The online Student Handbook is produced as a resource for the
students, faculty, staff, and administration of Dickinson College. Content
is subject to change. Please contact the appropriate person or office to obtain
the most current information.
Rights and Responsibilities
The Responsible Use Policy applies to all members of the
Dickinson College community. It meets the needs of the college to provide a
clear policy regarding the use of college-owned resources for electronic
communications and Internet services.
This policy was developed after a review of policies that
are used at other institutions of higher education and in consultation with
subject and legal experts. It has been discussed with the Faculty Personnel
Committee and other members of the college community. Careful attention has
been paid to maintaining academic freedom as well as to safeguarding personal
privacy. The policy strikes a reasonable balance between individual’s open
access to electronic communications and the college’s need to protect itself as
a provider of electronic services and the members of the community.
There are two ways material may be reviewed. The ﬁrst is
through the discipline process where someone has ﬁled a complaint. The second
is identiﬁed in the ﬁrst paragraph of the policy and deals with monitoring.
Monitoring means that as part of systems or performance monitoring, or upon
receiving claims of wrongdoing or harassment, i.e. a complaint received by the
Help Desk, Library & Information Services (LIS) staff can “look” to the
extent necessary to determine that personal use is or is not in compliance with
the policy. This means that authorized LIS staff would look ﬁrst at the pattern
of trafﬁc, not the content of the trafﬁc. If, based upon this monitoring,
reason to be concerned arises, LIS staff may proceed to look further, but only
to the point that a violation is established. At that point the LIS staff would
refer the matter to the disciplinary process described in the policy.
Dickinson College uses electronic mail (e-mail) as one means
of conveying ofﬁcial notiﬁcations and communications to its students. Each
student is provided with a Dickinson e-mail account for this purpose. You are
responsible for receiving, reading, responding to, and complying with ofﬁcial
e-mail communications from the college and college ofﬁcials. These include, but
are not limited to, communications from the President, Provost and Dean of the
College, Vice President for Student Development, Dean of Students, Registrar,
Financial Aid, Public Safety and other ofﬁces, as well as communications from
your professors. If you do not have regular access to e-mail, you must make
arrangements with the college for alternative means of communication. You are
also responsible for ensuring that there is enough space in your e-mail
accounts to receive messages. Instructions on maintaining and cleaning out
Dickinson e-mail accounts can be found on the LIS
Use of college-owned computers and the campus network and
other communications systems is considered a privilege, not a right. The
college reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend computing/networking
privileges and access to computer resources. Electronic communications,
including electronic mail, mailboxes, Internet and the contents, (subject to
the intellectual property policies of the college) created or stored on any
college computer/network related equipment, are the sole property of the
college. Computers and the campus network are provided to assist students and
employees in the completion of their academic pursuits and job duties and to support
the college’s daily operations and long term goals. The college reserves the
right to monitor computer/network communications, including Internet access and
e-mail at its discretion for legitimate business and educational purposes.
Legitimate purposes may include but are not limited to: periodic systems
checks; checks for inappropriate personal use of college equipment,
investigations into claims of wrongdoing; locating information stored in ﬁles
required for the conduct of business; and quality control.
You should be aware that your e-mail messages, even those
marked personal or those which must be accessed with personal identiﬁcation or
password, may be reviewed by the college to ensure proper usage consistent with
We urge you to use restraint when drafting e-mail messages.
Employees and students should use the same caution in drafting and transmitting
e-mail messages as they would when writing a formal memorandum. Always assume
that your messages will be saved and may be reviewed by someone other than the
original addressee; these messages can be subpoenaed by court order.
The primary use of the computer and the Dickinson campus
network must be related to legitimate academic pursuits, the college’s business
and/or the employee’s job functions within the college. Personal computer use
is permitted provided that such use:
- Does not affect productivity, quality or service
to students and others whom we serve.
- Does not interfere with the user’s job
responsibilities or other obligations to the college.
- Does not create a conﬂict of interest or
contribute to personal ﬁnancial gain.
- Does not directly or indirectly interfere with
the college’s operation of electronic mail services, computing capacity or
- Does not violate any of the guidelines and
procedures contained in this and other applicable laws or Dickinson college
policies including other Acceptable Use Policies currently in effect at
Dickinson and the college’s policy on harassment.
- Provided that established computer naming
formats are followed.
Employees and students are prohibited from using
college-owned computers and/or college-provided computer/network services to:
- Download offensive or derogatory material from
- Duplicate copyrighted or licensed software or
use illegal copies of software. These practices may also be violations of
- Send harassing or offensive communications over
computer lines, including initiating or forwarding electronic chain letters.
- Gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to
or make unauthorized use of, another’s individual ID and/or password, computer
accounts, disks, ﬁles, equipment, networks or facilities.
- Violate the privacy of others by reading their
ﬁles or computer mail.
- Intentionally erase stored information or modify
equipment, accounts, disks, or ﬁles which are not your own.
- Attempt to deceive other computer users through
false representation or forgery.
- Attempt to defeat any security mechanisms,
including automatic idle session timeouts, which have been put in place to
protect the integrity of computer systems, information, and networks.
- Intentionally introduce harmful software or
release a virus, worm or other program that damages or otherwise harms a system
- Interfere with any other person’s fair use of
- Compromise any computer system by releasing
privileged or sensitive information, including
- Run a personal business.
- Violate any local, state or federal law.
- Establish workgroup ﬁle sharing, print sharing
or peer to peer services on any segment of the Dickinson campus network without
approval and veriﬁcation from LIS.
- Implement private wireless access points on the
Dickinson campus network per the policy for
Wireless Internet Access.
The prohibited uses are not intended to restrict academic
freedom. Nevertheless, members of the college community will remain responsible
for prohibited uses which have no reasonable relationship to teaching, learning
or scholarly research.
Employees and students are advised that continued use of the
college’s computers/networks constitutes consent to monitoring of electronic
communications, including electronic mail, mailboxes, Internet and the contents
created or stored on any college computer/network related equipment and is
conditioned upon strict adherence to college policy. Failure to adhere to this
policy may result in the loss of e-mail and/or computing/ networking privileges
and discipline up to and including censure, expulsion or termination in
addition to any applicable civil or criminal penalties.
Disciplinary actions involving faculty will be initiated by
the Provost and Dean of the College after consulting with the Faculty Personnel
Committee. Disciplinary actions involving college administrators or staff will
be referred to the normal personnel procedures by the employee’s division head.
Disciplinary actions involving students will be referred to the student
disciplinary hearing process by the Dean of Students or his/her designee. Continued
use of the college’s e-mail system constitutes acceptance of this policy.
Unauthorized peer to peer (P2P) networking involves at least
two issues. First, unless authorized in advance by Library and Information
Services (LIS), P2P networking in and of itself violates the Policy for
Responsible Use of Electronic Communications and Network Services agreed to by
all students as a condition for using the campus network. Such activity is generally
prohibited because it has the potential of degrading overall network
performance. Second, P2P networking may also involve illegal ﬁle sharing, a
violation of federal law. The complete Unauthorized Peer to Peer Networking
Policy can be found on the LIS Web site at lis.dickinson.edu/Technology/Policies/peer-to-peer.htm.
The Library & Information Services division (LIS) is
solely responsible for installing and maintaining wireless access points (WAP)
and wireless networking services on the Dickinson College campus network. LIS
will support and maintain the devices that it installs. No other WAPs are
permitted to be connected to the Dickinson College network. The Dickinson
College Policy for Responsible Use of Electronic Communications and Network
Services governs the use of the wireless network. Unauthorized WAPs will be
removed from the Dickinson College network. The owner of the unauthorized WAP
will be considered to have committed a violation of the Responsible Use Policy.