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Tacoma Community College » About TCC » Policies » Acceptable Use of Information Systems and Services

Acceptable Use of Information Systems and Services

To protect the integrity and usability of College information systems and services and to insure their continued availability for student learning and conduct of college business.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply
This policy applies to all users of any of the College’s information systems or services.

TCC Board of Trustees Policy Manual
RCW 42.52.160 (3)
WAC 292-1100-010

Tacoma Community College Information Systems and Services include, but are not limited to, all local and wide area networks, Internet access, electronic publishing systems,, TCC Online, email systems, administrative data processing systems, desktop computers, student labs, telephone systems, video systems, and all other current or future information systems. 


Users of any of the College’s information systems or services agree to comply with applicable state, federal, and local laws, WAC code, and college policies and procedures.

Specifically, college employees, students, and any other authorized users agree to comply with the following conditions:

  1. Any use of College information systems or services that engages in or promotes any of the following is prohibited:
    1. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, including sexual harassment, religion, disability, national origin, age, marital status, status as a disabled or Vietnam Era Veteran, sexual identity, or sexual orientation
    2. Copyright infringement
    3. Personal business interests, commercial uses, and solicitation on behalf of other persons unless approved by the President or a designee
    4. Any unlawful activity
  2. Promotion of political and religious beliefs is prohibited.
  3. It is the policy of Tacoma Community College to respect the copyright protections given by law to authors and software owners.  It is against college policy for faculty, staff, or students to install, copy or reproduce any software protected by copyright or other means, or other published information, except as expressly permitted in writing. Software installers are required to file proof of purchase and licensing information with the College’s office of Information Systems. College publishers must secure written permission to publish information, graphics, or photographs in which others may or could have a legally defensible interest.
  4. Tacoma Community College will maintain only one World Wide Web site, maintained by a College-appointed systems administrator.  Other WWW sites on College-owned equipment or networks are specifically prohibited.
  5. Users may not misrepresent their identity or attempt to use another person’s identity when using College computing resources, nor may College employees or students share their network credentials with others.
  6. With the exception of certain personal uses considered de minimis under RCW 42.52.160(3) AND WAC 292-110-010 (full text available at  and WAC 292-110-010 (full text at, the College’s information systems and services are provided exclusively for furtherance of college education objectives, research, administrative processes, and College sponsored community service activities, and shall be used only for purposes consistent with the mission and goals of Tacoma Community College. Personal use of e-mail and the World Wide Web are specifically included in the de minimis exemption only when such use complies with governing law and college policy. Games and Internet-based entertainment applications (music, video, or other) are not appropriate uses of college systems and are not included in the de minimis exemption at Tacoma Community College. Personal use of college systems is considered de minimis if it:
    1. results in little or no cost to the state;
    2. does not interfere with the performance of official duties;
    3. is brief in duration and frequency;
    4. is the most effective use of time or resources
    5. does not distract from the conduct of state business;
    6. does not disrupt other state employees and does not obligate them to make a personal use of state resources; and
    7. does not compromise the security or integrity of state information or software
  7. College computing resources may not be used to send, receive, or display information including text, images, or voice that:
    1. is sexually explicit, or that a reasonable person under the circumstances would consider obscene, abusive, offensive or objectionable.  “Sexually explicit material” is defined in RCW 9.68.130, but exempts authorized study and research in the areas of art, health, and science;
    2. harasses others with annoying, threatening, libelous or sexually, racially or religiously offensive messages; or
    3. consists of information which may injure someone else and/or lead to a lawsuit or criminal charges.
  8. All College information systems and services are the exclusive property of the College. Use of the College’s information systems and services is a privilege, not a right, and is provided only to college employees, contractors, or other authorized persons for uses consistent with the mission and goals of the college.  The College retains the right to determine when, how, for what purpose, and by whom such information systems and services may be used, and retains the right to deny access or use of such systems and services. In addition:
    1. In publications on the College’s information systems and services and elsewhere, employees may not use the College’s logo, name, or other College-owned materials unless specifically authorized to do so by Board policy, the College President or designee.
    2. All materials stored or published on the College’s information systems or services may be monitored, reviewed and/or removed by the President or a designee to prevent misuse of the system; during investigations of alleged illegal or inappropriate activity; and when necessary to conduct college business.
  9. E-mail messages, electronic files, web site activities, and other network activities may be deemed public records under Washington’s Public Disclosure Act (RCW 42.17) and could, therefore, be disclosed upon request.
  10. Student email is considered by the College to be an official form of communication.  Because information important to students may not be sent any other way, it is essential that students regularly check their email accounts.


The College relies on unit managers and supervisors to enforce the Acceptable Use Policy. When infractions occur, the appropriate manager/supervisor will attempt to resolve the matter informally. Instances of misuse that cannot be resolved informally are referred to the College’s Student Discipline or Employee Discipline procedures. If the infraction is of an egregious nature the informal resolution process may be waived and the infraction referred directly to the College’s Student Discipline or Employee Discipline procedures.

Initial Adoption Date: Unknown
Prior Revision Dates: 11/7/2009, 7/4/2010
Last Revision Date:  11/22/2011

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