This policy applies to all data, voice, video systems and networks (including hardware, software, and data) owned or operated by Mercyhurst University as well as to outside systems and networks to which Mercyhurst University is connected. The systems range from multi-user systems to single-user devices such as computers and telephones, whether freestanding or connected to networks. The information technology systems and networks at Mercyhurst University are intended to be used in a manner that supports the educational mission of the University and is conducive to the overall academic climate. Because electronic information is easily reproduced, respect for authorial integrity is essential. Violations of integrity, such as plagiarism, unauthorized access, copyright violations and invasion of privacy, will not be tolerated.
Mercyhurst University creates accounts on its systems for current employees and currently registered students. To be granted the use of an account, users must agree to abide by the rules and regulations related to appropriate, legal, and ethical use of Mercyhurst University systems and networks. Students and employees are assigned an individual login ID or authorization code and must not share that access code or password with any other person. Users are responsible for any and all usage of their assigned IDs on the systems or networks. Passwords should be changed regularly.
Mercyhurst University systems and networks are vital to the programs of instruction, research, and administration of the University; therefore, a framework of responsible, considerate and ethical behavior applies to use of campus computers, network resources, and access through the University resources to other networks. Since users in fact represent Mercyhurst University, they are expected to apply standards of normal academic and professional ethics and considerate conduct in the economical use of all Mercyhurst University systems and resources. In addition, users are expected to be aware that their use of the systems and networks is subject to all applicable University regulations, Internet regulations, and federal, local, and international laws. Users are prohibited from using systems and networks to conduct various activities including, but not limited to, the following: Access or use without explicit authorization accounts, information, systems or networks at Mercyhurst or at other sites accessible from Mercyhurst’s networks; Interfering with or disrupting network users, services or equipment. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, distribution of unsolicited advertising, propagation of computer worms and viruses, personal or non-academic uses which negatively impact academic use, and use of the network to make unauthorized entry to any other machines accessible via the network; Inspect, copy, transmit, distribute or disclose any proprietary or confidential information or data, including that pertaining to Mercyhurst’s students, employees, vendors, donors, and alumni; this applies to both print and electronic formats; Copy or distribute or transmit intellectual property without explicit permission of the owner. Intellectual property includes text, video, audio, software programs, and data; create, access, copy, transmit or distribute obscene or pornographic materials or materials contrary to the University’s mission and vision; Harass, threaten, stalk, or abuse others; Conduct business unrelated to the University or excessive use of resources for personal reasons; such use includes, but is not limited to sending stored personal files on computer systems; printing output for personal projects without permission; using University-owned computers for extended periods to send personal e-mail or to browse the Web. Because materials posted or transmitted on the Internet are identified as coming from Mercyhurst University computer systems, any unofficial material such as student or faculty Web pages must include a disclaimer stating that the information does not necessarily represent the views of Mercyhurst University. Antivirus software should be run every time a computer starts up, a portable storage device (flash drive, disk, or CD) is used, or a file is downloaded from the Internet or another computer. The privacy of electronic mail or voice mail is in general respected, but not guaranteed. Violations of the above guidelines can result in the loss of account privileges as well as other disciplinary sanctions. 1. Claims of copyright infringement must be submitted in writing to Mercyhurst’s designated Copyright Officer, Darci Jones, Director of Libraries. Claims will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Repeated copyright infringement will result in the loss of account privileges as well as other disciplinary sanctions. 75 Violation of Copyright Policy First Offense Warning Deletion of Illegally Downloaded Files Possible Restriction/Loss of Internet Privileges for One Week Second Offense $50.00 Fine and 10 Hours of Community Restitution Written Reprimand Deletion of Illegally Downloaded Files Possible Restriction/Loss of Internet Privileges for One Term 2. Interfering with or disrupting network users, services or equipment. Excessive Use of Bandwidth/E-Mail First Offense Warning Possible Restriction/Loss of Internet Privileges for One Week Second Offense $50.00 Fine and 10 Hours of Community Restitution Written Reprimand Possible Restriction/Loss of Internet Privileges 3. Abuse of Network Resources $100.00 Fine and 20 Hours of Community Restitution Social Probation Possible Disciplinary Probation Possible Restriction/Loss of Internet Privileges 4. Social network sites, other digital platforms, and distribution mechanisms facilitate student communication. Mercyhurst University believes that such sites provide students with opportunities to interact with individuals in innovative and creative ways. It is critical, however, that students are fully aware of the potential negative consequences arising out of irresponsible and inappropriate conduct on these sites. Mercyhurst students are encouraged to exercise good judgment if they choose to engage in online social networking. Students will be held responsible for any actions that compromise the integrity of the University. For example, photos or statements placed on these social networks that depict harassment (including sexual harassment); vandalism; underage drinking or consumption of alcohol in violation of Mercyhurst University’s alcohol policy; hazing; and selling, possessing, or using controlled substances can be used in student conduct proceedings. Misuse of Social Media $100.00 Fine and 20 Hours of Community Restitution Social Probation Possible Disciplinary Probation Possible Restriction/Loss of Internet Privileges The violations and sanctions listed above are presumptive. During adjudication, the technical savvy involved in the violation and the intent of the user will be considered. Violations of Federal Copyright Laws may result in prosecution of the student(s) involved. In no way does adjudication through the University system exempt a student from prosecution.