Computing & Online Presence Policy

Alma’s computer resources provide a vital service to all segments of the college. In using the system, therefore, we ask that you do so conscientiously. The individual and the college have fundamental rights and responsibilities to foster the mission of the educational community.

Alma College recognizes the ownership rights of users’ own intellectual work and that all files (programs, documents, mail messages, directories, etc.) are the private property of individuals who create them or to whom they are legally sent or assigned. As such, electronically stored information is considered confidential; examination or disclosure of the contents is permitted only when authorized by the owner of the information, approved by the appropriate college official, or as required by local, state or federal laws.

It is a most serious offense for any user to attempt to degrade the performance of the college computer/information system, to seek to penetrate its security, or in any way to deprive or attempt to deprive other users of resources or access to the computer. The intent of the following list is to give an overview of unacceptable uses of Alma College’s computing resources without exhaustively enumerating all such uses and misuses.


General Computing:

Computer misuse includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Using a computer account belonging to another individual.
  2. Tampering with the operation of Alma College’s computing systems or other computer resources available through the network, including equipment and programs. (i.e., wireless routers, etc.)
  3. Using Alma’s computer resources for commercial purposes and/or for personal profit not in line with the college’s educational mission.
  4. Reading, modifying, copying or deleting programs or data without proper authorization.
  5. Using network resources to send or publish abusive, obscene, or otherwise harassing communications.
  6. Using computing resources in such a manner as to cause congestion and performance degradation of the network.
  7. Specifying false or misleading identification when required to do so for any purpose associated with use of the systems.
  8. Failing to adhere to the current MichNet Acceptable Use Policy

When a violation of computer use policy is suspected, Information Technology Services personnel may examine or disclose the contents of electronically stored information, but only with reasonable cause and with explicit authorization of the senior administrative staff (president, vice-presidents). Personnel may also intervene when required by state or federal officials. Persons discovered in violation of Alma College’s Computing-Acceptable Use Policy, or any other provisions established by Information Technology Services, shall be reported to the appropriate college, state or federal judicial authorities and be subject to disciplinary and/or criminal action.

Online Presence:

Introduction and Definition of Terms:
Electronic publishing, like print publishing, reflects on Alma College. Electronic “publishing” and “publications” refer to information which is disseminated and/or stored electronically so that someone else may have access to it, understand it, or use it, and the publisher or source of the information may be identified as Alma College. “Information” refers to the contents of any electronic file, including words, visual images, sounds, and/or computer programs.

Publishing includes the use of any means of electronic distribution system, including Gopher, FTP, World Wide Web, computer bulletin boards and discussion groups. Facsimile transmissions (Fax) can be considered publishing when a message is sent to multiple recipients.

A “publisher” of electronic publications at Alma College may be anyone who is authorized to use or have access to the college’s electronic publishing resources. This includes students, faculty, administrators and staff.

College Policies:
The overriding purpose of this policy is to facilitate the use of electronic publishing resources by departments, offices, official student organizations and individuals in their efforts to fulfill the institution’s educational mission. Nothing in this policy is intended to censor free scholarly discourse.

The contents of all electronic publications created or distributed using Alma College resources are governed by Alma College policies as printed in the Manual of Organization and Operation and the Alma College Student Handbook and by local, state and federal laws.

Copyright Laws:
Publishers should not infringe upon others’ intellectual property rights. Copyright laws apply to electronic publishing as well as to print publishing. Permission must be received to publish information created by another author. Photographs of an individual may not be included without the permission of the individual.

Use of Electronic Publishing for Personal Business:
Alma College resources may not be used to create electronic publications primarily for personal business or personal gain, except as permitted by college policies. However, the college does allow for personal publications that provide information about an individual that is relevant to that individual’s role or educational activities at the college.

Complaint Procedure:
Complaints about the contents or format of electronic publications should be made to the Communications Committee. When a complaint is received, committee members will review the publication in question. The Communications Committee will determine the appropriate course of action with final decisions reviewed by the Executive staff. If a publication is found to be in violation of college policy, revisions will be suggested to the author.

If no resolution is accomplished in modifying the publication, the author’s publishing privileges using Alma College resources may be suspended or revoked. In extraordinary circumstances, the college may suspend an author’s publishing privileges in connection with material suspected of being in violation of Alma College policy before the review takes place.

Email  Policy:

Students are required to set up their free Alma College email account upon arrival to campus. This service is provided so students can access vital, time-sensitive information in a timely manner. Students are expected to regularly check and respond to official communication from college officials. Misuse of the campus email system is not tolerated and will result in judicial sanctions.

Last updated 1/15/2018