Acceptable Use Policy

Information Technology Services is pleased to provide Hillsdale College students, faculty, and staff with high-quality computer services. If at any time you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact ITS Administrative Offices at [email protected], (517) 607-2566, or visit our website.

Merit Inc. is Hillsdale College’s Internet service provider (ISP). Hillsdale College is an affiliate member of that organization. As part of this relationship, we, and those we permit to connect “to MichNet in order to use the Michigan statewide network or any other networks which are used as a result of their MichNet Connection,” are expected to comply with Merit’s Acceptable Use Policy and Privacy Policy and “the stated purposes and Acceptable Use policies of any other networks or hosts used.” As an affiliate organization, we are responsible for the “activity of (our) users” and expect compliance with these policies at minimum and further compliance with other standards and policies which clarify responsible behavior specific to your association with Hillsdale College.

Common sense, established law,  and various employee handbooks, in most cases, provide adequate guidelines for appropriate and acceptable behavior. Where clarification is needed, this policy and various other documents will serve that purpose but should not be construed to mean that, if it is not specifically addressed, a particular activity or use is acceptable or lawful.

User Accounts, Electronic Mail Accounts, and Personal Directories

General Information

Respect the rights of other users to an open and hospitable computing environment. For example, threats, unauthorized port scans, and denial of service attacks are considered harassment.

Users must respect the integrity of computing and network systems. For example, users shall not intentionally circumvent established log-in mechanisms in any way, develop or use programs that harass other users or infiltrate a computer, computing system, or network, and/or damage or alter the software components of a computer, computing system, or network.

Users must respect the privacy of others. For example, users shall not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to others, or represent themselves as another user unless explicitly authorized to do so by that user.

Users must respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data. For example, making unauthorized copies of proprietary software or data, or offering unauthorized copies of proprietary software or data to others, or copying someone else’s files, or programs, or examining such information unless authorized is considered an illegal action and is prohibited.

Obtaining an Account

User accounts, electronic mail accounts, and personal directories are provided to Hillsdale College students, faculty, and staff by ITS as a service. These accounts can be obtained by contacting the Helpdesk and are issued during the student admissions process.

These accounts are assigned to you, are your responsibility, and are not to be transferred or used by any other employee or student. Using another person’s account may be considered identity theft, and forged emails are considered infractions to this policy. Using College-provided computer accounts for commercial purposes such as promoting by broadcast non-educational, profit-driven products or services is misuse of your account.

Account Basics

The email addresses for all college students, faculty, and staff are in [email protected] format. Student electronic mail account storage should be kept under 50 GB of mail messages and other information (such as contacts, tasks, and calendar entries). Personal directories should be kept under 5 GB. ITS reserves the right to uphold these limits at any time without notice.

Message Addressing

Please send mail only to those who wish to receive it. Mail that is general and informative in nature should be posted to the appropriate public folder. Mass mailings are not generally acceptable. Any unsolicited email is viewed by most users as SPAM. Chain letters for any purpose ought not to be forwarded to others.

Content Guidelines

You are not necessarily responsible for the content of a message passed on by a person you wrote to, but the impression is that you are one of the senders if your name appears in the “From” line. Be sure those you correspond with will respect your confidence in them.

ITS will not condone access, saving, or printing of indecent, lewd, or obscene material with college-owned equipment. Upon infraction, you could lose your computer and electronic mail accounts. The Hillsdale College Code of Conduct states students are subject to disciplinary action for “disorderly conduct or lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression on College-owned or controlled property or at College-sponsored or supervised functions.”

Computer Security

Use only your name and private password to log on to various ITS services. Please change your password often. All passwords are case-sensitive.

In office settings, if you have an NT account, “lock” (Ctrl + Alt + Del) your machine when you are not in your office. In laboratory settings, when you finish your computing session, make sure to log off the machine before departing. Do not attempt to circumvent or alter any computerized service at Hillsdale College or elsewhere.

Lab Use

Lab hours are posted on the portal and outside each lab. Posted hours are guides to general time availability.

NOTE: The Lane Lab, Graphics Lab, and Eaton Lab are primarily teaching classrooms. When a class is in session, these labs are not available for general use. Posted hours are guides to general time availability. However, a class may choose to meet any time, day or night, with or without notice.


In general, the Office of Information Technology Services handles significant infractions with a “departmental action.” The College may choose to initiate disciplinary measures at any time. For students, if you wish to file a formal appeal to departmental or disciplinary actions, you may obtain an appeal form and submit it to the the Dean of Men or Dean of Women. The appeal will then be forwarded to the appropriate administrative offices for consideration.

In the future, you will be asked to review updated policies. Failure to do so places no responsibility on Information Technology Services or Hillsdale College.