Responsible Use Policy - FAQ #3 - Policy Violations

  1.  How will you know that a violation has occurred?
  2.  Who will make the determination that it is a violation of policy and not simply a performance issue?
  3.  If I think a violation of the policy has occurred, how do I let ITS know?
  4.  Can you lock a student account for irresponsible use?
  5.  Who will respond to policy violations by faculty? by students? by staff?
  6.  What if I don't agree when you tell me to stop an activity?
  7.  What are potential penalties for violating this policy?
  8.  Where can I get more information?

1.  How will you know that a violation has occurred?

Enforcement will be based on receipt of one or more valid formal complaints about a specific incident or through discovery of a possible violation in the normal course of administering IT resources. Information Services will determine if a violation of the policy has occurred based on further investigation of the evidence by the appropriate campus entities.

2.  Who will make the determination that it is a violation of policy and not simply a performance issue?

The Vice Provost/Chief Information Officer or designee will investigate complaints, determine if the policy has been violated, and refer the matter to designated University officials for further action if appropriate.

3.  If I think a violation of the policy has occurred, how do I report it?

There are several methods that can be used to report a potential policy violation:

  • Send the complaint via email to abuse@calpoly.edu.
  • Call the ITS Service Desk at 756-7000. They will refer your call to the appropriate office based on the type of complaint and system involved.
  • Contact Information Services n person (14-115) of by phone (805.756.2966).
  • Contact Information Services by mail (OCIO, 14-115, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407).

Complaints must be filed by the individual or by the administrator of the network/system that was harmed. Cal Poly will act on anonymous and third party complaints only in the event of a health and safety issue; otherwise, the individual who has been harmed will be contacted and asked to file a formal complaint.

Suspected infractions occurring on external or departmental systems should be reported to the administrator responsible for the resource with a copy to abuse@calpoly.edu. Cal Poly system administrators, supervisors or offices receiving a complaint or discovering a possible violation should notify abuse@calpoly.edu

5.  Can you lock a student account for irresponsible use?

Information Services will lock a user's account for security reasons only (e.g., the account appears to have been compromised or has been involved in an attempt to compromise a resource), at the direction of designated University Officials (e.g., Information Security Office, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Academic Personnel, or Human Resources), or in response to a court order.  Cal Poly may temporarily block access to a computer, network, Web site or other resource in response to a complaint of copyright infringement or malware.

5. Who will respond to policy violations by faculty? By students? By staff?

Initial response to complaints under the RUP will be handled by Information Services. Serious incidents, repeat violations, and minor infractions and first time offenses that cannot be resolved informally will be referred to one or more of the following authorities for further action:

  • Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities if the incident involves a student.
  • Human Resources (State, ASI, CPC) if the complaint involves a staff member.
  • Academic Personnel if the complaint involves a faculty member.
  • University Police if the complaint involves potential illegal activity or threats to individual health and safety.
  • Employment Equity Office if the complaint involves potential discrimination or harassment
  • The Information Security Officer if misuse of institutional data or a potential security breach or other information security policy violation is suspected
  • Office of the Registrar if disclosure of student information is suspected
  • The following individuals may also be contacted: sponsor, advisor, supervisor, department head/chair, dean, and/or program administrator.

6.  What if I don't agree when you tell me to stop an activity?

You may respond with your explanation of the event and it will be evaluated by the entity handling the complaint. If your reason is not accepted, you can appeal the decision to the Vice Provost/Chief Information Officer who has final authority in determining whether a computing policy has been violated or not. Students and employees can appeal any decision and action taken through existing University disciplinary/grievance processes.

7.  What are potential penalties for violating this policy?

Penalties are dependent on the state agency that deals with the complaint and the severity of the complaint. First offenses and minor infractions are generally resolved informally by the entity responsible for the resource. Repeat offenses and serious incidents may lead to formal disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or termination. Misuse may result in the loss of computing privileges and prosecution under applicable civil and criminal statutes.

8.  Where can I get more information?

All users are encouraged to review the complete RUP, which contains a full description of the policy and its application and provisions. It includes definitions, examples, procedures and hyperlinks to documents with more information on specific topics such as copyrights.  Users can also contact Information Services by email (it-policy@calpoly.edu), phone (805.756.2966 or 7000) or in person (14-115) for advice and guidance in interpreting or explaining any aspect of the policy.


Continue to FAQ #4 | Return to RUP Index Page

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