Information Technology Policies and Guidelines

Information Technology Services (ITS) supports the mission of Bethany Lutheran College by seeking to provide the students, faculty, administration, and the larger campus community with the knowledge, skills, and technological resources to learn, teach, work, and excel in an increasingly technological campus and world.

To accomplish this mission, ITS has four ongoing goals:

  • Assure the availability/reliability of the IT infrastructure (the campus voice/data/cable network, public computer facilities, computer classrooms);
  • Determine needed IT services and assure the quality, efficiency, and client focus of these services;
  • Maintain and enhance the currency of hardware and software resources;
  • Help members of the Bethany community to improve their knowledge of information technology resources.

In order to continue to accomplish this mission a set of policies has been developed to make users aware of the possibilities technology offers, the expectations ITS has of the users, and the limits of the technology.

Educational computing resources provided, maintained, and supported by ITS are for use by the students, faculty, and staff of Bethany Lutheran College for instructional, academic, research, educational, administrative, and professional activities.

Users are individually accountable for their own behavior with BLC computer resources: Using BLC computer resources does not exempt the user from any other laws or obligations, and actions which intentionally try to circumvent the accountability of a user, maliciously interfere with other user's use of resources, or involve fraudulent activities are prohibited.

It is expected that all parties to this policy will act in a spirit of cooperation, and in a mature, responsible, respectful, efficient, ethical and legal manner.

Violations are subject to formal disciplinary action and loss of computer access privileges through the College.

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is essential to academic discourse. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media.

It includes respect for the right to acknowledgement and the right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. If copyright exists, as in most situations, it includes the right to determine whether the work may be reproduced at all. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced or altered, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in the digital world. Viewing, listening to, or using another person’s information without authorization is unethical. Ethical standards apply even when this information is left unprotected. (Adapted from "Software Initiative Publishes Statement on Software and Intellectual Rights", EDUCOM Bulletin, Spring 1987)

All software that resides on the college computers is owned or licensed by the college and is protected by copyright and other laws, licenses and other contractual agreements. Users are required to abide by the terms and conditions of software use and redistribution licenses. Such restrictions may include prohibitions against:

  • copying programs or data for use on your personal computer
  • distribution of programs or data to others
  • the use of programs or data for non-educational purposes or for financial gain
With a greater emphasis on computer-based assignments and research, students need to be especially cognizant of information technology ethics. In particular, academic dishonesty or plagiarism on student assignments may be suspected if:

  • the assignment calling for independent work results in two or more solutions so similar that they are virtually identical
  • a student who was to complete an assignment independently cannot explain both the intricacies of the solution and the techniques used to generate that solution
Students should always save copies of their work to their own accounts to help prove their own authorship of the assignment.

Shared Responsibility
All students, faculty, and staff share responsibility for seeing that Information Technology resources are used in an ethical manner. Please notify a staff member of the Information Technology Services department of any suspected inappropriate use. Users may be asked to cooperate with the college should an investigation into the abuse of the Information Technology System arise. Users are also expected to report any information relating to a flaw in or bypass of security to ITS staff. Users noticing a hardware or software failure on any of the college-owned equipment are asked to report the problem to ITS. Student users should request help from their professors or lab monitors prior to contacting ITS.

Penalties for not following these conditions, depending on the severity of the offense, may include but are not limited to loss of use privileges, fines, or criminal prosecution.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogs on sites like Tumblr and Blogger are becoming ever more popular. They provide a way to stay in touch with friends, meet new friends, build an online identity, or network with people who have similar interests or hobbies.

Along with opportunities for expression come obligations. College students have been arrested based on content posted, athletic teams punished for hazing of new players, and some individuals have been stalked or harassed. For some, it’s costing them jobs as potential employers preview their content posted online. While Bethany Lutheran College will not actively look for student violations online, we will investigate if we are concerned about the safety of a student. Since we want you to be smart and safe, here are a few guidelines to consider when online:

1) If you wouldn’t post it on your front door, don’t post it online. Facebook is open to anyone – while your intended audience might be your friends and classmates, that authorization also includes faculty, alumni, possibly members of your family, your neighbors, your employer, your pastor – anyone, world wide!

Long before there was Facebook, a student filled out an application for an internship but failed to mention a misdemeanor conviction for underage drinking. The job was hers until the background check showed she had not been truthful with them. Facebook is another tool employers now use when evaluating job applicants. Posting something online is just as open and available to others as posting something on your door. If you would not be comfortable seeing your content on the evening news, don’t post it online!

Be aware of caching. Search engines like Google will quickly find your content and store a copy of it long after you remove it from your site. Think before you post since Google is only one of several search engines you will have to deal with to get something removed from their servers.

Using privacy settings can help control who can access your information. Many sites, including Facebook, allow you to restrict the availability of your profile to certain individuals. While these settings provide no guarantees, they can be a useful tool in gaining some control of your personal information and photos. Keep in mind anyone with access to your pages can copy your pictures or text and post it on their pages where there might not be any restrictions.

2) Your online profile may be the only impression someone has of you. While close friends may know you’re joking about something you’ve posted, another student, staff member, faculty member, or future employer who stumbles across your profile may have only that information to gauge who you are. Make sure the image you’re projecting online is one that accurately represents you. If your mom, dad, professor, employer, the police, or the college would not approve, think twice before posting it.

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. - Proverbs 22:1

3) Be cautious of disclosing personal information. Many students feel that it is only their friends who will be visiting their site, so they often disclose personal information such as date of birth or contact information. Remember that if it is on the web, more than just your intended audience has access to the information you post. As you have little control over who all has access to this information, it is advisable to limit the disclosure of any personal information.

4) Civility matters (even on the Internet). The web provides a way to connect with others, and sites like Facebook and Twitter are a means to join an ever-growing community. Remember, you are not only representing yourself but as a student you are representing Bethany Lutheran College. The rules of civility still apply on the web. Be polite. Be honest. Be responsible.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16

All of the computer and telecommunication services provided and supported by the ITS, and any of their individual components, are privileges. In order to be granted and maintain these privileges users must use them responsibly in accordance with:

  • the mission of Bethany Lutheran College
  • the policies laid out herein
  • any local, state, and federal regulations that may apply
The college encourages and teaches ethical Christian behavior as it applies to the Internet. We reserve the right to limit certain content from the network that is in direct contradiction to God's teachings. We may also limit certain activities on our network that degrade network or system performance. Examples of these activities include using peer-to-peer (or other wide area network) file sharing, downloading large video or audio files, persistent media connections, or the use of live image cameras. All users must respect the privacy of other users and their accounts. Users must use only those computing resources they are authorized to use, and in the manner and to the extent authorized.

Engaging in activities that violate any one of these may result in disciplinary action. Such activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Any use of the network that causes congestion or otherwise interferes with the work of others.
  • Setting up personal computers as servers, including the use of peer-to-peer file sharing applications (such as Kazaa), or running services such as ftp, http, or media servers.
  • Tampering or reconfiguring settings on computers, printers, scanners, network switches or any other equipment.
  • Loading programs on college-owned or other student’s computers without permission.
  • Viewing or distribution of pornographic images or literature.
  • Making use of the campus technology resources for commercial purposes or financial gain.
  • Using college or personal computers for sending abusive, threatening, or harassing messages.
  • Sending chain letters or similar messages to individuals or lists.
  • Viewing or distribution of content saturated with offensive language or depicting gross violence.
  • Informing anyone of the password to your personal, non-transferable account.

  • If you do so, you are in violation of this code.
  • If someone else uses your account, they are in violation of this code.
  • If another person needs to access your files, please consult with the Information Technology Services (ITS) staff for an approach that does not compromise password security.