Technical Use Policy

NOTE:  All Principia faculty, staff, and College students must have a signed copy of this form on file before using the Principia Network.

Purpose of this policy

Principia provides wide governance of technology use through this policy in order to:

  • Reflect the same standards of moral conduct that we would apply to any other form of communication
  • Expect law-abiding behavior from all members of the community
  • Safeguard the integrity of the institution and protect it from legal harm
  • Protect members of the community from unreasonable and avoidable offense
  • Operate technology services at the least possible cost, thereby protecting students, parents, donors, and other Principia stake-holders

Based on Purpose and Policies of The Principia

All use of technology at Principia must reflect Principia standards and the policies as stated in Purpose and Policies of The Principia.

  • Policy 10 states that we all have the "obligation to use technical skills and intellectual attainments for the betterment of humanity."
  • In a strong statement in support of character education, Policy 12 acknowledges the need to develop "the power to think accurately, wisely . . . to discard that which is not constructive in daily living . . . to form high ideals."

Guidelines for Technology Use

  1. No transmissions originating from Principia’s campuses may include inappropriate content.  It is a crime under both Illinois and Federal laws for anyone to make obscene or harassing phone calls, messages or other electronic transmissions.  No member of this community shall use obscenities in a greeting or a message. The same standards that pertain to any other medium at Principia apply to all Principians’ electronic publications or transmissions.  This guideline applies to e-mail and attachments whether Principia or another party provides the service. The guideline also applies to web pages, voicemail, instant messaging, web-based chat, file sharing and any other form of electronic transmissions or publications.
  2. Users will obey the laws governing the use of technology, including those laws pertaining to copyright and criminal trespass. It is contrary to Principia’s Intellectual Property Policy to violate state or federal copyright law. This includes:

    Downloading copyrighted materials from the internet without proof of permission from the copyright holder:

    Copying or using copyrighted materials without proof of permission from the copyright holder:

    • audio
    • literary materials
    • video
    • films
    • graphics
    • theatre productions
    • text materials
    • musical productions


    • artistic productions
    Copyrighted works may also include printed publications, TV and radio programs, videotapes, music performances, photographs, training materials, manuals, documentation, software programs, databases, and Web sites. In general, the laws that apply to printed materials are also applicable to visual and electronic media. Examples include CD’s, DVD’s and Web pages.

    Note: It is not contrary to Principia’s Intellectual Property Policy to copy or use copyrighted material for the limited purposes outlined by the  “Fair Use Doctrine.” For a copy of the code, see, or contact the Office of the Academic Deans at Principia College, 618-374-5156.
  3. Users must not share passwords or attempt unauthorized access.
    • Individuals are responsible for activity within their accounts. Therefore, individuals should not share network accounts or passwords.
    • Users may not attempt to gain unauthorized access to any account, computer, or network device.  Such an attempt may be grounds for legal action.
  4. Discipline.  Discipline for violation may include the removal of all rights to use Principia’s network, including loss of network account, email account, and the ability to use one’s own computer on Principia’s network. Principia will investigate any complaint or apparent violation of this policy, according to disciplinary procedures of the Principia. Based on the Matthew Code, if any member of the community finds evidence of a violation of Principia’s copyright policy, the finder should approach the suspected violator, and explain the copyright law as the finder understands it. If the evidence from the suspected violator indicates only legal behavior, then the matter is concluded.  Should the finder conclude the behavior is inappropriate, and is unconvinced that the behavior will cease, then, in the case of a student, the finder should contact Student Life. In the case of all others, the finder should contact the Personnel Office.

    If Personnel or Student Life fact-finding indicates a violation of Principia policy, the consequence would not be limited to but may include:
    1. The deletion of all copyrighted materials, and the agreement not to engage in the activity again either on or off campus.
    2. A suspected student will be referred to the Student Life Residence Director and to the Community Board Process for appropriate action, up to and including suspension.  A suspected faculty or staff member will be referred to the Personnel Office (rather than up the chain of command in order to ensure consistent application of policy).
    3. If the offense is found by IT networking personnel during actual transmission, the suspected users’ switch port will be shut down until the appropriate discipline is complete.

    IT reserves the right to both require and to restrict the use of certain technologies.  Failure to observe these requirements and restrictions may lead to discipline including fines and suspension of services.  IT will communicate these requirements and restrictions through distribution e-mail and I/O mail.  A comprehensive list may be found on the Information Technology site on PrinWeb


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Prepared by:
Information Technology
Principia Legal Counsel
12 August 2005
The Copyright Policy Committee
Principia College
26 May 2004
Approved by PEC (Principia Executives Committee)