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Acceptable and Ethical Use Policy

CWUP 3-20-111 Acceptable and Ethical Use of University Information Technology Resources Policy

Document Approved by UCC on May 16, 1997 and by Cabinet on September 8, 1997, revised and approved by Cabinet on June 1, 2005.

Last Revised: November 2011
Last Reviewed: November 2011

All university faculty, administrators, staff, and students, by virtue of their use of Central Washington University information technology resources, accept the responsibility of using these resources only for appropriate university activities. Library public computers are primarily intended for research.

This policy covers all information technology resources that provide the Central Washington University community with computing, networking, telephony and television/video resources.

Information technology resources provide the Central Washington University community and guests with access to local, national and international information as well as the ability to communicate with other users worldwide. Information technology resources should be used in an acceptable and ethical manner. For the benefit of the community, users must assume responsibility in the use of information technology resources. Use of information technology resources is governed by the United States Code, the laws of the State of Washington and Central Washington University policies.

Authorized Access

Members of the Central Washington University community are authorized to use information technology resources provided by Central Washington University. The Central Washington University Library provides public computers with access to the Internet.

Acceptable Uses

Information technology resources can be used for activities that support the mission of the University.

  • Learning
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • University business

CWU Data Network Connection Policy

Devices which extend the network such as but not limited to hubs, switches, bridges, routers and access points or computers functioning as such may not be connected to the CWU data network. Such devices are connected by the Networks and Operations department within Information Technology Services only. Users (students, faculty and staff) may connect computers and printers to the CWU network.

Legal Use Guidelines

  • Information technology resources may not be used for any illegal or criminal purposes.
  • Software, images, music or other intellectual property may only be used in compliance with the U.S. Copyright Act and Central Washington University Intellectual Properties Policy.
  • Transmitting images, sounds, or messages to others which might reasonably be considered harassing, malicious and/or cyber bullying is not permissible.
  • Using Central Washington University information technology resources to attempt to break into, gain root access, probe, disrupt, or obstruct any system is not permissible. Installation of invasive software or testing security flaws without authorization on any system is not permissible.
  • Information technology resource use is subject to Use of State Resources WAC 292-110-010.

Responsible and Ethical Use Guidelines

  • Respect the intended use of all information technology resources for learning, teaching research and university business purposes.
  • Respect other users by not sending unwanted email messages, maligning address information, flooding the system, sending frivolous messages, forging subscriptions, or tampering with accounts, files, or data that are not owned by your account.
  • Use only the user credentials assigned to you; use it for the purposes which it was intended, and to not share it with others.
  • Be sensitive to the public nature of shared resources, i.e. labs, modem pool, disk space, printers, bandwidth.
  • Occasional unsolicited receipt of email should be deleted, report repeated unsolicited receipt of email as directed under Misuse of Information Technology Resources.
  • Student use of email services is regulated by the Statement of Agreement between Central Washington University and the ASCWU Board of Directors which states "The Associated Students of Central Washington University recognize all use of email and internet services that is legal, adheres to University policy, and meets contractual obligations, as educational in nature.
  • Observe all legal requirements specified in any software licenses, contracts and copyright.
  • When using networks outside of the University (such as the Internet), comply with acceptable use polices and contracts of those systems.

Reporting Misuse of Information Technology Resources

Complaints regarding misuse of information technology resources should be reported to Information Technology Services.

Information Technology Services' Responsibilities

Information Technology Services is responsible for insuring that the University's computing, networking, television/video and telephony resources are properly used and protected by maintaining the integrity, security, and privacy of the resources and of users' electronic files, mail, records, and activities.

While the university does not generally monitor or limit content of information transmitted on the network, it reserves the right to access and review all information under certain conditions. These include: investigating performance deviations and system problems (with reasonable cause), determining if an individual is in violation of this policy, or records search, as may be necessary. Users should not expect that their use of information technology services, (sites they visit, email, IM, files, network traffic, etc.) using university resources will be private.


Security measures are in place to assist with investigations of illegal and criminal activities or policy violations. Investigations performed by Information Technology Services and Academic Computing are performed as appropriate and necessary.

If suspicion of misuse of information technology resources is found, the following steps will be taken to protect information technology resources and the user community:

  • Computing, networking, and telephony accounts will be immediately suspended pending the outcome of any investigation
  • Files, data, usage logs, etc. will be inspected for evidence
  • The violation will be reported to the appropriate authorities:
    • University policy violation to Student Affairs, the appropriate instructors, department chair, direct supervisor, or Vice Presidents.
    • Legal violations to the campus police, the FBI, the Secret Service, Human Rights, or the Attorney General's Office.

Violations of this policy will result in revocation of access to information technology resources as well as university disciplinary and/or legal action.

Violators are subject to any and all of the following:

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