Computer Use Policy

St. Bonaventure University  

Policy on the Responsible and Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources   

Adopted: March, 2001 



St. Bonaventure University requires the ethical, legal, and secure use of computing and electronic communications by all members of the St. Bonaventure community.


This policy applies to all students, faculty, and staff at St. Bonaventure and will guide their use of electronic resources in support of our academic mission.

For the purposes of this policy, electronic resources are defined as all computer-related equipment, computer systems, software/ network applications (including email), interconnecting networks (such as Internet access), facsimile machines, audio/visual equipment, voicemail and other telecommunications facilities, as well as all information contained therein (collectively, "electronic resources") owned or managed by the University. 



 Access to electronic resources is granted to faculty, staff and students of the University in accordance with this policy. Faculty and staff are typically provided with a desktop computer (with network/internet/email access) and a telephone connection as needed to perform job duties. In addition, public computing facilities are available and network access is provided in residence halls, apartments, and classrooms to support instruction, research, and learning.

Technology Services will provide network accounts to eligible users. These accounts provide access to various systems (such as email, administrative software, voice mail, and/or discipline specific academic software) as required.

Technology Services will do its best to provide reliable service to the SBU community but access to all systems 24 hours/day is not guaranteed. Technology Services will notify users of problems or scheduled maintenance in a timely fashion and whenever possible, will explain the reasons for any downtime.

Cooperative Computing   

     Collegiality involves the practice of cooperative computing and requires:

• Regular deletion of unneeded files from one's accounts on shared computing resources

• Prudent use of connect time, information storage space, printing facilities, processing capacity, or network services

  • Prudent use of digital sounds and visuals in public facilities to avoid disruption to others

  • Protection of the confidentiality of data, system access, and passwords

  • The maintenance and upkeep of virus protection software on your computer to avoid passing destructive computer viruses to others

Appropriate Use  

All users of University electronic resources are expected to utilize such resources in a responsible, ethical and legal manner consistent with St. Bonaventures mission and policies.

The following are categories of inappropriate and prohibited use of electronic resources with some examples to explain each category:

1. Use that impedes, interferes with, impairs, or otherwise causes harm to the activities of others.

     Examples include:

• Propagating chain letters or virus hoaxes Spamming (spreading email or postings widely and without good purpose)

• Bombing (flooding an individual, group, or system with numerous or large email messages)

  • Reckless distribution of unwanted email or other unwanted messages

 • Other behavior that may cause excessive network traffic or computing load

  • Use of the University's trademarks, logos, insignia, or copyrights without prior approval

2. Use that is inconsistent with St. Bonaventure's non-profit status.

     Examples include:

• Commercial use of university systems for non-university purposes. Prohibited commercial use does not include communications and exchange of data that furthers the University's educational, administrative, research, and other defined roles, even if there is an incidental financial (or other benefit) to an external organization.

• Use of electronic resources in a way that suggests University endorsement of any political candidate or ballot initiative.

  • Use of university electronic resources for the purpose of lobbying that connotes University involvement.

3. Use that is harassing, threatening, or not keeping with our Franciscan values.

    Examples include:

• Repeated unwelcome contacts with another

• Email that threatens another with bodily harm

4. Use damaging the integrity of internal/external systems.

    Examples include:

• Attempts to defeat system security such as sharing passwords or compromising locks in computer labs or network equipment closets.

• Unauthorized access to systems and/or data

  • Assisting others in gaining unauthorized access to systems and/or data

  • Intercepting data/voice communications not intended for that user

  • Disguised use such as concealing your network identity, impersonating others, or using a false identity.

  • Intentional distribution of computer viruses.

  • Modification or removal of university owned equipment or data without specific authorization.

  • The installation of unauthorized devices on the university network

  • The installation of unauthorized software on university computers

5. Use in violation of law.

    Examples include:

• Any use of electronic resources that violates civil or criminal law at the federal, state, or local levels

• Promoting a pyramid scheme

  • Knowingly receiving, transmitting, or possessing illegal materials

  • Copyright infringement

6. Use in violation of University contracts.

All use of university systems must be consistent with the University's contractual obligations, including limitations defined in software and other licensing agreements.

7. Use in violation of University policy.

    Use of electronic resources cannot violate other University policies such as:

• Personnel Policies

 • University, departmental, and work-unit policies

  • University Governing Documents

 • Student Handbook

 • Hourly Employee Handbook

In the event of a conflict between this policy and the St. Bonaventure University's Academic Freedom Policy, the Academic Freedom policy will take precedence over this policy.

8. Use in violation of external data network policies.

    Users must observe all applicable policies of external data networks when using such networks.

Account Suspension/Revocation:   

Improper use of university technology may result in the suspension or revocation of account access. In addition, access to computing facilities can be suspended, denied, or limited by Technology Services in order to maintain the operation and/or integrity of university systems and/or systems reachable by the SBU system.

Any infraction in policies may result in the disabling of an account and may also result in charges being filed with the proper authorities.

Technology Services administrators will make the initial determination to suspend or deny a user's access to his/her account based on a known infraction. Appeals or further adjudication will be handled through the student judicial process for students or through immediate supervisors for faculty, administrators, and staff.

Technology Services (or other university officials) shall not actively monitor user files, email, and account content unless directed by law enforcement or the normal university judicial process.


Students, faculty, and staff will be required to sign the attached form when receiving account access. The signature indicates that they have been given a copy of this policy and that they understand their use of university electronic resources and computer technologies is subject to the provisions in this policy. In addition, faculty and staff will be requested to sign this form every three years in order to remind them of the policies in place.