GVSU Conditions of Use

All members of the Grand Valley State University community have the responsibility to use the university's information technology resources in an effective, ethical, and legal manner. Ethical and legal standards that apply to information technology resources derive directly from standards of common sense and decency that apply to the use of any shared resource. Grand Valley depends first upon the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation that has been fostered at the university to resolve differences and ameliorate problems. This statement on conditions of use is published in that spirit. The purpose of the statement is to promote the responsible, ethical, legal, and secure use of Grand Valley's information technology resources for the protection of all users.

When you use Grand Valley's information technology services, you agree to the following conditions:

  1. To respect the privacy of other users; for example, you shall not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, tapes, or passwords belonging to other users or the University, or represent others, unless explicitly authorized to do so by those users.
  2. To respect the legal protection provided by copyright and licensing of programs and data; for example, you shall not make copies of a licensed computer program to avoid paying additional license fees or to share with other users.
  3. To respect the intended usage of accounts; for example, you shall use assigned accounts, transactions, data, and processes authorized by faculty, unit heads, or project directors for the purposes specified, and shall not access or use other accounts, transactions, data, or processes unless explicitly authorized to do so by the authorizing personnel.
  4. To respect the integrity of the system or network; for example, you shall not intentionally develop or use programs, transactions, data, or processes that harass other users or infiltrate the system or damage or alter the software or data components of a system. Alterations to any system or network software or data component shall be made only under specific instructions from authorized faculty, unit heads, project directors, or management staff. To respect the rights of other users; for example, you shall comply with all University policies regarding sexual, racial, and other forms of harassment, and you shall not divulge any information concerning faculty, staff, or students to which you have access without explicit authorization to do so.
  5. To adhere to all General University Policies and Procedures including, but not limited to, policies on proper use of information resources, information technology, and networks; acquisition, use, and disposal of University-owned computer equipment; use of telecommunications equipment; ethical and legal use of software; and ethical and legal use of administrative data.
  6. All users of Grand Valley's external network connections (i.e., MichNet and NSFNET) shall comply with the evolving "Acceptable Use" policies established by the external networks' governing bodies, see Appendix below.
  7. Computing and networking resources are sometimes in scarce supply. Resource contention may variously involve disk space, CPU time, workstation keyboard access, printer access, software access, and network bandwidth. Any use of GVSU networks and/or computers (even if legitimate by other aspects of this document) may be restricted if it places an excessive load on the system that results in reduced services to other users.
  8. Unauthorized use of computer games on Grand Valley computers is prohibited.
  9. Unauthorized use of GVSU networks and/or computers for non-academic purposes is prohibited.
  10. Network connections in Student Housing are intended strictly for client access to GVSU and Internet resources. Residents are not permitted to offer services to other computers, either external or internal, within the GVSU Housing Network. External requests for services destined to the GVSU Housing Network are not permitted. Information Technology reserves the right to disable network connections within the GVSU Housing Network if complaints are received and it is verified that a computer is offering an internal service.
    The Computer Science and Engineering departments have dedicated networks that can be used for servers that need to offer services to other computers for educational purposes; in this case the department is responsible for monitoring and approving the services that are offered as well as verifying that the computers have been patched and secured against known Internet attacks.
  11. All users of Grand Valley's e-mail accounts are expected to adhere to the applicable policy:

Computing resources shall be used in a manner consistent with the instruction, public service, research, and administrative objectives of the University, in general, and consistent with the specific objectives of the project or task for which such use was authorized, in particular. All uses inconsistent with these objectives, even if authorized, are considered to be inappropriate use and may jeopardize further authorization.

You are expected to use computing resources in a responsible and efficient manner. The Information Technology Department will provide guidance to help you use these resources efficiently and productively. If you use large amounts of computing and data processing resources, you are expected to refrain from engaging in deliberately wasteful practices.

While Information Technology normally cannot and does not judge the value or appropriateness of the use of academic computing resources, the use of computers simply to use them does represent an example of questionable use of these resources. The pertinent consideration is the recognition that computing resources are finite. Therefore, you are expected to cooperate to the greatest extent possible in making these resources available to others.

Use of administrative data carries with it particular responsibilities for the security of data, userIDs, and passwords made available to access such data. As an administrative data user, you are responsible for properly safeguarding any administrative data, which may be accessed by a terminal, personal computer, or any other distributed workstation. You should store data on storage media, such as network storage space consistent with the security classification of the data.

Your administrative userID defines the access authorization level appropriate for your job function, and you are considered responsible for all activity that occurs under your administrative userIDs and passwords. For this reason, you should not store userIDs and passwords in a non-secure manner nor should you share your userIDs and passwords with others.

You should be aware that although the Information Technology department provides and preserves security of files, account numbers, authorization codes, and passwords, security can be breached through actions or causes beyond the reasonable control of the Information Technology department. You are urged, therefore, to safeguard your data, authorization codes, and passwords; to take full advantage of file security mechanisms built into the computing systems; and to change your account password frequently.

When a faculty/staff report of suspected technology violation is made, it will be dealt with as defined by the rules in the Policy Abuse Procedures.


The Acceptable Use Policies of MichNet and NSFNET are established by the governing bodies of Merit, Incorporated (the operators of MichNet) and the NSFNET (U.S. Internet network operator). These are external policies not under the direct control of Grand Valley State University. See the document below for a complete description of these policies.

MichNet Acceptable Use Policy

Page last modified March 9, 2011