Responsible Use Policy - Sections E.5 & E.6

E.5 - Commercial Use

Use of the University's information technology resources is strictly prohibited for unauthorized commercial activities, personal gain, and private, or otherwise unrelated to the University, business or fundraising. This includes soliciting, promoting, selling, marketing or advertising products or services, or reselling University resources.

Campus auxiliary organizations are authorized to provide services and products to students, faculty and staff, and invited guests of the University through operating and service support leases. The University President or designee may authorize additional limited commercial uses under separate policy provisions. Such uses are excepted from the above prohibitions.

These prohibitions are not intended to infringe on authorized uses that enable students, staff and  faculty to carry out their duties and assignments in support of the University mission.

6. Political Advocacy

It is generally inappropriate for individual employees to use University resources to engage in political advocacy in election campaigns. State law generally prohibits the use of public funds for this purpose and Government Code Section 8314 makes it illegal for any state employee or consultant to use or permit others to use state resources for any campaign activity not authorized by law.

An employee can be held personally liable for intentionally or negligently violating Government Code Section 8314 for up to $1,000 per day the violation occurs plus three times the value of the unlawful use of state resources. Due to the personal nature of this activity, the State of California would not indemnify or defend the employee if an action was pursued against them for violating this statute.

The courts have yet to address the specific issue of whether an individual's use of state supported e-mail for political purposes violates the law. While the University may choose not to be involved in deciding whether a personal communication violates this provision, other policy provisions may apply and an employee may still be subject to personal liability under the law. Employees should exercise appropriate caution prior to engaging in such activities, which may have negative consequences for them and the University.

This provision does not apply to political activities related to on-campus student government, including the conduct of student elections, or student club activities and sponsored events conducted with prior approval of the University. It does not apply to individual student  activities, e.g., websites, which constitute free speech. Such activities must comply with all other provisions of this policy, including the section on electronic communications, when using University resources.

Continue to Sections E.7, E.8 and E.9 | Return to RUP Table of Contents

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