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IS.100 IS Resource Acceptable Use Policy
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TITLE: IS Resource Acceptable Use Policy

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 13, 2018

DEPARTMENT: Information Security

Authorized: Dr. Robert Owen, Vice Provost for Information Services & CIO


Santa Clara University provides information technology resources to support the mission of the University in making resources accessible to staff, faculty and students for instruction, administration and research. These resources must be controlled and managed to ensure resources are continuously available for these uses. To support a productive work environment, permit maximum freedom of use consistent with state and federal law, and University policies, end users must agree to abide by this Acceptable Use Policy, and confirm their acknowledgement on a reasonably regular basis.


To maximize the value of University IT resources, permit maximum freedom of use consistent with state and federal law, and University policies in order to support a productive work environment.


Applies to all users of Santa Clara University IT resources, whether affiliated with the University or not, and to all uses of those resources, including but not limited to whether on campus, off campus, including in offices, classrooms, laboratories, hallways, public spaces, residence halls, and University apartments.


  1. Personal Use is Limited For Employees

The primary purpose of University IT resources is to conduct official University business.

However, occasionally employees may use the Internet and electronic mail for individual, non-political purposes, if such use does not violate the terms and conditions of this agreement.

  1. Privacy is Not Expected

The University may have a business necessity or reason to access files and accounts of its employees or students, including the investigation of complaints of misuse. It is therefore unreasonable for any user of Santa Clara University IT resources to have an expectation of privacy in the use of such resources.

  1. Academic Freedom and Associated Responsibilities

The rights of academic freedom and freedom of expression apply to the use of University IT resources, as do the responsibilities associated with those rights. The use of University IT resources, in addition to this policy, is also governed by all University policies.

  1. Prohibited Actions

Santa Clara University IT resources shall not be used for:

  1. commercial or personal profit-making purposes, for conducting political advocacy, or for personal benefit where such use incurs a cost to the University and is not academic or work related;
  2. accessing or attempting to access another person’s directory, files, or mail, whether protected or not, without permission of the owner.  Attempts to access unauthorized IT resources via the computer network, to decrypt materials, or to obtain privileges to which the user is not entitled are prohibited;
  3. visiting, viewing or distributing Internet sites or materials that contain obscene, pornographic, profane or sexually explicit information, pictures, or cartoons; and publishing, displaying, transmitting, retrieving or storing inappropriate or offensive material. Such is expressly prohibited unless identified and pre-approved in writing by the Provost as part of legitimate research, teaching, or academic pursuits. Contact the Office of the Provost to request written pre-approval;
  4. intentionally or negligently interfering with the proper operation of any system or its use by others;
  5. creating or distributing defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, threatening, racially offensive or otherwise biased, discriminatory or illegal material;
  6. downloading, disseminating, storing, using, or printing materials in violation of copyright laws including articles, music, videos, games, and software; causing excessive congestion, overload or disruption of networks or systems, including the distribution of chain letters; illegal, threatening, or destructive purposes; creating or knowingly disseminating unwanted and unsolicited emails or materials (SPAM).

Users of Santa Clara University IT resources shall not:

  1. remove, transfer, disable or dispose of computer software licensed to the University
  2. share a computer account or password(s) with other persons. Each user must have an individual account, passwords must be protected, and the user must not leave a machine logged on when not present
  3. consume unreasonable amounts of resources. The University may impose restrictions or limits on use of such resources
  4. falsify e-mail or newsgroup postings
  5. try to circumvent login or security procedures


All persons in scope must acknowledge their acceptance of this policy annually. Policy acceptance will be sought electronically at time of a user logging in to the network to use SCU digital resources.


All users of Santa Clara University IT resources are responsible for compliance with this agreement. Users of Santa Clara University IT resources shall be held responsible for all account activities and for appropriate charges.

Non-acceptance of this policy may result in network service access being denied.

Report suspected violations of this policy to the appropriate supervisor, department head, Dean, Vice President, Student Life, or to the Human Resources Department. Depending on the seriousness of an offense, violation of this policy can result in penalties ranging from reprimand, to loss of use, to referral to University authorities for disciplinary action, to criminal prosecution. Use of these resources is a privilege, not a right, and abuse may result in the immediate removal of privileges pending final resolution.


  1. Information Technology Resource (IT Resource)

Products and services that collect, transform, transmit, present, and otherwise make data into usable, meaningful and accessible information.

IT resources include but are not limited to: desktop, laptop, portable storage and mobile devices, email, voicemail, servers, central computers, and networks; network access systems including wireless systems; hard drives and databases; computer software; printers and projectors; telephone equipment and switches including local and long-distance services; camcorders, TVs, video players, and FAX machines; satellite equipment and any other current or future IT resource adopted by the University.

Questions or comments to

Last Reviewed: April 2020

Next Scheduled Review: April 2022

IS.100 IS Resource Acceptable Use Policy, 2018.04.13