Acceptable Usage Policy for Computing and Network Resources


  1. Catawba College, within the scope of its operations, provides computer resources to authorized users only.
  2. Any person using Catawba College computing or network resources must abide by this Acceptable Usage Policy.

Authorized Users

  1. Faculty, staff, trustees, enrolled students, alumni, approved vendors/contractors, and employees that leave in good standing may be authorized to utilize College computer resources. Under special circumstances, members of the general public may be so authorized with the prior consent of the Chief Information Officer.
  2. Each authorized user of the system will be provided a distinct username and password. The default password assigned at account creation must be changed within 30 days.
  3. Users are required to change their system password every 120 days.
  4. Users are expected to memorize their passwords (highly recommended) or to store written password clues in a highly secure location. Users are expected to change their password immediately if they have any reason to suspect that the integrity of their password has been compromised.
  5. If you are unable to reset your password online, you will be required to verify your identity with the Information Technology department in order to have it reset.
  6. Users may not attempt to gain access to another user's account or files, and may not erase or modify any application, configuration, or data file not specifically belonging to the user.
  7. All non-email data associated with computer accounts may be deleted 45 days after students withdraw or graduate. For employees, non-email data may be deleted on the effective date of the resignation or termination unless alternate arrangements are made with the Information Technology department. Employee Office 365 data, network drive, and local drive information can be archived and made available to the employee's immediate supervisor upon request.
  8. The username assignment algorithm used to create new system accounts is based on the user's legal name at the time of account creation. After initial creation, usernames will not be changed to match legal name changes, because of the time consuming and error prone nature of moving files, e-mail, and permissions from one username to another. Upon request, we will set up an e-mail alias that is based on the new legal name. The new legal name associated with the existing username will appear in system address books and directories.
  9. College-owned equipment issued to a specific employee is to be used solely by the designated employee.

Copyrighted Digital Content

  1. Each user acknowledges that the College licenses the use of proprietary software from a variety of companies. Unless specifically authorized by the owner of the software through the licensing agreement, software and/or documentation relating to the use of the software, may not be duplicated.
  2. No software may be loaded onto any Catawba College computer without clear licensing authorization. All College software must be purchased in partnership with the Information Technology department. Information Technology will load the software onto the College system or grant permission to do so. Information Technology maintains a master software license library for the College.
  3. Employees may install personal software on their College-owned device provided that it does not interfere with business/academic use of the device or pose an information security risk. The employee will be liable for any costs associated with unauthorized software purchases and/or installation.
  4. No copyrighted content (music files, movies, etc.) should be illegally downloaded or shared using the Catawba College computer network.

Electronic Mail

  1. Using electronic mail to send fraudulent, harassing, obscene, indecent, profane, intimidating, or unlawful messages is prohibited.
  2. Transmitting chain letters or commercial solicitations via email is prohibited.
  3. An approved list of campus community members has access to send email to large internal distribution lists, such as allcatawba. Email transmissions to these large distribution lists are reserved for communications related to official College business and campus-wide official College events. Email about charitable, social, or political causes or events can also be sent directly to these lists provided the cause or event is sponsored by a group or department officially associated with Catawba College. Anyone emailing the large internal distribution lists inappropriately is subject to having their access to these distribution lists revoked.
  4. Catawba's email system cannot be used to send email to large groups of people outside of the Catawba College community (more than 1500 per day). Admissions and the Development office have systems in place to send email to large numbers of prospective students and alumni and friends of the College without violating anti-spam laws. All bulk email communications should be coordinated through one of these offices.
  5. Users acknowledge that email can be a source of viruses and spyware and agree to exercise extreme caution when opening email attachments and clicking on email links. When in doubt, forward questionable email to to obtain IT advice.
  6. Users acknowledge that phishing emails are often used to fraudulently obtain information. Users agree to verify the legitimacy of the information request and the identity of the requestor (the ‘from’ email address is not a reliable indicator) before responding. When in doubt, forward questionable email to to obtain IT advice.
  7. Users agree to not send highly confidential or personally-identifiable information through unencrypted email. Contact the IT help desk for assistance in sending encrypted email.

Internet/Network Use

  1. College technology resources are reserved first and foremost for teaching and learning and other official College business. Personal use of these resources is allowed to students and employees to the extent that such use does not interfere with the primary mission of the College. These resources may not be used in support of any outside business venture, profit or non-profit.
  2. The receipt or transmission of materials on the Internet in violation of any U.S. law, law of the state of North Carolina, or policy of Catawba College is strictly prohibited.
  3. Internet resources may not be used to transmit or to receive any materials that may be judged objectionable based upon generally applied standards set by the College.  Specifically prohibited is the receipt or transmission of materials whose subject matter is excessively violent, contains explicit sexual content and/or obscene language.
  4. College resources may not be used to attempt to gain access to any computer system, on or off-campus, to which the user does not have proper authorization.
  5. The use of port scanners and other computer hacking tools is specifically prohibited.
  6. Wireless access points and/or devices that function as a wireless access point (such as wireless printers and mobile hotspots) may not be connected to the Catawba network or operated on the Catawba campus by anyone outside of Information Technology.
  7. Information Technology reserves the right to block access to internet sites and/or software applications that are classified as significant information security threats by trusted security vendors.
  8. For security reasons, employees and resident students are required to use the secure wireless network (CatUSkyNet2). The guest wireless network (Catawba Guest) should only be utilized by very occasional users of campus wireless. 

Laboratory Regulations and Care of Facilities

  1. Smoking or bringing food or drinks into the computing laboratories is prohibited unless otherwise noted.
  2. Users may not move or in any way tamper with computer laboratory equipment without prior authorization from Information Technology.
  3. Users agree to help maintain a reasonable state of cleanliness and order in all Catawba College computing facilities.
  4. Course homework and other academic work has priority over other computer uses such as game-playing, chat rooms, and non-course-related emailing or web browsing.  Users agree to relinquish lab stations, when needed, to those pursuing higher priority activities.
  5. Loud music, loud games, talking, or any other activities that disturb other users are prohibited.
  6. Users agree to comply with all reasonable requests from College personnel, including requests to relinquish equipment for a higher priority activity, to cease disruptive activity, or to leave the computing laboratory.
  7. Users agree to report any equipment problems to the IT help desk.


  1. Each individual user must recognize and acknowledge that the Information Technology Department may observe, log, monitor and track all use of computer resources in order to assure that the computer resources are only being used by authorized users for authorized purposes.
  2. The College reserves the right to determine, through monitoring, whether any user is utilizing the system for a possible improper activity.  In the event that a possible improper activity is discovered, Information Technology personnel may provide evidence obtained by monitoring to the College and/or law enforcement personnel.  If the activity disclosed is criminal, the College may request that prosecution be undertaken by the appropriate authorities.  In any event, the individual's right to utilize the system may be suspended until a determination has been made as to whether or not the use was improper.  If improper use occurred, the individual may be notified that his/her right to access has been terminated.
  3. Monitoring may further be utilized to assure that users are not sharing system logins. Every user assumes full responsibility for use of his/her system login, whether authorized or not, and recognizes that his/her system access may be suspended or terminated for improper use, regardless of who actually perpetrated the improper use.
  4. Each authorized user acknowledges that his/her authority to utilize computer resources is limited.  If, during the monitoring process, it is determined that an individual may have exceeded his/her authority, the individual will be subject to further monitoring and recording, and Information Technology personnel will have the right to terminate the use of the computer system by that individual.
  5. Information Technology may gain access to user accounts, home directories, and email directories if needed to correct account problems or potential problems such as quota violations or virus-infected files.  Information Technology may check any component of the College computing system at any time for virus-infected files or illegally installed software.


  1. Students are allotted a $45 quota per semester for printing and/or copying. Funds can be added to this quota online via CatLink – My Account tab - Quotas channel.
  2. All toner cartridge replacement for campus networked printers is handled by the Information Technology Department. If printer supplies are low, contact the IT helpdesk.
  3. Procurement of additional campus printing devices must be done in partnership with the Information Technology department.
  4. Use approved brand-name labels in campus printers. If in doubt, consult the Information Technology department.

Virus Protection

  1. Users agree to virus-scan any media used on any College computer before it is accessed for any other purpose.  Users also agree to virus-scan any files downloaded from the Internet.
  2. Any computer attached to the Catawba College computer network must have a current version of virus-protection software installed and be current with Microsoft Critical Security patches.
  3. Employees with an infected computing device must immediately bring it to the Information Technology department for remediation. Network access may be reduced until remediation is complete.
  4. Students with an infected computing device must immediately bring it to the Information Technology department or another resource for remediation. Network access may be reduced until remediation is complete and verified by the Information Technology department.
Violation of the Agreement
  1. Users who violate this policy may be subject to having privileges suspended or terminated.  The Chief Information Officer may also refer the faculty member, staff member, or student whose conduct violates this policy to another appropriate individual or College body for discipline in accordance with the Employee or Student Handbook.
  2. In the event that this procedure is violated by a member of the general public, the Chief Information Officer may suspend or terminate computing privileges.  Additionally, if the action of the individual violating the policy places the College at risk of financial liability, the member of the general public may be subject to a civil action to recover those financial losses.

Revised on June 28, 2016