Acceptable Use & Administration of Computer and Communications Systems at Averett University


This is a university computer and communication facilities, including those dealing with voice, data, and video. It relates to the use and administration of telecommunications equipment (including computer networks involving the PBX and Internet) as well as mainframe, midrange, minicomputer, workstation, and personal computer systems. Thus, it covers all activities involving computing and communication facilities of Averett University. Every user of these systems is expected to know and follow this


This policy applies to any individual using or administering Averett University computer and/or communication facilities, including but not limited to both wired and wireless networks. Not covered are activities solely involving personal property. Related university policies and guidelines that must be respected by such individuals include the following:


Data communication facilities at Averett University have been developed to encourage widespread access and distribution of data and information. Computing systems facilitate manipulation and sharing of data and information. Together, these systems and facilities can be used in similar fashion to mail and telephone services, and so are governed by principles of appropriate use for those services.
University communication and computing resources are used to support the educational, research, and public service missions of the institution. Activities involving these resources must be in accord with the university honor codes, Employee Handbook, student handbooks, and relevant local, state, federal, and international laws and regulations. Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by Averett University imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to university policies, and local, state, and federal laws. Acceptable use always is ethical, reflects academic honesty, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individuals’ rights to privacy and to freedom from intimidation and harassment.

In making acceptable use of resources you must:

  • use resources only for authorized purposes.
  • protect your userid and system from unauthorized use. You are responsible for all activities on your user id or that originate from your system.
  • access only information that is your own, that is publicly available, or to which you have been given authorized access.
  • use only legal versions of copyrighted software in compliance with vendor license requirements.
  • be considerate in your use of shared resources. Refrain from monopolizing systems, overloading networks with excessive data, degrading services, or wasting computer time, connect time, disk space, printer paper, manuals, or other resources.

In making acceptable use of resources you must NOT:

  • use another person’s system, user id, password, files, or data without permission.
  • use computer programs to decode passwords or access control information.
  • attempt to circumvent or subvert system or network security measures.
  • engage in any activity that might be purposefully harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or propagating viruses, disrupting services, or damaging files or making unauthorized modifications to university data.
  • use university systems for commercial or partisan political purposes, such as using electronic mail to circulate advertising for products or for political candidates.
  • make, use, or distribute illegal copies of copyrighted materials or software, store such copies on university systems, or transmit them over university networks.
  • use mail or messaging services to harass or intimidate another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages, by repeatedly sending unwanted mail, or by using someone else’s name or userid.
  • waste computing resources or network resources, for example, by intentionally placing a program in an endless loop, printing excessive amounts of paper, or by sending chain letters or unsolicited mass mailings.
  • use the university’s systems or networks for personal gain; for example, by selling access to your user id or to university systems or networks, or by performing work for profit with university resources in a manner not authorized by the university.
  • engage in any other activity that does not comply with the General Principles presented above.


The university considers any violation of acceptable use principles or guidelines to be a serious offense and reserves the right to copy and examine any files or information resident on university systems allegedly related to unacceptable use, and to protect its network from systems and events that threaten or degrade operations. Violators are subject to disciplinary action as prescribed in the Honor Codes, the University Policies for Student Life, and employee handbooks. Offenders also may be prosecuted under laws including (but not limited to) the Communications Act of 1934 (amended), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, The Computer Virus Eradication Act of 1989, Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, The Virginia Computer Crimes Act, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Access to the text of these laws is available through the Averett University Library Reference Department.


Anyone who has reason to suspect a deliberate or significant breach of established security policy or procedure should promptly report it to the appropriate Dean, Director, or Department Head, and to the University Security Office. If it is felt the breach is serious and needs immediate attention, the Averett University Security Office or local law enforcement should be contacted. The Information Technology Department may be involved with suspected breaches and can also be a resource for those involved in any investigation.


Individuals using computer systems owned by Averett University do so subject to applicable laws and University policies. Averett University disclaims any responsibility and/or warranties for information and materials residing on non-university systems or available over publicly accessible networks. Such materials do not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or values of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Averett University, its faculty, staff, or students.

E-Mail Policy

Electronic mail services are provided to enhance communication among members of the university community, its alumni, and friends. Use of Averett University e-mail services must be appropriate, responsible and consistent with both the law and local standards of decency and taste.

All students, faculty, and staff are assigned an e-mail account. In addition, alumni in good standing with the university are allowed to maintain an Averett e-mail address for life. All other accounts will be removed when you are no longer a student or employee of the university.

Members of the Averett community are expected to:

  • Check their Averett e-mail on a regular basis as important course assignments and other university information will be delivered to your e-mail address.
  • Report any compromised e-mail passwords or any suspected breach in security.
  • Make backup copies of important messages and other e-mail documents and keep those outside the e-mail system.
  • Delete large files and not keep large amounts of e-mail on Averett’s e-mail servers. This means that both the number of messages and the total space devoted to storing your messages should be kept to a reasonable level. Each user of Averett e-mail is responsible to delete any unsolicited and unwanted e-mail messages (SPAM). The Computer Center will assist you in reducing the size of your mail store upon request.

Strictly prohibited activities
Those using the Averett e-mail system agree not to:

  • Read someone else’s e-mail
  • Look through files that do not belong to them
  • Use the Averett mail system for personal gain or commercial reasons.
  • Allow someone else to use their e-mail account or password
  • Use another person’s e-mail account to send or read mail
  • Cause a name other than their own to appear in the From: or Reply-To: section.
  • Consume network resources by sending large attachments
  • Send an e-mail containing the same content to large numbers of people.

Averett respects your right to privacy and will take appropriate steps to maintain the confidentiality of your e-mail messages. Note, however, that Averett cannot guarantee the confidentiality of your e-mail and you should not assume that messages you send will be seen by only the intended recipient. This is because it is necessary when correcting technical problems or when investigating abuse of the e-mail system to view messages in order to determine the source of a problem.