the license agreement. • Users may download copyrighted material, but its use must be strictly within the agreement as posted by the author or current copyright law. • Unauthorized use of copyrighted materials or another person’s original writing is considered copyright infringement. • Any user that copies and distributes software in any form for any purpose should do so only on the authority of the user's instructor. • Each user is responsible for observing all local, state, federal laws, especially in regard to copyright laws. The agency will not be responsible for the cost of any legal action taken against any user that violates such laws regardless of the situation or the intent or purpose of the user. • All students that use software owned by SEARK or the state must abide by the limitations included in the copyright and license agreements entered into with software providers. 6. Enforcement and Penalties SEARK students are responsible for complying with this policy. Penalties for non-compliance include, but are not limited to: • Suspension or usage restrictions of Internet service and email/messaging services. • Internal disciplinary measures, including expulsion. • Initiation of criminal or civil action, if appropriate.

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