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Computer Usage Policies

Overall Acceptable Use Policies

Use of the VPTL Student Technology Services resources at Stanford University is governed by The Fundamental Standard and The Honor Code, and must comply with all policies outlined in the University Residence Agreement. Non-student users (e.g., resident fellows and spouses) are also expected to abide by the spirit of these policies and all guidelines mentioned herein when using these resources.

Stanford's sexual harassment policy covers all uses of electronic technology and communication on campus, including e-mail correspondences and online discussion forums. Refer to the Sexual Harassment Policy for further information and a description of your options for addressing sexual harassment. The Sexual Harassment Policy Office website contains additional information and a list of contact and resource people. For further assistance, send e-mail to harass@stanford.edu.

The Stanford Computer and Network Usage Policy and Terms of Use describe in detail the overall university policies, scope, applicability, responsibilities, and consequences.

VPTL Student Technology Services provides residential network connection services and computer clusters in selected on-campus residences in support of the educational mission of the University. It is the responsibility of each user to use these services appropriately and in compliance with all University, City, County, State, and Federal laws and regulations.

These policies are subject to change from time to time with such changes effective upon posting at vptl.stanford.edu; we encourage users to review these policies regularly.

Network in the Residences

You must abide by the following regulations for the network in the residences:

  1. Network services and wiring may not be modified or extended beyond the area of their intended use. This applies to all network wiring, hardware, and cluster and residential jacks.
  2. The residential network (residential connections or computer cluster connections) may not be used to provide Stanford Network or Internet access to anyone outside of the University community for any other purposes other than those that are in direct support of the academic mission of the University.
  3. Stanford-specific or commerically obtained network resources, such as online journal articles, may not be retransmitted outside of the University community.
  4. The residential network is a shared resource. Network use or applications which inhibit or interfere with the use of the network by others are not permitted. For example, using an IP address not registered to you, or applications which use an unusually high portion of bandwidth for extended periods of time that may inhibit the use of the network by others.
  5. Use of the residential network must comply with the University's policy on Unrelated Business Activitiy. In short, you cannot use University resources to make money.
  6. Forgery or other misrepresentation of one's identity via electronic or any other form of communication is a Fundamental Standard violation. Prosecution under State and Federal laws may also apply.
  7. Only student living in on-campus housing may register for network connections in the residences with VPTL Student Technology Services. Visitors must use a visitor network or register through their respective departments.

For clarity, routers, DHCP servers, or NAT servers are generally not allowed as they can violate the terms above. At their worst, if misconfigured (as they sometimes come out of the box), they can cause widespread network outages.

Computer Clusters

The VPTL Student Technology Services clusters are provided as productive work environments for students and members of the residence community. The primary use of these resources is for work related to academics. All other uses are considered secondary.

  1. Clusters may be used only by members of the residence in which they are located, unless the local residence community decides otherwise. 
  2. Academic work by students takes precedence over all other uses of the cluster computers (such as games, non-academic email, etc.).
  3. Stanford students have priority over non-students (spouses, etc.) in using the computers.
  4. Anyone engaged in an acitivity or use of the cluster computers which hampers or interferes with the ability of other students to do academic work may be asked to stop the activity and/or leave the cluster by other users of the cluster. Examples include excessive computer volume, loud conversation, and disruptive behavior.
  5. Public computers are available on a first come, first served basis (with priority given to Stanford students).
  6. Food and drink should be cleaned and removed promptly if permitted in a residence cluster. Smoking is prohibited throughout all University buildings, as detailed in the Stanford Smoke-Free Environment Policy.
  7. Any theft of or damage to residential cluster computer equipment will be the financial responsibility of the local residence if the theft or damage resulted from negligence on the part of residence members (e.g. - leaving the doors to the cluster propped open). If the theft or damage can be traced to a specific individual, or group of individuals, then they will be held personally financially responsible for the damage or theft.
  8. Unlawful copying of software or copyrighted materials is not permitted, as detailed under the Copyrights and Licenses subsection under Usage in the 6.2.1 Computer and Network Usage Policy of the Stanford University Administrative Guide.
  9. VPTL Student Technology Services is not responsible for security breaches resulting from a user's failure to log out. 
  10. Users may save data, which does not modify the system configuration or otherwise damage the system or make it unusable for other users. VPTL Student Technology Services does not guarantee the safety of data stored on public machines. Any data saved on the local machine may be deleted from the hard drive or viewed by other users. Work should be saved to a shared network disk or to a removable storage medium (e.g., USB flash drive or portable hard drive). 
  11. VPTL Student Technology Services makes refunds only in the form of like-item exchanges (in the case of bad prints) if the hardware, software, or information provided by VPTL Student Technology Services staff is at fault.

Problems or violations of any sort regarding the use of the network or computer clusters in the residences should first be reported to the local Resident Computer Consultant (RCC) or support specialist team.

Penalties

VPTL Student Technlogy Services reserves the right to deny service to any person who is found in violation of any Stanford computer usage or cluster usage policy.

Failure to comply with any of the above policies may result in termination of residential network services, loss of computer cluster use privileges, prosecution by the University based on Fundamental Standard violations for students, standard disciplinary procedures for faculty and staff, and/or criminal prosecution.

VPTL Student Technology Services reserves the right to terminate any residential or cluster computer connection without notice should it be determined that network traffic generated from said connection drastically inhibits or interferes with the use of the network by others.

If your residential network connection is terminated due to violations of the above policies, and you subsequently register legitimately or rectify the problem, you may be charged a port reactivation fee to regain access to the network. This fee is in addition to the normal usage fee.

Student violations of the above policies will be handled through VPTL Student Technology Services and the Judicial Affairs Office; other violations will be referred, as appropriate, to the Provost's Office,  Human Resources, and/or the Stanford University Police Department.

Questions about this policy or whether a particular activity would violate it should be submitted to the VPTL Student Technology Services Online Help Center.