Responsible Use Policy - FAQ #1 - Personal, Commercial, Political Use
- Can I use e-mail and Internet resources for personal use?
- Can my family use my account for email and web access?
- Can I put family information/pictures on my web page?
- My child is raising money for a school activity. Can I send out an email telling folks that the sign-up is in my office?
- Can I access my off campus Internet provider or online service from on campus?
- If I use Cal Poly's network to access another Internet provider or online service, am I still covered by Cal Poly's RUP?
- I am running for an ASI office, college council seat, or some other student office. Can I campaign using e-mail? Using my web page?
- Can I express my political opinions on my web page?
- What if I am running for a local office?
- I am supporting a local ballot initiative. Can I host an email distribution list to update interested people on this issue?
1. Can I use email and Internet resources for personal use?
Yes. Incidental personal use is permitted provided it does not involve personal financial or other gain or personal commercial use, does not consume a significant amount of campus resources, does not interfere with your own or other users' ability to perform University-related responsibilities, and otherwise complies with applicable laws, rules, policies, contracts and licenses.
2. Can my friends and family use my account for email and Internet access?
No. You are the only one authorized to use Cal Poly accounts issued in your name. It is not appropriate for friends or family members to use University email or the Cal Poly network to access the Internet or email (even if not Cal Poly) since it requires them to use your Cal Poly username and password. Sharing these with others is not permitted.
3. Can I put family information/pictures on my web page?
Yes. Incidental personal use and unofficial personal web pages are allowed under the RUP. However, it would not be appropriate for such materials to appear on official departmental or course-related Web sites or online services. University related activities always take priority over personal uses.
4. My child is raising money for a school activity. Can I send out an email telling folks that the sign-up is in my office?
University resources may not be used to raise monies for off-campus organizations, non-profit or otherwise. Such mailings may also constitute SPAM and may be against the law.
5. Can I access my off-campus Internet provider or online service from on campus?
This is permissible if such access does not prevent you or other users from using campus resources to carrying out their assignments. For example, it would be inappropriate for an employee to conduct such personal business to the detriment of their assigned duties, or for a student to use a lab machine for this purpose while other students are waiting to use the computer to complete a class assignment.
6. If I use Cal Poly's network to access another Internet provider or online service, am I still covered by Cal Poly's RUP?
Yes. Any traffic passing through the Cal Poly network will be subject to the RUP. In addition, you are responsible for knowing and abiding by the use policies of that Internet provider or online service, which in some cases may be more restrictive than Cal Poly'ss RUP.
7. I am running for an ASI office, college council seat, or some other student office. Can I campaign using email? Using my web page?
This use is appropriate under the RUP. However, any emails would be subject to the mass email restrictions and guidelines as defined within the Electronic Mail and Messaging policy and must comply with applicable laws and other provisions of the RUP.
8. Can I express my political opinions on my web page?
Being an advocate for a candidate or ballot initiative is an acceptable use for students. However, it is illegal for employees to use or permit others to use State resources for political advocacy. Due to the personal nature of this activity, the State of California would not indemnify or defend an employee if an action was pursued against them for violating this State law. Political advertising and fundraising is not permitted.
9. What if I am running for a local office?
University resources may not be used advertising for local political offices or ballot initiatives. Promoting your campaign for political office would constitute use of State resources for personal gain, which is prohibited under the policy.
10. I am supporting a local ballot initiative. Can I host an email distribution list to update interested people on this issue?
The courts have yet to address the specific issue of whether an individual's use of state supported email 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.