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MSJC > College Information > Procedures for Acceptable Use

Procedures for Acceptable Use


Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) owns and operates a variety of computing systems, which are provided for the use of MSJC students, faculty, and staff in support of the programs of the college. Recognizing that computers are now an integral component of personal communication, it must be understood that the primary purpose of the College computing systems is for education, research, academic development, and public service. Commercial uses are specifically excluded. All students, faculty, and staff are held accountable for seeing that these computing facilities are used in a responsible, efficient, ethical, and lawful manner.


This document establishes rules and prohibitions that define acceptable use of the College's computer systems. Unacceptable use is prohibited and may be grounds for loss of computing privileges. Violations of these policies will be dealt with in the same manner as violations of other College policies and may result in disciplinary action and/or legal sanctions under federal, state, and local laws.


MSJC owns and operates all College computer systems, facilities and accounts. While system administrators have access to all user account directories and data, electronic mail, personal web pages, and any other files stored on system servers, such files are not accessed without written authorization or under circumstances requiring system maintenance. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the privacy of individual accounts and electronic mail and to ensure a secure network system, there is no guarantee that such accounts or electronic mail are private. MSJC reserves all rights to these computing resources, and may terminate service without notice at its discretion.

The Acceptable Use Policy shall not be construed as a waiver of any rights of MSJC, nor shall it conflict with applicable acts of law. Users of MSJC's computer systems may have rights that are protected by federal, state, or local laws. System administrators will establish more detailed guidelines, as needed, for specific computer systems and networks. These guidelines will cover such issues as allowable connect time and disk space, handling of irretrievable mail, responsibility for account approval, and other issues related to administering the system.


Access to MSJC computing systems is assigned and managed by the administrators of individual systems. Eligible individuals may become authorized users of a system and be granted appropriate access, including passwords, by the responsible system administrator.


The administrator of each system sets minimum guidelines within which users must conduct their activities.

Users may not, under any circumstances, allow unauthorized individuals to access their account without permission from their system administrator. Authorized users are responsible for proper use of the system, including any password protection.

Users may not employ the College's computing systems, including electronic communications such as electronic mail, to harass or make defamatory remarks, and violators shall bear full and sole responsibility for their actions. MSJC's role in managing these systems is only as an information carrier, and transmission of any individual user's messages through these systems does not imply endorsement by MSJC.

Access to the Internet is for use in a regular instructional activity or to compile data necessary for research needed in the College District. It is the user's responsibility not to initiate access to material that is obscene, as defined in the California Penal Code section 311 (a), or that is inconsistent with the goals, objectives, policies, or educational mission of the College District.

Many of the MSJC computing systems provide access to outside networks, both public and private, which furnish electronic mail, information services, bulletin boards, conferences, etc. Users are advised that MSJC, including members of the administration, faculty, and staff, does not assume responsibility for the contents of any of these outside networks.

In addition, users will agree to the following:

  1. Users agree to comply with the acceptable use guidelines for local and/or outside networks that they may access through MSJC systems.

  2. Users agree to follow proper etiquette on local and/or outside networks. Documents regarding etiquette are available through system administrators and/or through specific networks.

  3. Any user who transmits or causes to be transmitted a message that is inconsistent with an environment conducive to learning or with a misleading source will be held solely accountable for the message, not MSJC, which is acting solely as the information carrier.

  4. Users agree never to use a system to perform an illegal or malicious act. Any attempt to increase the level of access to which a user is authorized or to deprive other authorized users of resources or access to any MSJC computer system shall be regarded as malicious and may be treated as an illegal act.

  5. A user who discovers a possible security lapse on any system is obligated to report it to the system administrator. The system must not be used until the system administrator has investigated the problem and issued a clearance.

  6. Knowledge of passwords or of loopholes in computer security systems shall not be used to damage computer resources, obtain extra resources, take resources from another user, gain unauthorized access or otherwise make use of computing resources for which proper authorization has not been given.

  7. Users are responsible for backup of any data that does not reside on the network drive.

  8. Users agree to remain within allocated disk space and to delete electronic mail or other material that takes up excessive storage space.

  9. Users agree that if any local software installed on a computer interferes with the business function and performance of the equipment, the system administrator may remove such software.

  10. Users are responsible for abiding by copyright law pertaining to computer software. Computer software protected by copyright is not to be copied from, into, or by using campus computing facilities, except as permitted by law or by the contract with the owner of the copyright. This means that such computer and microcomputer software may only be copied in order to make back-up copies, if permitted by the copyright owner. The number of copies and distribution of copies may not be done in such a way that the number of simultaneous users in a department exceeds the number of original copies purchased by that department. Licenses for local software shall be made available for review upon request.


State and federal law protect the confidentiality of student, employee and applicant records. Users understand that all records accessed are confidential and subject to College policies and federal and/or state laws.

On occasion, the Information Services (IS) Department may need to access files for maintenance or security purposes. File owners will be notified of file access in advance, if such notice is practical. When performing maintenance, every effort is made to ensure the privacy of a user's files. However, if policy violations are discovered, they will be reported immediately to the appropriate Administrator who shall in turn discuss the violation with the user at the earliest time possible.

Users will agree to the following:

  1. Users will access only information to which they are authorized.

  2. Users will maintain the confidentiality of information in compliance with College policies and federal and/or state laws. Users will keep all data, whether in electronic or printed format, confidential both during and after employment.


All users of MSJC computing systems must read, understand, and comply with the policies outlined in this document, as well as any additional guidelines established by the administrators of each system. By using any of these systems, users agree that they will comply with these policies. Failure to abide by these conditions may result in denial of access to all College information systems and may subject users to formal disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Approved by ICTC: September 2001


Mt. San Jacinto College
Email Guidelines

AP 6506     District Email
The Information, Communication and Technology Committee, as a shared governance District technology committee, is responsible for administering these procedures, and is the authority to amend these procedures.   
These procedures outline the policy for the proper use of the District computing systems for email communications.
It is the responsibility of the Dean of Information Technology to establish procedures, as needed, to ensure that the District’s computer and communications technologies are used in a responsible, efficient, ethical and lawful manner. It is the responsibility of each department to ensure that all employees, including full and part-time faculty and staff, understand and abide by these guidelines.
The Information, Communication and Technology Committee has approved the procedures that follow:
Background and Purpose
The campus email system is an official communication tool for District business.  Casual use of the District-owned system dilutes email as an effective District communication tool and burdens the email storage system.
District resources are expended to support District email systems and maintain the integrity of the data.  It is imperative for users to follow District guidelines for email use, distribution lists, and space allocations.


District administrative email accounts, resolving to, are established for District personnel and faculty via a Computer Network Access (CNSA) request. Email accounts for casual employees must be approved quarterly by a Supervisor, or the email account is automatically terminated. Student workers may not have an email address resolving to


Guidelines for Email Distribution Lists

There is a need, from time to time, to send official email messages to all faculty and staff on both campuses.  These may include service disruptions or restoration notices, safety information, emergencies, etc.  Official District communications will be sent via the ‘Everyone’ distribution list.  Administrators and key personnel have access to ‘Everyone’.  Other messages should be directed to the most appropriate list(s) or individual(s).

Email messages may not violate the District’s Procedures for Acceptable Use by College Employees for Computer and Communications Technology (AP 6505).  Individuals may not, under any circumstance, use District email for commercial purposes or for political advocacy.


Email lists supported by the District include:


Included Groups
Generated # of emails (approx)
Subscription Method
Staff, Administration, Faculty, Associate Faculty
Generated by IT only, with no option for self-deletion or inclusion.
Staff at all sites
Generated by IT only, with no option for self-deletion or inclusion.
Full-time faculty at all sites
Generated by IT only, with no option for self-deletion or inclusion.
Associate Faculty
Part-time faculty at all sites
Generated by IT, with no option for self-deletion or inclusion. 
Use of the email distribution lists is restricted to messages that meet one or more of the following criteria:
(A)         The message is essential to the proper execution of daily operations of the District.
(B)          The message notifies the community of changes in governance, policy and practice.
(C)         The message alerts the community to situations around health and safety.
(D)         The message informs the community about committee business as required by shared governance.
(E)          The message is of public importance or is collegially related to the District community.
Announcements that do not meet one of these criteria may be authorized by a District Dean or the Office of Public Information (PIO).
All District events should be communicated from the Office of Public Information. Distribution of District events from the PIO will ensure that message standards are enforced, such as date, time, campus location, additional information, etc., and that the event is placed on the District calendar. The PIO may opt to highlight the event on the MSJC website or in the media.
When responding to a group distribution list, reply to the sender and not to the entire group, whenever practical.
Departments or groups that make frequent or regular group mailings are encouraged to maintain their own email distribution group. 
District email, including distribution lists, should NOT be used for:


(A)         Email that contains threatening, harassing or menacing language;
(B)          Chain Letters;
(C)         Personal events, movies, videos, or pictures;
(D)         Solicitations;
(E)          Political advocacy;
(F)          Discussion topics better suited for targeted audiences; 
(G)         Virus warnings or SPAM warnings (Forward these to Helpdesk for evaluation and any further action);
(H)         Graphic-intensive flyers (Ask Webmaster to post to intranet);
(I)            Birthday or party notifications or invitations;
(J)            Attached Forms (Ask Webmaster to post to the intranet);
(K)         Embedded Website information with invitations to download wallpaper or icons;
(L)          Links to web sites not related to District business;
(M)         For space considerations, do not use custom wallpaper or icons within an email.
Guidelines for Email Space Allocations
Individual users are allotted a specified amount of space, or disk quota, for email files stored on the network.  The disk quota is implemented in order to efficiently use District resources, strengthen data integrity, and allow for effective data recovery.  The disk quota is set according to available system resources.
Because custom wallpaper and icons within an email take up excessive storage space, email backgrounds should be white and without custom wallpaper.


IT personnel will notify users when their accounts are approaching the disk quota.  IT reserves the right to archive emails from an account if the user or department is unable/unavailable to manage their disk space.  As limits are reached, the department and/or user(s) will be notified that they have reached or gone above the limit for their allocated network storage space. Information Technology will make three notification attempts to resolve the issue. If after three attempts to resolve the issues have gone unanswered, the department or user data will be archived onto an offline storage media and stored in the Information Technology office.


Appeals and requests for exceptions shall be signed by the employee’s Supervisor/ Administrator and sent to Information Technology.


Discussion Threads and Events
A message board will be made available for ongoing discussion threads. For instructions on use of message boards for threaded discussion, see the ICTC website.
Enforcement of these guidelines
It is the responsibility of each department to ensure that all employees, including full and part-time faculty and staff, understand and abide by these guidelines.

District Use Email Policy / Adopted 01/06/2006 ICTC
District Use Email Policy / Amended 04/04/2008 ICTC
District Use Email Policy / Amended 05/21/2010 ICTC