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Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources

Posted May 9th, 2011 by pearsonh

The Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources agreement is one of the many forms we read through as students at Oregon State University. However, it can be challenging to remember or to see how different activities could be in violation of the use agreement. Today, we would like to provide a quick reminder to students to revisit the agreement (link) but also to address some common violations we have seen recently.

Many students, both on and off-campus, run into problems with illegal downloading. If you make the decision to illegally download something, you may face losing your access to internet on campus. The first violation will result in a warning, a second will have your internet access disabled until you meet with an OSU computer technician and Conduct office staff, and a third violation will result in the internet being disabled permanently. You may find that even if illegal downloading is done off-campus or even entirely in another city, there is still a risk of violating the use agreement. When a student comes back on to campus, their computer is susceptible, through downloading programs, to others downloading their shared files while on campus. We recommend students refrain from utilizing these services and to do some investigating of other programs you may consider downloading online.

Recently students have had the opportunity to use note sharing services, such as Notehall. These opportunities provide ways in which students can earn funds for taking notes in a class and sharing these notes with students. It is important, if you are taking notes or accessing them, that you are also mindful of the Student Conduct Code as it pertains to academic dishonesty. However, we have also seen students in violation of the use agreement through these services. Utilizing Blackboard as a means of emailing classmates about the notes you have taken would be a violation of the use agreement by using University computer resources in a manner that is not its intended use and for the individual’s personal gain. Despite the use of email through Blackboard being listed as a possible option for marketing your materials, it would be a violation of the use agreement.

These are just a couple examples. Overall, we encourage students at OSU to become familiar with this use agreement as technology becomes more accessible in classes and on-campus. We may not be able to identify examples that will come out as technology progresses, so the onus falls onto the student to think critically about one’s use of the resources here on campus. If there is something you are unsure of as a potential violation to the use agreement and the Student Conduct Code, please give us a call.

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