Acceptable Use

Use of the Swarthmore College computer systems and networks is governed by the general norms of responsible community conduct described in the student, faculty, and staff handbooks; by local, state and federal laws; and by College policies specific to use of the computer systems and networks, which are described in the following sections.

This document refers to all who use the computers, networks, and peripherals owned or operated by the College, or who gain access to third-party computers and networks through the College's system. Swarthmore College normally grants access to its computing network and systems to currently enrolled students, to current and emeriti faculty, and to currently employed staff.

Individuals with access to the Swarthmore College network have the following obligations and responsibilities:

  1. To respect other people and the College's intellectual environment. Use of the network may not violate federal, state, or local law, including the laws of defamation, forgery, copyright/trademark infringement, and harassment. The copying or serving of copyrighted material such as music, movies, and other multimedia is strictly forbidden.
  2. To protect each individual account from unauthorized use by others. Every account is provided for the use of a specific individual and may not be shared with nor loaned to others. Additionally, office computers are generally assigned to specific individuals for College-related work. Staff must obtain permission before using a computer not assigned to them.
  3. To respect the integrity of other users' accounts. Individuals must not use another person's user ID without express permission or attempt to decode passwords or to access information illegitimately. For example, sending electronic mail under another person's name (forged e-mail) is a violation of this policy.
  4. To avoid engaging in any activity that may be harmful to the systems operated by the College. Users may not attempt to disrupt, gain unauthorized access to, or damage computing and network systems (hardware and software) belonging to Swarthmore College, or to use the College's computing resources to disrupt, infiltrate or damage systems belonging to others on campus or around the world. When system vulnerability is discovered, users are expected to report it to Information Technology Services (ITS).
  5. To avoid excess use of shared resources.  Excess use of resources may occur through monopolizing systems, overloading networks, misusing printer or other resources, or sending spam or unsolicited mass electronic mail.

Violations of these guidelines that come to the attention of ITS will be referred in a timely fashion to the offices of the Dean, Provost, or Human Resources. ITS may temporarily withhold services from students, faculty or staff while referring the case to the appropriate College office.

Updated: 12/20/2010