College of the Atlantic provides access to its computing and information resources as a service to students, faculty, and staff to assist in learning and the exchange of knowledge. Every user is responsible for the integrity of these resources. All users must respect the rights of other users, respect the integrity of the physical facilities and controls, and respect all pertinent license and contractual agreements. It is the expectation of College of the Atlantic that all members of its community act in accordance with these responsibilities, relevant laws and contractual obligations, and the highest standard of ethics. The following Responsibilities apply to all users.

  • Computer Usage Policy

    Use of Electronic Mail is a Privilege and Not a Right

    Users are expected to promote an atmosphere conducive to work and study. All users have a right to privacy and freedom from libel and harassment. Users are expected to act responsibly, ethically and lawfully. Unacceptable uses of email or other computing and networking resources and facilities shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Misrepresentation of identity or source in the use of email is unacceptable.
    • Using email or other computing or networking resources or facilities for any purpose that violates federal or state laws.
    • Using email or other computing or networking resources or facilities for commercial purposes.
    • Sending patently harassing, intimidating, abusive, or offensive material to or about others.
    • Intercepting, disrupting, or altering electronic communications.
    • Non-academic community messages (lost/found, for sale, etc.) should be posted to the COA Gmail groups.
    • College of the Atlantic email accounts are hosted by Google and are also subject to Google’s Acceptable Use Policy.

    Respect Copyrights and Intellectual Property Rights

    Users must respect all copyright issues regarding software, information, and attributions of authorship. Many programs, images, sounds, text, and related materials are owned by individual users or third parties, and are protected by copyright and other laws, by licenses and other contractual agreements. Failure to abide by these restrictions is a crime. Software made available by the College is licensed for use, and is protected by copyright law. Copyright infringement is illegal.

    • Users may not make copies of or install College software on computers not owned by the College, or place copies of unauthorized software on College computers.
    • Use of peer-to-peer file sharing of music, games, video, software, images, or other items in a manner that infringes copyright is prohibited. Users found to be engaged in these activities will have their computer removed from the network, and may be subject to further disciplinary or legal action.

    Respect the Security of the Network

    User accounts and network connections are for individual use and may only be used by the person to whom they have been issued. Users are responsible for all actions originating from their account or network connection and for protecting their password. Any attempt to circumvent computer, network or file security is prohibited.

    • Users must not impersonate others or misrepresent/conceal their identity in electronic messages and actions.
    • Users are responsible for all actions originating from their account or network connection and for protecting their password.
    • The College network may not be used to gain unauthorized access, or attempt to gain unauthorized access to any computer system or account, whether College owned or not. Any attempt to circumvent computer, network or file security is prohibited.
    • Capturing network traffic not destined for your computer is strictly prohibited.

    Respect the Shared Nature of Resources

    Users may not do anything which may interfere with others’ use of the college’s computers, peripherals, or network. This includes but is not limited to:

    • The inadvertent or deliberate spreading of computer viruses is not allowed. Users are responsible for maintaining up-to-date antivirus. Any infected computer will be immediately removed from the college network.
    • Users may not alter software, hardware, or wiring.
    • Excessive bandwidth results in poor network connectivity for all users and is not allowed. More than 4GB of bandwidth in 24 hours is considered excessive and will result in slower bandwidth rates for the next 24 hours. Examples of applications which result in high-bandwidth usage that can seriously disrupt the community’s network include file sharing (p2p), streaming media (streaming high definition TV or movies), video messaging, and excessive gaming.

    Access to Computer Accounts and Networks

    College of the Atlantic will make reasonable efforts to have its computer systems and networks available at all times. However, as part of regular maintenance and other planned and unplanned activities, systems & networks may be unavailable at any particular time. The college reserves the right to restrict or terminate access to its computer & network resources as necessary. College of the Atlantic computer systems and networks are for non-commercial individual use related to the educational mission of the college by its faculty, staff, and students, and for approved College business activities. Use of College technology to gather or transmit information for purposes such as theft is a crime.


    The electronic mail system and network resources are the property of the College of the Atlantic. Although privacy and security are important, there are some circumstances under which college administrators may access these resources. These include: 

    • To comply with a request under federal or state public information laws
    • To maintain, repair, and troubleshoot the computer network
    • To investigate the misuse of the network, such as theft, gambling, pornography, institutional security, fraud, and harassment.

    IT Responsibilities & Recommendations

    Information Technology & Services is responsible for preserving the integrity of the campus network, and will use the guidelines of this policy in their effort. College of the Atlantic disclaims any responsibility and/or guarantees for data, information, and materials residing on non-COA systems or obtained by way of the Internet. Although Information Technology & Services tries to provide a stable and reliable computer network, you may at times experience a system crash, network outage, or power outage. This interruption may result in the loss of your data, files, and/or software. In an effort to minimize risk, users should frequently back up their work.


    Failure to abide by this policy may result in disciplinary action, including the loss of access to information technology resources. If you believe that a violation of this policy has occurred, you should contact the Director of IT at  or call 207-801-5650.