Hollins University supports freedom of expression, freedom of speech and academic freedom in the pursuit of scholarly inquiry and the sharing of information.  The University’s computing resources are made available to Hollins University’s students, faculty, staff and alumni for the academic, educational, creative, artistic, and research purposes of the University.  With such use come responsibilities and obligations on the part of everyone using the network.  Each member of the University community is expected to protect the integrity of these resources and to know and adhere to University rules, regulations and guidelines for their appropriate use.

Legal Issues

Existing laws: All members of Hollins University are bound by state, federal and local laws relating to civil rights, harassment, copyright, security, libel and other statutes relating to electronic media.

Any attempt to break those laws through the use of the Hollins network may result in litigation against the offender by the proper outside authorities.  If such an event should occur, Hollins University will fully cooperate with the authorities to provide any information necessary.  In addition, such events will be dealt with by the appropriate Hollins disciplinary bodies.  At a minimum, a violator may be subject to having his/her account revoked.

Student records: Student records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and may be accessed only by school officials with a legitimate educational interest.

Copyright: Copyright law protects intellectual property such as software, images, musical compositions and text against unauthorized copying. Hollins University users are responsible for making use of software and electronic materials in accordance with copyright and licensing restrictions. Users should not copy programs and other intellectual property unless they are certain they are legally entitled to copy them (For example, illegal music files).

Harassment: Messages that harass an individual or a group are strictly prohibited. Hollins University has a policy prohibiting harassment, and all incidents of harassment will be handled according to that policy.

Libel: All members of the computing community should be aware that untrue and/or reckless statements made about others may form the basis of a civil libel action.

Electronic Communication: The general standard of e-mail privacy will be that which is assured to persons who send and received sealed envelopes through the physical mail system that envelopes would not be opened by university officials except for exigent conditions.


Hollins users may use only their own computer accounts.  Users may not supply false or misleading data to obtain an account nor improperly obtain another’s password in order to gain access to computers or network systems, data, or information.

Users are responsible for the use of their computer account(s).  They should make appropriate use of the system and network-provided protection features and take precautions against others obtaining access to their computer resources.  Accounts are for the sole use of the individual to whom they are assigned and passwords are strictly confidential. If a user suspects that anyone else knows his or her password, the user must change it.  For the users’ own protection and for the security of computing resources, users should always remember to logout before leaving a networked computer.

To ensure the proper functioning of PCs to accomplish the mission of the university, users should avoid changes to the computers/network that might adversely affect its functioning.

It is not acceptable to add, alter, disable or remove any software which resides on a machine in the public computing areas or is accessible via Hollins University’s network resources.  Hollins users may not attempt to modify the University system or network facilities or attempt to crash the systems.  They should not tamper with any software protections or restrictions placed on computer applications or files.

Users must have valid licenses for all software installed on university computers.

Users should not tamper with any of the network hardware such as cables, jacks, or computers.

Any activity on the network that is likely to result in the loss or disruption of service to another person is prohibited.  This includes (but is not limited to) such things as the introduction of viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other rogue programs to the system, tying up computer resources for excessive game playing and other activities not related to one’s work or classes, sending junk mail and chain letters, and downloading extremely large files (especially those not related to the person’s class work or job).

All PCs connecting to the Hollins University network are required to maintain updated virus protection software.

Commercial Use

Although it is acceptable to promote money-making activities for organizations that are sanctioned by the University, individuals may not use the Hollins University computer network and resources for money-making activities or to advertise or support a private or commercial business since this may jeopardize our non-profit status.


Persons with accounts should exercise due care and responsibility for the use of their email account.   To prevent unwanted messages from being sent from your account, users should logout of mail or lock their computers when they are unattended.  Mail should not be used to distribute threatening or harassing messages, spam, chain letters or solicitation for commercial activities.  Users of Hollins University’s IT resources may not send electronic messages in which the sender’s identity is forged.

Conservation of Resources

Printers are for the use and convenience of the university community. They should not be used to print output not related to the university’s mission.  If multiple copies of a document are needed, one should be printed and additional copies should be produced on copiers (to reduce costs).  All users should try to eliminate the printing of pages that are not needed.

The amount of disk space available for directories on network servers is limited, so account owners should maintain only active and frequently used files on these servers

The maximum time that a computer may be locked if a user must leave the room is 15 minutes. After that time, the computer may be rebooted by Computer Services to allow others to use it.