Acceptable Use

Section: IV. ADSV - 500
Approved By: Dr. Dr. Sheila Ruhland, August 29, 2016
Last Review: 07/13/16
Last Revision: 07/13/16
Prior Revisions: 11/17/09, 07/04/10, 12/22/11, 01/13/12
Initial Adoption: Unknown


Users of any of the College's Information Systems and Services agree to comply with applicable state, federal and local laws, WAC code, and college policies and procedures.


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 and Services.


ADVS _ 423 Wireless Telecommunication Equipment Allowance Policy
INST _ 111 Copyright Policy
Faculty Negotiated Agreement 5.60D
TCC Board of Trustees Policy Manual
RCW 42.52.160 (3)
RCW 42.56, 42.56.310
RCW 9.68.130
WAC 292-110-010


College Information Systems and Services include, but are not limited to, College networks, connected computing and communication devices, all related peripherals, software, websites, electronic communications, Internet access, and all other current or future Information Systems and Services, regardless of location from which accessed or provisioned.


Authorized users agree to comply with the following conditions:

  1. Any use of College Information Systems and 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. 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 software, intellectual property, or other published information protected by copyright or other means, unless legally permitted to do so.     
  4. Tacoma Community College will have one central website, maintained by the Marketing and Communications Department. College employees should collaborate with the Marketing and Communications Department before publishing other external TCC-related internet content, such as, but not limited to, websites, microsites, and/or social media feeds, to ensure integrity with the TCC logo and brand.
  5. Users of College Information Systems and Service may not share network credentials with others, nor misrepresent their identity to gain access to college Information Systems and Services.
  6. With the exception of certain personal uses considered de minimis under RCW 42.52.160(3) (full text at and WAC 292-110-010 (full text at, the College's Information Systems and Services are provided exclusively for furtherance of college educational 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, gambling, personal shopping, or other) are not appropriate uses of college systems and are not included in the de minimis exemption at Tacoma Community College.

    As described in WAC 292-110-010, personal use of college systems is considered de minimis if the following are met:
    1. There is little or no cost to the state;
    2. Any use is brief;
    3. Any use occurs infrequently;
    4. The use does not interfere with the performance of any officer's or employee's official duties; and
    5. The use does not compromise the security or integrity of state property, information, or software.
  7. College Information Systems and Services 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. ÐSexually explicit materialÓ 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 and 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, to include usage of the college logo, name, and identity not consistent with the mission and goals of the college. In addition:
    1. In publications on the College's Information Systems and Services or elsewhere, employees should collaborate with the Marketing and Communications Department regarding proper logo, content, and material usage. For class curriculum or for student projects that use online computer communication tools (blogs, social media, websites, etc.), faculty are asked to inform the Marketing and Communications Department if students are using the college logo or name in their projects. Faculty and staff should contact the Marketing and Communications Department if students are using the college logo or name in their projects. Faculty and staff should contact the Marketing and Communications Department if there are questions regarding online representation of the college, such as the use of logos or the college name.
    2. All materials stored or published on the College's Information Systems 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.
    3. In accordance with Faculty Negotiated Agreement Section 8.60d, "If intellectual property created by an employee is published through College resources (on paper or through an electronic medium) the College has the right to continue to publish the same property in essentially the same form (including content and medium) as long as the content has not become outdated or inaccurate."
  9. E-mail messages, electronic files, website activities, network activities, and all other records created by or in the use of College Information Systems and Services may be deemed public records under Washington's Public Disclosure Act (RCW 42.56 and 42.56.310) and could, therefore, be disclosed upon request, or be subject to the rules of discovery in the event of litigation.
  10. The Office of the President's e-mail address will be designated for the exclusive use of the President on behalf of the college community, and will be the sole sender for communications to Staff. Communication intended for a specific group of individuals can be done through e-mail distribution lists (see section 11), or for broader distribution as information only can be posted for Faculty and Staff in the TCC Portal Bulletin, or for Students in the TCC Portal Challenge or Announcements.
  11. E-mail distribution lists are collections of e-mail contacts that facilitate communication to groups of individuals at Tacoma Community College. All e-mail distribution lists can be found in Outlook's "All Distribution Lists" Address Book. All e-mail distribution lists are to have a designated owner who is responsible for maintaining list membership, either independently or with the assistance of the Information Technology Department as appropriate. Examples of distribution lists include All Students, class lists, wait lists, departmental staff lists, or distribution lists created as needed and consistent with the goals and mission of the college. Membership for Staff and Faculty lists and subgroupings (i.e. Adjunct Faculty, Full-time Faculty, Classified, Administrative Exempt, etc.) are owned by Human Resources.
  12. Student and staff e-mail is considered by the College to be an official form of communication. It is essential that students and staff regularly check their TCC e-mail accounts.

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 Conduct procedures for student issues, or Employee Disciplinary procedures for employee issues. 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 Conduct or Employee Disciplinary procedures.