Procedures and Guidelines for Telecommunications Access and Use

Access Approval

Access to and use of the Palomar Community College District telecommunications equipment, facilities and networks must be authorized by the appropriate faculty member, computer laboratory director, supervisor or administrator. Students using computer classroom or laboratory facilities will be expected to adhere to the guidelines for student conduct published in the Student Conduct Code. Commercial use of telecommunications equipment or facilities except for the development of course-related materials by faculty or staff is not permitted unless approved in advance by the governing board. Commercial product advertising must also be approved in advance by the governing board. Use of District property including telecommunications resources for political activities as defined by California Education Code Section 7054is prohibited. (See Definitions.) In the event that these procedures are not followed, the District may initiate disciplinary action including the withdrawal of permission to use District telecommunications resources. An appeal of such disciplinary action would conform to the guidelines relating to student conduct, “Academic Due Process,” the “Handbook of Policies Covering Classified Employees in the Bargaining Unit Represented by the CCE/AFT,” or the Administrative Team Handbook” as appropriate. While District telecommunication technicians may monitor transmissions for purposes of network traffic administration, it is the District’s policy not to monitor transmissions for content except when required to do so in the normal course of business, in a criminal investigation, in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or valid court order, or when specific written permission to do so is granted by the Superintendent/President. (See Definitions — “content,” “normal course of business.”)

Copyright and Plagiarism Issues

The Palomar College community is encouraged to become familiar with the District’s policy encouraging the full use of information technology. Anyone approved to use District telecommunications equipment or facilities, however, must agree to adhere to copyright and software licensing laws. In addition, anyone who uses District telecommunications equipment or facilities to retrieve from and/or publish material on the Internet must respect copyright constraints and the guidelines for fair use of such materials. Anyone who uses District telecommunications equipment or facilities agrees to adhere to the Academic Integrity Code of Conduct, Board Policy 305, that prohibits plagiarism, defined as “false representation of another’s work as one’s own,” for any material published on District intranets or the Internet. The illegal capture, printing, duplicating, and mounting of Web sites or other electronic resources on District computers is expressly forbidden. Users wishing to publish electronic material on District equipment must follow the District guidelines as detailed in the “Access Approval” section of this document. The user and not the District accepts responsibility for the content and currency of all electronic material.

Laboratory or Classroom Computer Facilities

System administrators such as instructional computer laboratory directors are responsible in consultation with faculty using the facility for setting minimum guidelines applicable to a particular laboratory within the parameters established for use of District information technology resources. These guidelines should be prominently displayed in the laboratory or on the startup screen of computers. While informing students of appropriate and inappropriate use of Internet, World Wide Web, and e-mail in a particular lab should be included in the guidelines, filtering software preventing access to these resources shall not be installed on District computers or servers.

User Responsibilities

The individual user is responsible for maintaining the security of any passwords to accounts that are issued. These passwords must be kept confidential by taking care that others do not learn them through carelessness on the part of the authorized user. The user must not attempt to mislead a potential reader about the origin of a message. The user must not attempt any malicious act which would threaten the integrity of the District telecommunications equipment, programs, or facilities. Attempts to gain unauthorized access to files, data or programs or to introduce a virus on a District computer or network are to be construed as malicious acts and may result in disciplinary action. The user must respect the privacy of others and the security of the system. The user must obey federal and state laws relating to the communication or receipt of threats, harassment, obscenity or pornography.

Privacy of Telecommunications Transmissions

District computers and telecommunications equipment are public property, purchased with public funds and provided to public employees and enrolled students for use in conducting the public’s business. They also provide educational opportunities to qualified members of the public. The privacy of student and employee records shall be protected by appropriate security procedures. Users should be aware, however, that communications including e-mail may become accessible to unauthorized individuals. District technicians may have access to telecommunications transmissions while performing network or other telecommunications maintenance or when troubleshooting network problems.


The District considers e-mail transmitted using District resources to be private correspondence between the sender and recipient and will not monitor it for content. As the Internet tends to be a public medium, however, the sender is responsible for the content of any e-mail that the user transmits and is expected to follow the guidelines appropriate to discourse in an academic community.


All suspected violations of the Palomar Community College District Network and Telecommunications User Policy or these procedures shall be reported to the appropriate District director, chairperson or administrator who shall determine what action is necessary in keeping with legal obligation and District policies.


  1. Content: The substance of telecommunications transmissions as contrasted with the form or style thereof. For purposes of the Telecommunications User Policy, substance shall be understood to include, (a) the words and graphics of the messages, (b) e-mail addresses to which transmissions are sent and from which they are received, and (c) and Web site addresses to which connections and/or links are made.
  2. District: The officers and other employees of the Palomar Community College District as well as its vendors and consultants.
  3. Filtering Software: Software that prevents access to Websites or monitors content.
  4. Normal course of business: The District will monitor transmissions for the purpose of insuring integrity and security in the conduct of college business, to insure that college policies and procedures are followed, and in compliance with federal and state accounting standards. The following are examples of college business activity:
    1. Student registration, grade and transcript processing,
    2. Electronic data interchanges with other educational institutions and governmental agencies,
    3. Electronic funds transfers and purchase orders,
    4. Pursuant to a contract agreement,
    5. In compliance with a contracted District audit or other comprehensive audit of a program,
    6. Activities associated with the accreditation of programs,
    7. In connection with an emergency, if the knowledge of that information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons,
    8. Pursuant to a District investigation of sexual harassment, physical or verbal abuse, or alleged violations of District policies on security and confidentiality.
  5. Telecommunication resources: A broad term covering all hardware, software, conduit, cable, lines of transmission, and all related equipment and maintenance support services for telephone, fax, e-mail, Internet, radio, and television owned, rented, leased, and used by the District.
  6. Use of District Resources for Political Activities (Section 7054 of the California Education Code): No school district or community college district funds, services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate including but not limited to any candidate for election to the governing board of the district. (b) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of any of the public resources described in subdivision (a) to provide information to the public about the possible effects of any bond issue or other ballot measure if both of the following conditions are met. The informational activities are otherwise authorized by the Constitution or laws of this state. The information provided constitutes a fair and impartial presentation of relevant facts to aid the electorate in reaching an informed judgment regarding the bond issue or ballot measure. A violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor or felony punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both, or imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years.
  7. User: any person who uses telecommunications resources owned by, rented by, or leased to the Palomar Community College District. May 10, 1998 Return to the Academic Technology Home Page