Metropolitan College of New York Acceptable Use of College Technology Resource Policy

Effective Date: May 10, 2022
Responsible Unit: Technology
Policy Administrator: Chief Information Officer

I. Introduction and Applicability

Metropolitan College of New York’s (MCNY) computer and network resources are used to further MCNY’s educational purposes and college business in support of MCNY’s mission. Users of these resources have a responsibility to follow the guidelines set forth in this document, as well as all other related policies and procedures, not to abuse the privileges granted to them, and to respect the rights of others.

This policy applies to all members of the MCNY community and covers both internal and external
use of computer and network resources, college computer and information technology hardware,
software, data, access and other resources owned, operated, or contracted by MCNY, including but not limited to the following:

  • Electronic mail (email)
  • Voicemail
  • Text or chat messages
  • Desktop and laptop computers
  • Handheld devices
  • Servers
  • Network facilities
  • Databases
  • Personal devices connected to MCNY Wi-Fi
  • Software applications (on MCNY owned devices or personal devices accessing hosted services), and
  • Access to the internet.

II. Policy

All members of the MCNY community have an obligation to use the MCNY’s computer and network resources consistent with this Policy. Training in appropriate use of any MCNY technology resource is available through the Helpdesk and is especially recommended for new users.

A. General Use and Access

All Metropolitan College of New York community members, including students, staff, faculty and emeritus status individuals, are provided with a MCNY Account, which grants certain accesses to MCNY computer and network resources, depending on the community member and the particular need. Users granted an individual logon and password are responsible for all activity occurring under their MCNY Account and password. Users with passwords should not share them and are expected to change them as required or needed to maintain security. Passwords are used to maintain security, not to guarantee privacy. The computers and computer accounts given to users are to assist them in the performance of academic endeavors or their jobs. MCNY will make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and effective operation of its computer system and network, but those systems should in no way be regarded as a secure medium for the communication of sensitive or confidential information. Users should not have an expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive on the MCNY computer system or network, even when using private e-mail account, such as Yahoo, AOL or G-Mail account. In addition, while MCNY does not routinely monitor or access stored electronic communications, to the extent permitted by law, MCNY reserves the right to access and disclose, and monitor when necessary, the contents of electronic communications made with or through MCNY’s resources without prior notification and without the consent of the user. Further, any and all telephone conversations and transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions (as discussed above), or internet access or usage by a user by any electronic device or system, including but not limited to the use of a computer, telephone, wire, radio or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems (“User Activity”), may be subject to monitoring at any
and all times and by any lawful means.

Devices connected to MCNYs network or technology systems, or used pursuant to this Policy, may be monitored or intercepted to the extent such device is used for any User Activity. Such devices include MCNY provided devices and other devices (including personal devices) using MCNY’s internet, servers, and networks. MCNY may do so for reasons including but not limited to:

  • investigating potential misconduct
  • protecting health and safety
  • protecting MCNY resources
  • preserving emails or other documents in connection with a litigation and/or pursuant to MCNY’s Records Retention Policy
  • locating information required for MCNY business
  • responding to subpoenas and other legal obligations, and/or
  • fulfilling MCNY’s obligations to third parties.

In addition, maintenance of MCNY’s computing networks and systems may result in the contents of files and communications being seen by network, system, or other administrators. Although users of MCNY’s electronic communications resources have no right to privacy since the resources belong to the College, they must respect the legitimate privacy expectations of other users.

B. Compliance with Law

MCNY computer resources may not be used for any purpose or in any manner that violates MCNY rules, regulations or policies, or federal, state or local law. Users who engage in electronic communications with persons in other states or countries or on other systems or networks may also be subject to the laws of those other states and countries, and the rules and policies of those other systems and networks. Users are responsible for ascertaining, understanding, and complying with the laws, rules, policies, contracts, and licenses applicable to their particular use

C. Prohibited Uses

All privileges come with responsibilities. Users are expected to utilize our resources in an ethical and responsible manner, in congruence with a productive educational and work environment. The following uses of MCNY computing and network resources are prohibited:

  • Actions considered illegal under local, state and/or federal law.
  • Conducting private business, for profit or commercial purposes.
  • Creating any program, web form or other mechanism that asks for a MCNY Account id and password other than user authentication mechanisms authorized by the Technology
  • Utilizing a non-MCNY email address for official business.
  • Specifying a non-MCNY email address as the contact, or reset, email address for use with business software or services not administered by the Technology Department.
  • Automated forwarding of MCNY email by staff and fulltime faculty is prohibited.
  • Engaging in plagiarism, copyright infringement, sharing trade secrets, peer-to-peer file sharing, or violations of any and all other related laws and regulations.
  • Copying licensed software off of, or on to, a MCNY computer or network without authorization.
  • Behavior considered sexual harassment, threatening, harassing, bullying, stalking/cyberstalking, or discriminatory, including but not limited to acts considered violations of MCNY’s Policy and Procedures for Sexual Assault Prevention and Reporting Sexual Misconduct.
  • Making defamatory statements.
  • Tampering or damaging any equipment Disseminating malware.
  • Facilitating theft.
  • Facilitating identity theft or any other fraud, including but not limited to forging official documents or business records.
  • Impersonating another person for any reason.
  • Viewing, disseminating, or storing any pornographic or indecent images.
  • Allowing someone else to use your account, or using the account of another community member, for any purpose.
  • Hacking (or attempts to do so) of another system, database, user, etc.
  • Bypassing or disabling (or attempts to do so) of the computer and/or network security, including but not limited to passwords, security software, and physical security devices, such as locks, cables and keypads.

MCNY has the right to immediately suspend or terminate any user’s access to MCNY’s computer and network resources and to take any other appropriate action in the event of a prohibited use.

D. Limitations in Certain Circumstances

1. Official Communications

Only the email accounts of specific administrative departments are authorized to distribute official communication to the entire campus (all employees, students, faculty) via email. Those areas include:

  • Office of the President
  • Office of Academic Affairs
  • Library
  • Office of Communication and Marketing
  • Technology Helpdesk
  • Office of Student Services
  • Office of Human Resources

Current faculty and staff may communicate with faculty and staff utilizing email distribution lists appropriate for the content. It is recommended that communication from the areas listed above will be sent from department specific accounts and not from individual emails. The use of BCC in a listserv mailing is encouraged.

This applies to the following email list accounts:

  • Students
  • Staff
  • Faculty

2. Reasonable use by employees

Reasonable use of the MCNY’s systems including but not limited to Internet, email, cell phones, printing and other devices by faculty and staff for personal purposes such as communicating with a family member or friend, is permitted so long as such use does not interfere with the user’s employment duties to MCNY, does not abuse MCNY’s systems or pose a financial or other burden on MCNY, is legal and in good taste, and does not otherwise violate the terms or spirit of this Policy.

3. Unfair monopolization of resources

No community member shall perform acts that unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include, but are not limited to, playing video and other online games, chatting, and printing large quantities of documents.

4. Use of Multifactor Authentication

MCNY Account Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is required to be configured and utilized by all MCNY employees, work-study students, and contractors. Students involved in prior information security incidents are also required to utilize MFA.

5. Use of campus-wide email

Because email communications tend to be immediate and informal, offices, departments and schools, as well as individuals should be cautious in sending group e-mails targeted to all faculty, staff and/or students. It is particularly important to avoid offensive, harassing, intimidating, threatening or defamatory statements in group e-mails. Inappropriate group emails would include, but not be limited to, emails regarding personal matters, advertisements, political matters or messages with bulky attachments.

6. Copyright and Peer-to-Peer Technology

It is illegal, and therefore prohibited, on any MCNY system or network, to store, access, or share any material which is copyrighted or owned by a third party for which you have not obtained current legal permission from the copyright owner to use in the manner and for the purposes in which you are using the material. Doing so could violate the United States Copyright Act.

When obtaining permission to store, access, or share copyrighted material you should ensure that you receive the permission in writing, that it clearly states what material is covered, the purpose and method that you intend to use the material, any limitations to your permissions, including but not limited to valid dates, and proof that the provider is the legal owner of the material along with any other relevant or legally required documentation. You may be asked to provide this at any time to MCNY officials, law enforcement, or others with a legal right to this information.

III. Procedures for Violations

Violation of this policy may subject members of the MCNY community to the following sanctions:

  • Criminal prosecution, in the event of a violation of any Federal, State or local law, or regulation;
  • Loss of access to the MCNY’s computer and network resources, such as the Internet or email system; and
  • Disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal. Staff who violate this Policy are subject to discipline in accordance with the Employee Handbook, and any other disciplinary rules that the MCNY may adopt. Faculty who violate this Policy are subject to discipline in accordance with the Faculty Handbook, except in the case of adjunct faculty, who are subject to discipline in accordance with the adjunct faculty member’s contract. Students who violate this Policy are subject to discipline in accordance with the Student Handbook and any other disciplinary rules or policy that the MCNY may adopt.

IV. Related Policies

  • Computer Hardware and Software Acquisition Policy
  • Record Retention Guidelines