USA Student Computer Use Policy
USA provides student access to computer resources through the wireless, JagMail (email), web servers, and departmental labs located throughout
campus. Students using these resources must adhere to all policies of the
University of South Alabama regarding the use of computers and computer networks.
Lab privileges can be denied to anyone using University equipment for
illegal or unethical purposes. Any illegal behavior observed in the labs
will be reported to appropriate University officials or law enforcement
agencies. Anyone using the lab computers in this way, or any other generally
inconsiderate manner, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Such behaviors/activities include, but are not necessarily limited to,
- Uploading or downloading copyrighted material, violating the intellectual
property rights of others, or illegally sharing trade secrets. (Please
note that MP3 and other music files frequently fall into this category.)
Accessing, downloading, or printing out articles solely for educational
and research purposes, however, may be permissible under the fair use
clause of the Copyright Law. See USA Software Policy for more specific
guidelines on using copyrighted software.
- Illegally sharing computer software via Internet, the local network,
personal disks or any other media
- Copying or transmitting material contained in copyrighted databases such as Infotrac, without permission from the source.
- Buying or selling weapons or illegal substances via computer network.
- Threatening or "stalking" others via computer network.
- Knowingly replicating or transmitting computer viruses, or otherwise
deliberately damaging the systems or files of other people.
Strictly Prohibited Behaviors/Activities
- Trafficking in pornography of any kind via computer network. Please
note that redistribution of pornography, even through web page links,
is often illegal.
- Activity that violates state or federal law. This may include viewing,
downloading, posting, printing or sending pornography, or other sexually
explicit, profane, obscene, hostile, or blatantly offensive and intimidating
material, including hate speech, threats, harassing communications
(as defined by law), or information that violates any state or federal
- "Spam", the practice of indiscriminately sending unsolicited email
(e.g., commercial advertisements, chain mail, pornographic
materials, political lobbying, hate speech, racial diatribes,
and religious proselytizing)
to persons who have not indicated interest in receiving such
- "Hacking" or "Cracking", i.e., deliberately invading the privacy
of others by attempting to gain unauthorized access to any
account or system.
- Obtaining/distributing confidential information. Deliberately and inappropriately
observing, recording, accessing, using or transmitting passwords, account
numbers, e-mail addresses, phone numbers or credit card numbers belonging
to other people is prohibited.
- Downloading executable programs, which might interject computer viruses
into lab computers, is generally prohibited. Further guidance with regard
to safe sites and appropriate downloads should be sought from the lab
facilitator. (The University takes no responsibility for damage to your
work or your own equipment resulting from viruses or files you might
download via the Internet.)
- Using University equipment, including the University's Internet
lines, servers or web pages, for commercial gain .
- Unauthorized wiring, altering or damaging of University-owned
computer equipment , including hardware and software.
- Tampering with lab machine settings.
- "Surfing the Net" on lab machines for academic enrichment is
permitted; however, precedence is always given to students
needing access for assigned course work. Classes in the lab with a faculty
member also have precedence.
Otherwise, lab access is allocated on a first-come basis.
Individuals who have been on a computer for more than two
hours should yield if others
- In consideration of other network users, students should limit
bandwidth-intensive activities (e.g., playing or downloading games, music, video) to those
required by their curriculum.
In addition to all guidelines in the policies stated here, all USA students
are subject to the rules outlined in the Code
of Student Conduct and the
Student Academic Conduct
Policy, which are both published in The
Violations of any USA computer policies incur the same types of disciplinary
measures as other University policies or state or federal laws (up to and
including criminal prosecution).
Additional Guidelines for Students
Sexually Explicit Material. All students are expected to effectively discriminate
between professional and unprofessional portrayals of nudity and sexuality.
This is an important aspect of professional judgment in many fields of
study. Dealing with nudity, the examination of the human body and the full
range of human sexuality are relevant and appropriate to those in medical
and other professions. A number of Internet sites (e.g., The National Library
of Medicine and NIH) portray some such materials. Individuals working in
medical school and nursing labs should expect to occasionally encounter
nudity and professional portrayals of sexually explicit material.
Appropriate Activity. While the full range of free speech is supported
and encouraged, USA students should always be mindful of the fact that
the computer labs are located in public areas. Materials on screens visible
to others working in the lab, materials that are deliberately or inadvertently
left behind on the hard drive, and materials posted to the Internet from
this lab should reflect well on the professionalism of our programs. Imposing
exposure to inappropriate sexual materials upon student or faculty colleagues
working nearby (or using the lab at a later time) might be construed as
sexual harassment. Those in doubt about appropriate activity should seek
Confidentiality. Confidentiality is another issue affecting students using
the labs. Under no circumstances should students leave, post or transmit
confidential material such as research data, case reports or private notes
about patients (or case studies) on these computers. The University takes
no responsibility for student work left on lab machines, even if the lab
facilitator gave permission for it to be on the machine. Any such work
may, at any time, be erased accidentally or in routine clean-up activities.
Students should not leave private work or communications on these computers,
nor should they read any private information accidentally left by others.
No material should be left on these computers without permission from the
Reliability of Information. Students should remember that material on
the Internet may or may not be accurate and reliable. It is critical that
any information found on the Internet is carefully evaluated, especially
with regard to pharmacology and health information.