Faculty & Staff :: Faculty Handbook

Computer Use Guidelines

Computer Lab Use Policy

This policy applies to the computer lab facilities available at Virginia Western used in supporting the computing needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the college. Its purpose is to ensure the equitable, legal, and economical use of these facilities by authorized college users. The following policies relate to their use:

  1. Because of the expenses associated with operating and supporting computing facilities, computer labs are neither designed nor available for use by the general public. Access is limited to students, faculty, and staff engaged in college related activities only. Use by others must receive specific approval.
  2. Computer equipment and software are to be used in support of the mission of the college and are not to be used for commercial or personal objectives, or non-college related activities. Staff can and will periodically examine computer records (which may include files, logs, and listings) to diagnose problems and to assure these policies are being followed.
  3. In cases where an account is assigned to an individual, it must not be used by others without explicit permission. The individual is responsible for the proper use of the account, including proper password protection.
  4. No user shall attempt to alter in any manner the setup of the hardware or software on individual computer workstations or enterprise systems (Blackboard, SIS, etc.) unless expressly authorized by support personnel. Utilization of files from outside sources is highly discouraged due to possible contamination from viruses.
  5. Users shall not attempt to gain access to any privileged account or files unless specifically authorized. This includes access to operating system files and files belonging to other users. Each user is expected to utilize the computing resources and facilities in a manner which does not infringe upon use of these resources by others.
  6. Use of the facilities for required work has priority over use for convenience. Recreational use of the equipment and software is expressly forbidden.
  7. No user shall use any equipment or software in an activity which violates federal, state, or local laws.
  8. Computer software protected by copyright is not to be copied except as permitted by law or by the contract with the owner of the copyright. The number of copies and distribution of the copies may not be done in such a way that the number of simultaneous users exceeds the total authorized for the college. Private copies of software should not be used on college equipment. College staff is expressly forbidden to assist in the use of illegally obtained or improperly licensed software.

Official E-mail Communications with Students

VCCS has established e-mail as a primary vehicle for official communication with students. An official VCCS Gmail e-mail address has been established and assigned by the VCCS and the colleges for each registered student, and current faculty and staff member. All communications sent via e-mail will be sent to the students Gmail address. Faculty members will use their official VWCC e-mail address to communicate with a student registered in their classes and administrative units will correspond with students via this address.

The VCCS expects that students will receive and read e-mail in a timely manner. Students are expected to maintain their accounts and check their e-mail periodically so that new mail will be properly received and read. A student's failure to receive and read official college communications delivered to their Google e-mail address in a timely manner does not absolve that student from knowing and complying with the content of such communications.

While students are allowed to redirect e-mail from their official VCCS e-mail address to another address (e.g. @hotmail.com, @aol.com), they do so at their own risk. The VCCS is not responsible for the handling of e-mail by other service providers. Having e-mail redirected does not absolve students from knowing and complying with the content of the communication sent to their official College e-mail address.

VCCS Standards

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