Bard Computing Policies

Bard College encourages creativity and free expression by providing space for personal pages on a College web server. While all members of the community are expected to follow the copyright laws and College web page guidelines, the comments and viewpoints expressed on the personal pages represent those of the page authors and not Bard College. Questions and comments should be addressed to the owners of the individual pages, who assume responsibility and liability for the content of their documents.

If you need further assistance, you can call the Bard Helpdesk at 845-758-7500, or send e-mail to helpdesk@bard.edu

A copy of these policies can be downloaded below: download this file

Appropriate Use Guidelines

Bard provides electronic information systems for the campus community in order to support the educational mission of the College. These systems serve important needs for our faculty, staff, and students. Electronic mail messages, like telephone and paper mail communications, are private and privileged exchanges deserving protection and security. Bard views with most serious concern any fraudulent action or any violation of security related to electronic communications and is prepared to take appropriate corrective and punitive actions in response to such behavior.

The rights, freedoms, and responsibilities inherent in the use of electronic information systems are rooted in the declarations of both the Bard College Statement on Academic Freedom and the Bard College Community Standards of Behavior. Therefore, the College expects that the community of people who use electronic information resources will do nothing in that action which infringes upon the rights of others on this campus or elsewhere and will not apply campus information systems in any fraudulent ways.

Thus, all users agree to the following:

1. College computer facilities will not be used for activities that are in violation of campus, local, state, or federal rules and laws. This includes:
  • Copyright infringement
  • Cheating
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Software piracy (the unauthorized duplication or use of copyrighted software)
  • Media piracy (the unauthorized duplication and distribution of copyrighted text, still image, video, and audio files e.g. MP3)
  • Sending messages that encourage or promote violation of the above or other college, local, state or federal regulations
2. Use of College computer facilities for commercial purposes or personalprofit is forbidden with the exception of the publication of scholarly works which may incidentally provide revenues to the author(s).

3. Users will respect an individual's right to privacy and freedom of expression and will not read, copy, or print material written by others that is not intended for public inspection. Inappropriate use includes:
  • Sending messages in such a way that makes them appear as though they originated from a different person or that deliberately misrepresent yourself or your authority
  • Sending messages that are severely abusive or threaten an individual's safety or for sexual, ethnic, religious, or other minority harassment
  • Sending or forwarding chain letters
  • Deliberately flooding a user's mailbox with automatically generated mail
  • Sending mail that is deliberately designed to interfere with proper mail delivery or access
  • Attempting to gain access to another person's files regardless of the intent or result
  • Broadcasting messages to large numbers without regard to the relevance of the material
  • Sending messages or engaging in other conduct intended to suppress or disrupt debate
  • Sending messages that are designed to interfere with normal system operation
4. Users will refrain from any activity that threatens the integrity of the computer system at Bard. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Modification of system services and utilities;
  • Permitting others to access College resources from outside of Bard;
  • Installing any hardware or software that threatens the integrity of the overall campus network, "hacking" or other sabotage;
  • Activities that interfere with public access to computer resources.
  • See more specific examples of such activities.
5. Every user is personally responsible for the integrity of the account assigned to that individual. Usernames are not transferable to other users or publicly distributable without prior authorization from BITS.

Violations of these rules will be reported to the appropriate campus judicial body. Any punitive actions will be determined by that body and could include disconnection from the campus network.

User Privacy Policy

User Consultation
From time to time, BITS receives complaints or user questions relating to mail delivery. Its response to such requests will be guided by the following principles:
  1. A user's mail file will be accessed only with the prior knowledge and permission of the user involved.
  2. Messages contained within that file will be read only to the extent needed to assist the user involved. The content of those messages will not be retained, nor will it be discussed or shared with others.
  3. BITS will NOT access the mail files of a third party in order to confirm successful mail delivery without the prior permission of the third party.
Undeliverable Mail
The computer systems automatically forward all undeliverable mail to the designated "postmaster". This is a standard feature of mail systems in order to provide the equivalent of the "dead letter" office. Typically, the postmaster checks the address and, where appropriate, re-mails the message to the correct address. In general, incorrectly addressed outgoing mail is ignored, while incoming mail is redirected to its intended recipient.

The postmaster will always be a member of the BITS professional staff NOT a student or clerical staff person. The postmaster will read the mail only to the extent necessary to assist in proper mail delivery. Copies of the messages will not be saved after successful redirection, nor will the postmaster discuss the contents of the messages with other individuals.

Username Dissemination
A person's username and e-mail address are considered public information that can be given out to other individuals. BITS will NOT knowingly permit its release for the purpose of advertising, mass mailings, or other commercial uses.

Retrieving Delivered Mail
BITS occasionally receives requests wherein a user asks if BITS can retrieve a message sent by that user to a third party. Such requests will NEVER be honored by BITS since it requires reading the mail of the third party -- a clear violation of that user's personal privacy.

Mail Browsing
Under NO circumstances are BITS personnel permitted to read users' mail without the prior permission of that user.

Accidental Discovery of Illegal Activity
If BITS personnel come upon messages whose content is clearly illegal, BITS reserves the right to report these messages to the appropriate campus committee or to the Campus Security Office. Examples might include messages containing illegally-obtained credit card numbers, telephone authorization codes, grade reports, criminal conspiracy, or similar items. Such items might be discovered as part of user consultation, dead-letter processing, or other tasks. Random mail browsing by BITS personnel is never authorized.

Mail Logging
As part of system management, certain programs may gather statistics on mail usage. These statistics may include the address of the sender, the recipient, length of the message, and date. Under no circumstances may it include the full text of the mail message.

Whenever BITS reports statistics on mail, or other system usage it will attempt to preserve personal privacy as fully as reasonably possible. BITS will not report mail usage statistics in a form that is traceable to individual users.

Mail Monitoring
BITS considers it inappropriate for a supervisor to request copies of all mail messages sent or received by his or her staff. Such configurations will be implemented only will the full prior knowledge and authorization of both the supervisor and the staff members being monitored.

File Backup
Mail files are copied as a routine aspect of system backups. This is an automatic process that does not involve any human reading of the files copied. Furthermore, some backups are archived for long-term storage. Such practices are NOT considered a violation of privacy.

Personal Webpage Policy

Any officially recognized group or individual may establish a web page. All personal web pages will be initiated from the "index page" of the students.bard.edu server which includes this statement:

"Bard College encourages creativity and free expression by providing space for personal pages on a College web server. While all members of the community are expected to follow the copyright laws and College web page guidelines, the comments and viewpoints expressed on the personal pages represent those of the page authors and not Bard College. Questions and comments should be addressed to the owners of the individual pages, who assume responsibility and liability for the content of their documents."

The following guidelines must be adhered to by all personal home page authors/owners:

  • All home pages must follow the computer use policies outlined on the inside.bard.edu server
  • All personal websites must carry this disclaimer on their starting or "index" page: "This is the personal home page of <owner's name>. The views and opinions expressed here are mine and not those of Bard College. Address all comments to <Email address of home page owner>."
  • Personal home pages may not use any official Bard logos or images that may imply that the page is an official Bard document.

Top-Level Domain Name Hosting

Bard College will NOT provide students with top-level domain (abc.com, abc.org, abc.net, etc.) hosting services REGARDLESS of the purpose.

If you require this type of service, we suggest that you consider one of the many free domain hosting services available on the web such as those listed at the following URL: www.google.com/search?q=free+domain+hosting

Additional Rules

Forbidden Activities
The following is a sampling of activities that are forbidden, disallowed, inadvisable, or limited. This list is not complete, that is, there maybe other activities not specifically enumerated here.
  • Personal network servers
  • Wireless access points (using dhcp)
  • Mass e-mailing by students
  • Connection to the network of a virus-infected computer. Such computers, when found infected, will be disconnected from the network. If the computer is a Bard-owned computer it will be disinfected, otherwise it is the responsibility of the owner to do so.
  • Removing, copying, or modifying Bard-owned software or hardware, except as directed by Bard faculty in the course of academics.
  • Frequent or commercial mass mailings that are not College business.
Not Provided or Supported
The following personal computing and internet support services are not provided at Bard.

  • DNS name resolution or hosting, such as having a personal domain name redirected to a Bard domain address.
  • Extra Bard server storage space for personal web pages.
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