Appropriate Use Policy
Using a shared network creates shared responsibility among students, faculty, and administration. The Appropriate Use Policy (AUP) helps to ensure that GSSM technology remains available for research, communication, and learning.
The purpose of GSSM’s computer network is to support research and education by providing access to useful shared resources and to facilitate collaborative work. Uses that support this purpose, and that facilitate school operations receive the highest priority. Other uses which interfere with GSSM objectives are prohibited.
By definition, a network is a shared resource. GSSM’s network is shared by its students, teachers, and administration. Those who use the network accept the responsibility to use it appropriately. This Appropriate Use Policy outlines those responsibilities and describes the rules that apply to users of the GSSM computer network.
Ethical and Behavioral Standards
Those who use the GSSM network are expected to follow the same standards of conduct and communication that would be expected in face-to-face encounters. These standards are described in the GSSM Student Handbook.
Some responsibilities are unique to the environment created by computer networks and are addressed here:
GSSM cares about the safety of students and is deeply concerned about the increasing incidents of assault on young people by those who locate or arrange meetings with their victims through Internet-based social networking services like MySpace, AOL, and Facebook. These services are dangerous when personal information, particularly information that can lead to the identification or location of a person, are published openly.
GSSM strongly encourages students to secure their profiles so that they are not visible to strangers, and to never identify themselves by last name or indicate their location or school. GSSM occasionally reviews online profiles and suggests changes to increase safety.
GSSM’s policies against harassment are in effect whenever and however students encounter each other, including online encounters. The use of Internet services both within and beyond the control of the school to harass another student is a violation of GSSM rules and will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.
Online Identity / Login Credentials
GSSM provides network users with credentials (user name and password) for the purposes of accessing network resources. These credentials are intended to be used only by the person to whom they are assigned. Network credentials assigned by GSSM must be kept secret and may not be divulged to anyone else. The person to whom network credentials are assigned is responsible for all activities that occur when those credentials are used. Further, it is a violation of GSSM rules for a person to impersonate someone else either by using their credentials, or any other means that might obfuscate identity.
GSSM students will be provided credentials to access online databases while using the Coker College library. While these credentials are issued by Coker College, their use is governed by this AUP.
Unless otherwise authorized in writing, login credentials expire upon graduation, dismissal, withdrawal, or other termination.
As an educational institution that values the contribution of research to the quality of life and civilization, GSSM strongly supports the rights of owners of intellectual property. Many Internet services facilitate sharing and collection of digital content like music and movies in violation of the rights of their owners. Acquiring, possessing, or sharing digital content in violation of copyright is illegal and prohibited at GSSM.
Some resources on the GSSM network contain information that is protected by federal and state laws. This information is stored on servers which are operated by GSSM and secured against access by unauthorized persons. Only authorized teachers and administrators are permitted to access this information. Attempting to access this information without authorization is a serious violation of GSSM rules, in addition to applicable governing laws. Network users are prohibited from all activities that could reveal the existence or configuration of servers, databases, network services, or security features. Scanning to discover network resources is expressly prohibited.
GSSM is required to take steps to prevent the viewing of pornographic material on its computers, and to prevent access to such materials through its computer network. All persons who use the GSSM network are prohibited from viewing, accessing, or possessing pornographic material on GSSM-owned computers, or via the GSSM network. GSSM takes active measures to prevent such material from being accessed through its campus Internet connection. Attempts to circumvent, disable, or otherwise render these measures ineffective are a violation of GSSM rules.
It is important to note that when students use networks off of GSSM’s campus, the school is unable to regulate the content available to them. Particularly during summer research internships and while conducting assignment research at the Coker College library or any other collegiate library, GSSM students will have access to networks not equipped to prevent access to pornographic material. Colleges and universities are only required to enforce their own published access standards which will vary between institutions.
Conservation of Shared Resources
Network resources may be overwhelmed when used indiscriminately. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each person who uses the GSSM network to conserve resources where possible so that they are always available for others to share:
Internet circuit capacity
GSSM utilizes a commercial-grade connection circuit to provide Internet access to the campus. Priority for using this service is given to educational and campus operation purposes. Recreational use is allowed, but may never interfere with higher priority uses. GSSM will manage this resource by establishing daily quotas for Internet access, limiting or eliminating interfering services, and other means as necessary.
Message and file storage
GSSM servers provide spaces to store messages and files. They are intended to support educational and campus operations. Therefore, they should not be used to store media collections or for other recreational purposes. GSSM servers may never be used to store illegal content.
GSSM does not charge students for paper, ink, or toner expenses consumed when using GSSM-owned printers. The school expects that students will use these resources conservatively to minimize both expenses and impact on our environment. GSSM printers are intended to support educational activities only.
Using Your Computer at GSSM
GSSM encourages students to bring computers to school for use in their rooms. For the purposes of discussion, the person who brings and connects a computer from their home to the GSSM computer network is referred to as the owner. Attaching a personally-owned computer to the GSSM network indicates acceptance of this AUP and places specific responsibilities upon the owner.
Each computer owner is responsible to make sure that their computer is virus-free prior to connecting to the network. Computer owners may be held responsible for damage created by computer viruses, or other activity originating from their computer. When it is determined that a computer is threatening the stability of the network or other computers, it will be removed from the network immediately.
Owners are also responsible for maintaining their own computers. GSSM does not have staff available for computer repair. Computers should be in good working condition when they arrive on campus. Owners should back up their important files often to prevent loss in the event of a computer failure.
Antivirus Software is Required
Every computer that is connected to the GSSM computer network must have effective, up-to-date antivirus software installed at all times. This protects the computer owner as well as others on the network. Computers found to have out-of-date or no antivirus software installed maybe removed from the network.
Dynamic Network Addressing
The GSSM computer network automatically assigns IP addresses to each connected computer. This address may not be tampered with or changed. While assigned IP addresses are dynamic and subject to change without warning, in practice these numbers will rarely change through the school year.
Each computer connected to the GSSM computer network must be registered to its owner. Registration involves visiting a web site and entering simple identifying information. Each owner must register only his/her own computer(s). Access to network and Internet resources are restricted until registration is complete.
The computer network is available Monday through Thursday from 6:00am until Midnight, and from 6:00am Friday through Midnight Sunday each week. These hours may be modified in the event of an academic Saturday. During non-accessible hours, network ports in dorm rooms and lounges, and wireless networks are turned off. Attempts to circumvent network access policies is a violation of GSSM rules.
Certain network devices can interfere with network operation. Any kind of DSL/Cable router has this potential and is prohibited on the network. Wireless routers, access points, and like devices may interfere with the school's wireless network and are prohibited. Wireless handhelds, computers, and other devices intended to use the school's wireless network are allowed. Any device that is capable of circumventing GSSM networking policies is prohibited.
Software that creates durable connections to Internet services, or that allow others on the Internet to access, share, or control computers on the GSSM network represent security risks and are therefore prohibited.
Any software that scans networks or computers for vulnerabilities, any software that interferes with the GSSM network or devices attached to it, or any software that facilitates circumvention of any GSSM rule is prohibited.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing with others on the Internet, and multiplayer Internet gaming software is specifically prohibited.
In order to protect the computer using community and to enforce its rules and policies, GSSM reserves the right to examine, restrict, or remove any material that is on or passes through its network. Such activities are not undertaken routinely or lightly.
In addition, specific information about computer use is collected and preserved over time:
Internet locations visited
This information is logged for each Internet user. In addition, the volume of material uploaded or downloaded is recorded.
IP addresses assigned to each computer
When an IP address is assigned, the hardware address of the computer, the IP address assigned, the date and time of the assignment, and location of the computer requesting the address are recorded.
Log in/out information
User name, network location, date and time are recorded when logging into or out of some network resources.
There are specific privacy issues associated with using public GSSM web sites.
Violations of the AUP may result in temporary or permanent loss of network use privileges. Depending on the nature of the violation, additional disciplinary actions may be taken.
These policies may change from time to time as circumstances warrant. The most current version will always be posted on this webpage.