Computing Resources, Network and Email Use

Policy Statement: Use of the College's wired/wireless network is extended to authorized campus users on the condition that they comply with these guidelines and exercise personal and professional responsibility and integrity when using these resources. All users are expected to honor and maintain the necessary restrictions on network bandwidth usage and file sharing as outlined below.

Purpose/Reason for Policy: This policy is designed to support and protect the College’s data and computing and network resources and to outline expectations for all users of these resources.  

Scope/Covered Persons: All users of the Guilford College network, equipment, communications systems, and/or College-owned software

Definitions: Bandwidth — the amount of data transferred to or from the website within a defined period of time.

The Policy: 

Network Acceptable Use: The campus network, including its servers and associated software, is the property of Guilford College and should be used for educational, academic or work-related endeavors. Neither the network pathways nor Guilford-owned computer systems are to be used:

  • for purposes incompatible with established College policies, procedures, protocols or applicable laws
  • for unauthorized commercial enterprise
  • for harassing, fraudulent, or threatening purposes 
  • for pirating software, music or images
  • to violate copyright or intellectual property law or to plagiarize resources for academic or administrative work

Unauthorized Use: The following activities are non-exclusive examples of those that are not permitted and that may lead to suspension or revocation of use privileges and other penalties or discipline:

  • unauthorized access or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another user’s computer/networked server/network device or Internet data history and email (Only Guilford College Information Systems personnel have this authority).
  • unauthorized disclosure of confidential information;
  • misrepresenting or attempting to misrepresent one's identity;
  • altering or tampering with the configuration of computers in student labs and other common areas, or installing unauthorized games or other programs on their hard disks or on the shared-files area of the file servers;
  • any network activity that impedes the flow of network traffic, significantly diminishes the availability of resources to other users, or imposes avoidable burdens on other users (for example, sending mass emails instead of using the appropriate services available for communicating with the entire community or large subgroups); 
  • attempts to distribute viruses or other programs that would disrupt, damage, or destroy computer software and/or equipment; and/or
  • the unauthorized physical or virtual extension or re-configuration of any portion of the campus network by such means as routers (wired or wireless), wireless access points, network wiring, or other methods.

No computer may act as a file-sharing or peer to peer server to the Internet in order to protect the college’s Internet connection from being swamped by external users obtaining files. Furthermore, IT&S strongly recommends that users do not enable any kind of file sharing, even when it’s only available on campus.

Requests for Discipline Specific Software: Additional software may not be installed on any College owned computer without prior approval from the department of IT&S. The College must license all software used for a discipline specific classroom; it should be network compatible, and will be supported by the faculty member. 

Email: IT&S staff members assign students, faculty and staff an official Guilford email address.  Email is an official means of communication at Guilford and faculty, staff and students are expected to check their College email regularly to stay up-to-date on important College matters.  

Confidential Information: Students, faculty, staff, and volunteers with access to confidential data are reminded of the College's Confidentiality of Information and Privacy Protection Policy.

Roles and Responsibilities: 

  • It is the responsibility of each individual to use the network appropriately and in compliance with all College, city, county, state and federal laws, regulations and policies.  
  • All users are responsible for knowing what programs are running on their computers, to understand what those programs might be doing, particularly with respect to transmitting files to and from other computers or the Internet, and to run up-to-date anti-virus software.
  • The director of IT&S or designee is authorized to temporarily suspend use privileges in any case deemed appropriate by the director until final resolution of the matter.
  • The College reserves the right to access individual accounts when there is a legitimate business or legal need to do so.

Compliance: The College enforces necessary restrictions to protect its data and computing and network resources, including the revocation of user privileges for unauthorized or inappropriate use.

The director of IT&S or designee is authorized to temporarily suspend user privileges in any case deemed appropriate until final resolution of the matter.

While the College desires to maintain user privacy and to avoid the unnecessary interruption of user activities, and while the College does not monitor the content of user activities, the College reserves the right to investigate concerns of unauthorized or improper use of College resources, as appropriate.  

Possible violations of the above policy should be reported to the director of Information and Technology Services who may refer the matter to the appropriate College authority.  If Guilford College has reason to believe that the network has been used in violation if the legal rights of any person or entity, the College reserves the right to review, access or monitor any communication or data stored on or transmitted through the network to facilitate an investigation.  

Students who violate this policy may lose network access privileges and be subject to reconnection fees and judicial violations.  Faculty and staff who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.  

Procedures: 

Requests for Discipline Specific Software:  If teaching faculty have software they would like to use in teaching a class, requests should be submitted to the Help Desk one semester prior to its intended use and the following information provided:

  • Software to be reviewed. Prior to new software being purchased or installed on College owned machines please coordinate with IT&S.
  • Date the software will begin being used in class.
  • Number of students this software will serve.

Other related Policies, Regulations, Statutes and Documents: 

Confidentiality of Information and Privacy Protection

Copyright Policy

Approval Authority: College President

Responsible Office: Chuck Curry, Director of IT&S, Bauman 107A, 336.316.2426, curryrc@guilford.edu 

Revision History: 

  • Revised April 2018 to merge existing policy documents and to comply with standard College policy format. 
  • Revised June 2018 to merge the Bandwidth Usage and File Sharing policy with the Computing Resources Policy.