The purpose of these policies is to outline the acceptable and unacceptable use of VIU’s technology resources and to provide guidelines for appropriate use by students, faculty, and staff as well as to educate users regarding their responsibilities.
This is not a comprehensive list of policies covering all aspects of technology use. These policies are intended to be viewed as principles to help guide members of the VIU community. Any specific policy statements are meant to serve as reference points. Policies will continue to be modified as new questions and situations arise; changes may occur at any time without prior notice.
While the proliferation of computers and information technologies does not alter basic codes of behavior in academic life, it does place some issues in new contexts. Using these technologies enables people to do varied things, both ethical and unethical, more easily. These technologies are an enormously rich resource for innovation and the furtherance of VIU’s academic mission. However, in spite of many positive aspects, these technologies also increase the risks of actions, deliberate or not, that are harmful in various ways, including: (a) interference with the rights of others; (b) violation of the law; (c) interference with the mission of the university; and/or (d) endangering the integrity of the university’s computer and information network.
In light of the risks addressed above, some of these guidelines call for respectful and responsible use of the computer networks to protect the rights of individuals; other guidelines warn against actions that may violate the law. Users must understand the perils of illegal use, exchange, or display of copyrighted, deceptive, defamatory, or obscene materials on a web page or through other electronic communication channels.
Finally, these guidelines seek to protect the integrity of the university’s information systems themselves. Computing or networking resources need to be accessible and secure for appropriate uses consistent with the mission of the university. The usurpation of these resources for personal gain, commercial gain, or without authorization is unacceptable. Moreover, even the individual right to privacy may, when personal files may need to be accessed for troubleshooting purposes, be overridden by authorized personnel to protect the integrity of the university’s computer systems.
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