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St. Matthew's University IT Responsible Use Policy

Information Technology Resources
Responsible Use Policy


As an institution of higher education, St. Matthew's University is committed to fostering an educational climate in which students, faculty and staff can approach their respective roles with a sense of high purpose and in which they may study and work free from harassment and intimidation. The University's Responsible Use Policy for Information Technologies (RUP) recognizes that personal viewing or transmittal of potentially offensive digital materials (for example, sexually explicit materials) may result in excessive use of campus computer and network resources inconsistent with professional responsibilities and ethical standards. Such practices may also result in educational and work environments that are hostile or are perceived to be hostile. In consequence, all members of the campus community are advised that the University does not condone and will not tolerate any such actions that are proven to constitute excessive use, to create a hostile work environment, or to have the effect of harassing or intimidating members of the campus community. In addition, any viewing or transmitting of illegal materials (for example, child pornography or obscene materials) is explicitly prohibited. The University also emphasizes that its policies are not aimed to impair free expression and open inquiry or unduly to restrict access to any lawful digital materials by those who would do so within the guidelines of the RUP.

Table of Contents

  1. Scope
  2. Purpose
  3. Guiding Principles
  4. Policy Application
  5. Policy Provisions
    1. Authorized Use/Access
    2. Data Security, Confidentiality and Privacy
    3. Electronic Information Retention and Disclosure
    4. Network and System Integrity
    5. Commercial Use
    6. Harassment
    7. Copyright and Fair Use
    8. Web Sites
  6. Policy Compliance
  7. Consequences of Non-Compliance
  8. Reporting Irresponsible or Inappropriate Use
  9. Policy Review and Practices Oversight
  10. Glossary and Definition of Terms
  11. Specific Examples of Responsible and Irresponsible Use
  12. References and Works Cited
  13. Policy Implementation and Practices


St. Matthew's University School of Medicine, St. Matthew's, Cayman

Information Technology Resources
Responsible Use Policy

A. Scope

This policy applies to any user of the University's information technology resources, whether initiated from a computer located on or off-campus. This includes any computer and information system or resource, including means of access, networks, and the data residing thereon.This policy applies to the use of all University information technology resources. Users are subject to both the provisions of this policy and any policies specific to the individual systems they use.

B. Purpose

The principal concern of this responsible use policy is the effective and efficient use of information technology resources. The primary focus is to insure that the resources are used in a manner that does not impair or impede the use of these resources by others in their pursuit of the mission of the University. This policy is intended to ensure

  1. the integrity, reliability, and good performance of University resources;
  2. that the resource-user community operates according to established policies and applicable laws;
  3. that these resources are used for their intended purposes; and
  4. that appropriate measures are in place to assure the policy is honored.

The policy is intended to permit, rather than proscribe, reasonable resource-user access within institutional priorities and financial capabilities.

This policy is intended to promote and encourage responsible use while minimizing the potential for misuse and not imposing broad-based restrictions on all users.

This policy is not intended to prevent or prohibit the sanctioned use of campus resources as required to meet St. Matthew's University's core mission and academic and administrative purposes.

C. Guiding Principles

The following principles underlie this policy and should guide its application and interpretation:

    1. Freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression is a paramount value of the St. Matthew's University community. To preserve that freedom, the community relies on the integrity and responsible use of University resources by each of its members.
    2. Information technology resources are provided to support the University's mission of education, research and service. To ensure that these shared and finite resources are used effectively to further the University's mission, each user has the responsibility to:
      • a. use the resources appropriately and efficiently;
      • b. respect the freedom and privacy of others;
      • c. protect the stability and security of the resources; and
      • d. understand and fully abide by established University policies and applicable public laws.
    3. Responsible use of University resources will be given priority over the current or potential design, capability or functionality of specific information technology resources including operating systems, hardware, software, and the Internet.
    4. Users of information technology resources are expected to uphold the highest academic standards in accordance with the Student Honor Code and other University policies and practices.

D. Policy Application

As a general guideline, the institution regards the principle of academic freedom to be a key factor in assuring the effective application of this policy and its procedures and practices. The law is another source of guidance. The University's roles in supporting or acting to enforce such law is also critical to how this policy will be applied.

    1. All existing laws of the Netherlands Antilles and St. Matthew's University regulations and policies apply, including not only laws and regulations that are specific to computers and networks, but also those that may apply generally to personal conduct. This may also include laws of other states and countries where material is accessed electronically via University resources by users within those jurisdictions or material originating within those jurisdictions is accessed via University resources.
    2. The accessibility of certain University information technology resources, such as network-based services, implies a degree of risk that the existence, viewing or receipt of such information/content may be offensive. As a matter of policy, the University protects expression by members of its community and does not wish to become an arbiter of what may be regarded as "offensive" by some members of the community. However, in exceptional cases, the University may decide that such material directed at individuals or classes of individuals presents such a hostile environment under the law that certain restrictive actions are warranted.
    3. The University reserves the right to limit access to its resources when policies or laws are violated and to use appropriate means to safeguard its resources, preserve network/system integrity, and ensure continued service delivery at all times. This includes monitoring routing information of communications across its network services and transaction records residing on University resources, scanning systems attached to the St. Matthew's University network for security problems, disconnecting systems that have become a security hazard, and restricting the material transported across the network or posted on University systems.

E. Policy Provisions

This section is not intended to provide a full accounting of applicable laws and policies. Rather, it is intended to highlight major areas of concern with respect to responsible use of St. Matthew's University resources and specific issues required by law or SUSOM policy to be included.

1. Authorized Use / Access

Access to St. Matthew's University's information technology resources is a privilege granted to faculty, staff and students in support of their studies, instruction, duties as employees, official business with the University, and/or other University-sanctioned activities. Access may also be granted to individuals outside of St. Matthew's University for purposes consistent with the mission of the University.

With the exception of implicitly publicly accessible resources such as website, access to St. Matthew's University information technology resources may not be transferred or extended by members of the University community to outside individuals or groups without prior approval of an authorized University official. Such access must be limited in nature and fall within the scope of the educational mission of the institution. The authorizing University official is expected to ensure that such access is not abused.

Gaining access to the University's information technology resources does not imply the right to use those resources. The University reserves the right to limit, restrict, remove or extend access to and privileges within, material posted on, or communications via its information technology resources, consistent with this policy, applicable law or as the result of University disciplinary processes, and irrespective of the originating access point.

It is expected that these resources will be used efficiently and responsibly in support of the mission of the University as set forth in this policy. All other use not consistent with this policy may be considered unauthorized use.

2. Data Security, Confidentiality and Privacy

St. Matthew's University users are responsible for ensuring the confidentiality and appropriate use of institutional data to which they are given access, ensuring the security of the equipment where such information is held or displayed, ensuring the security of any accounts issued in their name.

Electronic mail and computer files are considered private to the fullest extent permitted by law. Access to such files will generally require permission of the sender/recipient of a message or the owner of the account in which the material resides, court order, or other actions defined by law. However, in the event of a sanctioned University investigation for alleged misconduct, e-mail or files may be locked or copied to prevent destruction and loss of information. Users may employ methods to increase the privacy of their files, provided they do not violate any provision of this policy or degrade system/network performance.

All users of St. Matthew's University's information technology resources are advised to consider the open nature of information disseminated electronically, and should not assume any degree of privacy or restricted access to such information. St. Matthew's University strives to provide the highest degree of security when transferring data, but cannot be held responsible if these measures are circumvented and information is intercepted, copied, read, forged, destroyed or misused by others.

3. Electronic Information Retention and Disclosure

Original electronic materials and/or copies may be retained for specified periods of time on system backups and other locations; however the University does not warrant that such information can be retrieved. Unless otherwise required by law and/or policy, St. Matthew's Univeristy reserves the right to delete stored files and messages to preserve system integrity. Except in an emergency, users will be given advance notice to delete files and messages.

Disclosure of confidential information to unauthorized persons or entities, or the use of such information for self-interest or advantage, is prohibited. Access to non-public institutional data by unauthorized persons or entities is prohibited.

Requests for disclosure of confidential information and retention of potential evidence will be honored when approved by authorized University officials or required by law.

4. Network and System Integrity

In accordance with St. Matthew's University policy and applicalbe laws, activities and behaviors that threaten the integrity of computer networks or systems are prohibited on both University-owned and privately-owned equipment operated on or through University resources. These activities and behaviors include but are not limited to:

    1. Interference with or disruption of computer systems and networks and related services, including but not limited to the propagation of computer "worms," "viruses" and "Trojan Horses"
    2. Intentionally or carelessly performing an act that places an excessive load on a computer or network to the extent that other users may be denied service or the use of electronic networks or information systems may be disrupted
    3. Failure to comply with authorized requests from designated University officials to discontinue activities that threaten the operation or integrity of computers, systems or networks
    4. Negligently or intentionally revealing passwords or otherwise permitting the use by others of University-assigned accounts for computer and network access. Individual password security is the responsibility of each user. The user is responsible for all uses of their accounts, independent of authorization.
    5. Altering or attempting to alter files or systems without authorization
    6. Unauthorized scanning of ports, computers and networks
    7. Unauthorized attempts to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security vulnerabilities
    8. Connecting unauthorized equipment to the campus network or computers. University authorized business and other activities directly related to the academic mission of the University are excluded; however, network communication devices must have prior approval from Information Technology Services before they can be connected to the campus network. Unauthorized network communication devices or any networked device that may negatively impact management, reliability or integrity of the campus network or other University resource may be disconnected from the network.
    9. Attempting to alter any University computing or network components without authorization or beyond one's level of authorization, including but not limited to wireless access points, bridges, routers, hubs, wiring, and connections.
    10. Utilizing network or system identification numbers or names that are not assigned for one's specific use on the designated system
    11. Using campus resources to gain unauthorized access to any computer system and/or using someone else's computer without their permission
    12. Providing services or accounts on University computers or via University networks to other users from a personal computer unless required to meet the normal activities of students working as individuals or in collaborative groups to fulfill current course requirements. University authorized business and other activities directly related to the academic mission of the University, are also excluded; however, any computers running services that may negatively impact management, reliability or integrity of the campus network or other University resource may be disconnected from the network;
    13. Registering a St. Matthew's University IP address with any other domain name

5. Commercial Use

Use of the University's information technology resources is strictly prohibited for unauthorized commercial activities, personal gain, and private, or otherwise unrelated to the University, business or fundraising. This includes soliciting, promoting, selling, marketing or advertising products or services, or reselling University resources.

Campus auxiliary organizations are authorized to provide services and products to students, faculty and staff, and invited guests of the University through operating and service support leases. The University President or designee may authorize additional limited commercial uses under separate policy provisions. Such uses are excepted from the above prohibitions. These prohibitions are not intended to infringe on authorized uses that enable students, staff and faculty to carry out their duties and assignments in support of the University mission.

6. Harassment

Harassment of others via electronic methods is prohibited by law and University policies. It is a violation of this policy to use electronic means to harass, threaten, or otherwise cause harm to a specific individual(s), whether by direct or indirect reference. It may be a violation of this policy to use electronic means to harass or threaten groups of individuals by creating a hostile environment.

7. Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright law applies to all forms of information, including electronic communications, and violations are prohibited under this policy. Infringements of copyright laws include, but are not limited to, making unauthorized copies of any copyrighted material (including software, text, images, audio, and video), and displaying or distributing copyrighted materials over computer networks without the author's permission except as provided in limited form by copyright fair use restrictions. The "fair use" provision of the copyright law allows for limited reproduction and distribution of published works without permission for such purposes as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. The University will not tolerate academic cheating, plagiarism or theft of intellectual property in any form.

8. Web Sites

An official St. Matthew's University web page is one that is formally acknowledged by the chief officer of a University college, department or division as representing that entity accurately and in a manner consistent with St. Matthew's University's mission. Without such acknowledgment, a web site, regardless of content, is not "official."

"Unofficial" information may also be posted and maintained by individual students, faculty, staff and student organizations. St. Matthew's University does not undertake to edit, screen, monitor, or censor information posted by unofficial authors, whether or not originated by unofficial authors or third parties, and does not accept any responsibility or liability for such information even when it is conveyed through University-owned resources.

Both official and unofficial web sites are subject to the other provisions of this policy if they use University resources such as University-owned servers and the St. Matthew's University network to transmit and receive information.

F. Policy Compliance

The St. Matthew's University Director of Information Technology is authorized by the Dean to ensure that the appropriate processes to administer the policy are in place, communicated to and followed by the University community. The Director of IT or designee will ensure that suspected violations and resultant actions receive the proper and immediate attention of the appropriate University officials, law enforcement, outside agencies, and disciplinary/grievance processes in accordance with due process.

The Director of Information Technology or designee will inform users about the policy; receive and respond to complaints; collect and secure evidence as required; advise and assist University offices on the interpretation, investigation and enforcement of this policy; consult with University Legal Counsel on matters involving interpretation of law, campus policy, or requests from outside law enforcement agencies and/or legal counsel; and maintain a record of each incident and its resolution to inform future policy changes.

G. Consequences of Non-Compliance

Enforcement will be based upon receipt by Information Technology Services of one or more formal complaints about a specific incident or through discovery of a possible violation in the normal course of administering information technology resources.

First offense and minor infractions of this policy, when accidental or unintentional, such as consuming excessive resources or overloading computer systems, are generally resolved informally by the IT Department. This may be done through e-mail or in-person discussion and education.

Repeated offenses and serious incidents of non-compliance may lead to University disciplinary action under University disciplinary policies and procedures for students and employees, employee contract provisions where appropriate, private civil action, and/or criminal charges. Serious incidents of non-compliance include but are not limited to unauthorized use of computer resources, attempts to steal passwords or data, unauthorized use or copying of licensed software, repeated harassment, or threatening behavior.

In addition to the above, inappropriate use of information technology resources may result in personal criminal, civil and other administrative liability.

Appeals of University actions resulting from enforcement of this policy will be handled through existing disciplinary/grievance processes for St. Matthew's University students and employees.

H. Reporting Irresponsible or Inappropriate Use


Suspected infractions of this policy should be reported to Information Technology Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in accordance with Appendix D, Policy Implementation and Practices. There might be situations when the following additional offices/officials should be notified of suspected violations when filing a complaint:

I. Policy Review and Practices Oversight

The Director of Information Technology is responsible for application and enforcement of this policy. A committee will review this policy on an annual basis or as the need arises, make recommendations for any changes, and provide oversight and periodic review of the practices used to implement this policy. Recommended changes shall be reviewed and approved by The Director of Information Technology in consultation with the commitee. The current version of the policy will be posted and maintained on the St. Matthew's University web site. A hard copy will be available at the Library Distribution Desk.

J. Glossary and Definition of Terms

Appendix A - Glossary and Definition of Terms - Updated August 31, 2010

K. Specific Examples of Responsible and Irresponsible Uses

Appendix B - Specific Examples of Responsible and Irresponsible Use - Updated August 31, 2010

L. References and Works Cited

Appendix C - References and Works Cited - Updated August 31, 2010

M. Policy Implementation and Practices

Appendix D - Policy Implementation and Practices- Updated August 31, 2010

Please refer any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.