Computer Users: Rules & Responsibilities

City College computing resources must be used in a manner consistent with the University's educational purposes and environment. All users of College-based e-mail accounts and computing hardware, software, and networking appliances (henceforward computing resources) have certain responsibilities to insure the efficient and security of campus-wide users. This policy applies to all users of College computing resources, affiliated or not with the College, and to all users of those resources, on campus or from remote locations. All users are expected to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth in this document, which are subject to revision.


CCNY employs various measures to protect the security of its computing resources. Users should bear in mind that the College cannot guarantee security and confidentiality, and therefore should practice "safe computing." Use of computing resources is not completely private. While the College does not routinely monitor individual usage, normal operations sometimes require the backup and caching of data and communications, the logging of activity, and monitoring of general usage patterns and activities required for optimal service. The College may specifically monitor an individual's computing transactions without notice when:

  • the user has voluntarily made them accessible to the public, as by leaving equipment unsecured; posting inappropriately to newsgroups or web pages; or generated disruptive software;
  • suspicious activity or circumstances warrant protecting the integrity, security and functioning of the College and/or its computing resources from liability;
  • there is reasonable cause to believe the user has violated regulations;
  • computing resources appear to be engaged in unusual or excessive activity;
  • or it is required or permitted by law.

Rules for Appropriate Usage

  • Computing resources are not to be used for personal commercial purposes or for personal, financial or other gain. Occasional personal use of College computing resources for other purposes is permitted when it does not consume a significant amount of those resources, does not interfere with the performance of the user's job or responsibilities, and is in compliance with the regulations set forth here. Further limits may be imposed upon personal use in accordance with normal supervisory procedures.
  • Every user of the College's computing resources is required to receive authorization from an appropriate college official (administrative faculty or staff). Such authorization allows one to utilize the appropriate computing resources for approved activities. Illegal usage, for example, by theft or misappropriation, of computing resources, is a criminal act subject to prosecution as a misdemeanor or felony. It is also cause for suspension or termination from University status.
  • One should take all necessary precautions to protect all computing resources. Each user is responsible for securing and safeguarding his/her designated computing resources. For example, one should change one's password frequently, and not disclose it to anyone to prevent unauthorized use of one's account. Each user will be held responsible for any actions taken by their designated resources.
  • Any attempt to circumvent individual computer system protection or general campus-wide computing security may result in actions that violate the user's right to privacy, the property rights of the file owner or a third party (such as a software supplier), and therefore can be grounds for the imposition of severe penalties. Attempts to produce system failures or cause system performance degradation will be dealt with harshly. This includes tampering with equipment, including unauthorized repairs, relocation or removal of computing resources.
  • It is illegal without prior authorization to install, transmit, alter, or destroy data, programs or software belonging to others covered under copyright laws. Accordingly, all users are prohibited (1) from installing unlicensed software or peripherals on college equipment and (2) from removing preinstalled files without proper authorization.
  • Student computing resources are issued for the sole purpose of doing assigned class work. Submitting assignments prepared by others or obtained by plagiarism is considered cheating. Students are expected to work on these assignments independently, and evidence of unauthorized group work will be considered cheating and dealt with accordingly.
  • Sale of programming assignments shall be deemed to be a violation of Section 213-B of the New York State Education Law.
  • Abusive and improper private use includes using CCNY computing resources for profit-making and illegal purposes, as well as sending harassing anonymous or unsolicited messages within CUNY or beyond via network facilities. Use of college facilities for private purposes is not permitted unless prior authorization and monetary compensation are arranged.
  • The Directors of the computer centers have established regulations for the orderly use of facilities. These regulations may include time limits on the use of terminals, priorities on the use of facilities, etc. Abusing computer personnel or users is prohibited by the Disciplinary Regulations. This includes activities such as sending obscene messages as defined by the Ethics Committee, via the electronic mail system and preventing others from using computing facilities.


The Senate Executive Committee and the Director of the Computer Services shall form an Ethics Committee, which will in conjunction with the City College Administration and CUNY University Computer Center, investigate reports of violations of computer use rules. This Committee shall recommend appropriate means of enforcing these regulations, make recommendations and adjudicate questions of ethics in particular cases.
Any user found violating any of these regulations is subject to any/or all of the following penalties:

  • Immediate suspension of computing resource privileges.
  • Academic penalties or disciplinary procedures under CUNY By-Laws, which provide for sanctions including suspensions or dismissal.
  • Criminal procedures. Instructors will be immediately informed of the suspension of the computer accounts.

(* Excerpt from Rules for Campus Labs issued by: OIT )  Back to Policies>>


Last Updated: 08/03/2020 17:11