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Policies - Access to Information Technology Resources

Adopted spring 2004 by Committee on Information Technology

  • Revised 5/3/11

Eligibility

Information Technology Resources (computer hardware, software, telephone systems, cable television, networks, services, data, and other information) are made available at Hamilton to support and facilitate the teaching, research and administrative functions of the College.

Electronic resources include:

  • Group I (electronic mail, listservs, personal calendar, portal, Blackboard course management system, network storage, campus ID card)
  • Group II (Web Advisor)
  • Group III (Login access to Datatel)

Access to electronic resources for employees, students, spouses/partners, and alumni is enabled through username and password provided to individuals according to the following guidelines.

Non-Faculty Employees are given access to Group I resources upon notification of hire. Access to Group III resources is by request from the Department Head.

Non-Faculty employee access to all resources is removed at the end of business on the last date of employment.  As soon as an employee gives notice, he/she should enable a "vacation" (auto-responder) message to indicate his/her last date of employment and to provide correspondents with an alternate address to which they should address future College business.  Employees should also remove any personal e-mail or files from their accounts during this period. 

Faculty are given access to Group I resources and Group II resources upon notification of hire. Access to Group III resources is by request by the Dean of Faculty.

Faculty access to all resources is removed at the end of business three months after the last date of employment.    A request for a brief extension of e-mail privileges may be made to the Dean of Faculty. Upon request to the Dean of Faculty an emeritus faculty member can retain his/her Hamilton e-mail address for as long as desired.

Students are given access to Group I and Group II resources upon making an acceptance deposit to the College. Students who work in administrative offices may be granted limited access to Group III resources.

Student access to all resources is removed three months after withdrawal or graduation.   A request for a brief extension of e-mail privileges may be made to the Director, Help Desk and Training Services in ITS.

Graduates are automatically eligible for access to the Hamilton alumni directory. As part of the directory, alumni have access to an e-mail forwarding service. Each alumnus can create a username@alumni.hamilton.edu which will automatically forward e-mail to an e-mail account they have with an Internet Service Provider (e.g. AOL).

Information Technology Resources (computer hardware, software, telephone systems, cable television, networks, services, data, and other information) are made available at Hamilton to support and facilitate the teaching, research and administrative functions of the College. Access to these resources is provided to employees of the College (faculty, administration, staff, maintenance and operations) and enrolled students consistent with their responsibilities. E-mail accounts are continued for Hamilton alumni for three months after graduation, and may be extended by special request to the e-mail administrator.

Other individuals, upon submission of a request, may be granted access to some, or all, of Hamilton's IT resources by the Vice President for Information Technology. Generally, such individuals will have some association with the College. The terms of access will be stated at the time access is granted.

Under no circumstance may anyone use College IT resources for profit-making activities, in ways that are illegal (e.g. copyright violations), that threaten the College's tax-exempt or other status, or interfere with reasonable use by other members of the College community.

Convention For User Names

The standard Hamilton naming convention for access to electronic systems comprises the first initial of the first name, followed by (up to seven characters of) the last name. If duplicates occur, the middle initial is generally used to resolve ambiguity.

Access in Residence Halls

Residence hall connections are intended to provide students with access to telephone and cable television services, and the campus data network. One telephone, cable television, and data network connection is provided for each student. Network connections, wiring, equipment, or jacks may not be altered or extended beyond the location of their intended use. Students must provide their own telephones, televisions, computers, software, and Ethernet cards that meet minimum Hamilton standards. Information on current minimum standards and recommended configurations is available online. Network standards are updated annually. Any costs incurred to repair damages to a network, telephone, or cable television jack in a residence hall room will be divided equally, and billed to the students residing in that room.

Management of Internet Bandwidth

The campus network, including our connection to the Internet, is a critical shared resource for supporting the academic program. Uses of our Internet connection that are central to the academic/administrative mission of the college (e.g. access to Hamilton web, e-mail, and Blackboard Courseinfo servers) will receive higher priority during times when classes are in session, offices are open, and in the evenings when preparation takes place (i.e. critical times).

Low priority uses, including recreational uses, are peripheral to our mission and will receive lower priority during critical times.

Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. each day (critical times): With the exception of web traffic a fixed percentage of bandwidth is allocated between the residence halls and the Internet. Access to the Hamilton e-mail, web, and Blackboard Courseinfo servers from off-campus is the highest priority. Incoming or outgoing web traffic between the Internet and the campus network is the next highest priority. Peer-to-Peer Internet applications (applications for distributing videos, music, software, etc.) receive the lowest priority.

Between the hours of 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. (non-critical times): There will be no restrictions on bandwidth. The quality and volume of our Internet traffic is regularly monitored to assure that critical applications are available to members of the community.

Hamilton does not monitor the content of traffic on the network. It is the responsibility of each person using college resources, including the network, to do so in an ethical and legal manner. Particular attention should be given to observing copyright laws for digital materials.

Personal Computers on the Network

Internet addresses are provided dynamically through a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) system. In order to obtain a static Internet (TCP/IP) computer address the owner of the system must register the computer with ITS network services.

The rules and regulations contained in this policy pertaining to electronic mail and Internet access are equally applicable to the use of personal machines for file sharing or as servers. If bandwidth or other problems occur, ITS reserves the right to discontinue access to the machine. Computers connected to the network may not be used as servers for private enterprises, commercial activity, or personal profit. Computers connected to the network may not be used to provide access to the Internet for anyone not formally affiliated with the College. If personal computers on the Hamilton network are used as servers, the administrator has the additional responsibility to respond to any use of the server that is in violation of these policies and procedures. Server administrators must take steps to prevent recurrence of such violations and report these violations to the Hamilton Network Administrator (hostmaster@hamilton.edu).

ITS reserves the rights to disconnect any network port whose activity causes an adverse effect on the network or on any other user. Network connections may also be revoked in the case of malicious or inappropriate computing activity on the network. See Noncompliance and Sanctions for examples of these activities.

ITS reserves the right to restrict access to the network during expansion, or for diagnostic and maintenance services. Every effort will be made to provide advance notification and to schedule such disruptions during times of minimum impact and traffic.

Virus Protection

Hamilton College requires all computers connected to the network to have up-to-date virus protection. Failure to do so will result in the loss of connectivity to the Hamilton College network until the situation is corrected. Sophos anti-virus software is provided free to all students. Other anti-virus products may be substituted for Sophos Anti-Virus as long as they are kept current.

In addition, all attachments to e-mail sent to the Hamilton mail server are scanned for viruses. If an attachment is found to be infected it is deleted and a text file is attached to the e-mail message (called substitute.txt) informing the receiver that the attachment was infected with a virus. The receiver can then contact the sender to have the message retransmitted after the attachment has been cleaned of the virus.

Windows Updates

All computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system and connected to the Hamilton College network must be kept up-to-date with critical service updates from Microsoft. Failure to do so will result in the loss of connectivity to the Hamilton College network until the situation is corrected. Individuals wanting to request an exception to the Windows update policy must do so in writing to the Vice President for Information Technology.

Network Connections in Departments

All offices, laboratories, and classrooms on campus are wired for access to the network. If departments request additional network jacks, or if network connections need to be moved to different locations, the department should request this service through ITS. The department will be billed for charges resulting from moves, additions, and changes.

Network connections, wiring, equipment, or jacks may not be altered or extended beyond the location of their intended use. Any costs incurred to repair damages to a network, telephone, or cable television jack in a department will be billed to that department.

Dial-Up Connections

For all campus users the primary access to Hamilton computing services is through the campus network. Dial-in access via modem is not provided.

 

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