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WNMU Acceptable Use Policy


1.   The purposes of these policies and procedures are to cultivate computer use at Western New Mexico University (the University) and to regulate computer and network use as necessary to protect individual privacy, to provide an equitable sharing of limited resources and to promote responsibility in the use of University computing resources.


2.   The University's general policies for use of its computer systems and equipment are

A. All computer users have the responsibility to use the University computing and networking systems in an effective, efficient, ethical and lawful manner.

B. Use of the University computing facilities is a privilege, not a right. The University may protect legitimate facilities uses by imposing sanctions on users who abuse the privilege, including the loss of the privileges.

C. Computer users shall

(1) Respect the intended use of accounts established for their use;

(2) Respect the integrity of the University computing and networking systems;

(3) Respect the privacy of other computer users;

(4) Respect the rules, regulations and procedures governing the use of University computing facilities, equipment and systems, including those of the University's official server(s);

(5) Respect the proprietary rights of software owners and comply with all copyright laws, treaties and compacts of the United States and all laws of the state of New Mexico, including the New Mexico Computer Crimes Act, Sections 3045-1 to 30-45-7, New Mexico Statutes Annotated (1978 Compilation).

D. University computer systems and networks are dedicated to the educational mission of the University. In addition to these policies and procedures, standards of common sense and common decency must be applied in deterring what uses are proper when using the public resources of the University.

E. University shall not provide computer access to persons or entities not affiliated with the University as that would violate Article IX, Section 14, of the Constitution of New Mexico, which prohibits donations by the state to private individuals or entities.

F. University acknowledges that the computer medium provides its students, faculty and staff opportunities for research, dialogue and expression. However, the University and each computer user has the responsibility to use each of the computing and networking systems, which are public property, in a manner related to the educational process for which they are intended.


3.   Computer Accounts in General. All computer accounts shall be the property of the University. The privileges of such accounts shall be given by authorized units, departments and offices of the University for specific academic, administrative and other authorized University uses.

4.   Account Protection. The integrity of the University computer systems shall be maintained by the protection of accounts through use of passwords. Any violation of the integrity of a University computer system shall be deemed to be a prohibited misappropriation of University property and will subject the violator to discipline and loss of computer privileges.

Attempts to perform any of the following acts are among such prohibited actions:

(1) Make an account available to any person not authorized access by the university;

(2) Defeat the security system of any computer;

(3) Circumvent the accounting system;

(4) Access and/or use an account without authorization;

(5) Use accounts for other than intended purposes;

(6) Misappropriate the data or files of another person;

(7) Download or upload copyrighted material; or

(8) Use University computing and networking resources to gain unauthorized access to any computer system.

5.   Resource Limits. The University reserves the authority to establish storage and memory limits of accounts. If resources are low, the account holder should notify the course instructor, Academic Computing, the Information Systems Department, or the authorizing manager or department head, whichever is appropriate for that account.

6.   Session Limits. The University may limit a computer user's session if there are insufficient resources or if the user is determined by appropriate authorities to be acting in an irresponsible or unlawful manner. The University may also cancel, restart, or place a hold on a job, process or program to protect or improve system performance.

7.   Protection of the System. Responsible continued use of the University computing and networking systems requires that

A. Refrain from development or use of programs or utilities which:

      (1) Harass or interfere with other University computer users;

      (2) Infiltrate or modify the system or an account; or

      (3) Damage the hardware or software components of the system

B. When requested, cooperate with systems administrators in investigations of systems abuse, and report  suspected abuse, especially any damage to or problems with the user's files.

8.   Non-Confidentiality. The University recognizes that users might believe computer files and e-mail messages to be confidential. However, such files and messages are subject to access by Academic Computing and/or Information Systems during system maintenance as well as when there is a report of suspected unlawful or improper activities to the proper University or other governmental authorities. Although the University will not routinely review user's e-mail or files, the University reserves the right to review all information on any University server. Users' files are not confidential.

9.   Rules. In addition to these policies and procedures, the University has various specific rules, regulations and procedures which govern the use of computing and networking equipment and facilities located around the University and which are posted in labs or readily available in printed form. Each computing site and environment has operators, consultants and/or supervisors who have the responsibility of the use of that site. Users shall abide by the rules, regulations and procedures of the University, users shall cooperate with operators, consultants and supervisors.

10. Consultation. Computer users are encouraged to consult with Academic Computing or Information Systems personnel (or other appropriate University consultants) regarding computer use. However, obtaining assistance in completing computer related academic assignments is prohibited unless permission for consultation is given by the instructor.

11. Copyrights and Licenses. Computer users shall not copy software protected by copyrights or software licenses except as specifically allowed by the Licensing agreements or other stipulations of the owner. Making and distributing copies shall not be done in such a way that the number of simultaneous users exceeds the number of original copies purchased, unless otherwise stipulated in the purchase contract. Computer users at the University should presume that software is copyrighted unless they have specific knowledge to the contrary.

12. Recreational and Personal Use. There are uses of University computing and networking systems which are improper. Reasonable recreational and other personal uses are allowed, provided such use does not interfere with academic use, violate any University policy or procedure or law. The responsibility to use good judgement to avoid improper use resides with the user. All such improper uses cannot be anticipated or listed here; but some uses are:

A. Under no circumstances may games be played, or other recreational uses occur, when such use would interfere with the availability of facilities for academic use.

B. Certain other activities are expressly prohibited. These include but or not limited to:

(1) Commercial activities or advertising,

(2) Libelous statements that would damage a person,

(3) Use of computers to harass or threaten a person,

(4) Dissemination of licensed software, and

(5) Invasion or violation of personal property.

13. Sanctions. Failure to abide by the guidelines set forth in the foregoing policies and procedures shall subject any user of the University computing and networking systems to sanctions, which may result in denial of computer account privileges and/or other disciplinary action, which could lead to expulsion from the University, dismissal from a position, or legal action.

14. Administration. These policies and procedures shall be administered by the Director of Information Systems and the Director of Academic Computing (the Directors), with oversight by the Executive Committee.

A. Student concerns not resolved by the Directors may be presented to the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

B. Faculty concerns not resolved by the Directors may be presented to the Executive Committee.

C. Administrative concerns not resolved by the Directors may be presented to the Vice President for Business Affairs.

15. Agreement to Abide bv Acceptable Use Policy. I hereby certify that I have received a copy of the WNMU Acceptable Use Policy for Computing Resources and agree to the terms and conditions set forth within the policy. I understand that access to the University computing facilities is a privilege, and not a right, and that this access may be completely revoked or limited by the University at any time, for any reason deemed sufficient by the University. I further understand that any violation of the terms of this policy may result in suspension or termination of my access privileges, and also result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Faculty, Staff or Student Handbooks.

WNMU Information Technology
PO Box 680  Silver City, NM 88062
Phone: 575-538-6436    Fax: 575-538-6491