Department of Computer Science

CS Lab Policies

Department of Computer Science (COS)
Policies for Computer Science Department Laboratory Facilities (1)

University of Southern Maine

Purpose of the Computer Science Laboratory Facilities.

The Computer Science Laboratory (CSLab) exists to support courses offered by the Computer Science Department and to support research by Computer Science Department faculty and students.

Persons covered by these policies

These policies are applicable to all users of CSLab resources whether or not they are a local (physically on campus) remote user (using dial-up access).

CSLab Resources covered by these policies

All computer resources owned, leased, and/or operated by the Computer Science Department are covered by this policy. This includes the individual machines, their interconnection, connection(s) to facilities outside the CSLab, and all files and software.

Implications of the two previous definitions

These policies apply to any person using physical machines in the CSLab, connecting to machines in the CSLab, or using CSLab resources to access facilities outside the CSLab. Thus, a person using his/here own machine at home who uses the communications resources of the CSLab to connect to other, external resources is covered by these policies.


Use of the CSLab is a privilege which must be used responsibly. Users of the CSLab resources are expected to follow these rules of behavior in using the CSLab.

Because the CSLab exists to support courses offered by the Computer Science Department and to support research by Computer Science Department faculty and students, any other use of the lab is forbidden.

Legitimate use of a computer or network system does not extend to whatever an individual user is capable of doing with it (2). For example, if another system (directory, file, etc.) is not well protected, a user is not justified in using his/her knowledge and CSLab resources to break into that system. The same idea pertains to spreading viruses and other problematic programs through networked systems.

Users will respect the privacy of others. This includes not only the users in the CSLab, but the privacy of all individuals or organizations with information accessible through the CSLab.

Users will honor all state laws, federal laws, copyright provisions, and software licensing agreements (3).

Users will respect the rights of others to use the CSLab for academic purposes. The CSLab is limited in CPU power, RAM, disk space, number of modems, modem speed, keyboards, printers, printer paper, etc. Therefore, each student must be prudent and thoughtful in the use of these resources. Users will also respect the rights of users on systems connected to ours to use their systems.

CSLab resources will not be used for commercial purposes.

Users will not use another user's account or password with or without permission for any purpose (4). The right to assign accounts resides with the Computer Science Department faculty and is not transferred to the user when an account is assigned.

Users will take reasonable precautions to protect their password(s) and account access. A secure password should include upper and lower case letters and/or non-letter symbols. Users will be held responsible for violations committed by any use of their account, attributable to their negligence, whether or not the owner was aware of the violations.

These policies do not specify all proper and improper uses of the CSLab. If a user has a question as to the propriety of a specific action or situation not covered here, the user should discuss it with a member of the Computer Science Department faculty.

Sanctions for violating these policies

Possible sanctions could be, but are not limited to, the offending user(s):

  • receiving an F on one or more assignments or exams,
  • receiving an F in a class,
  • being barred from use of CSLab resources,
  • being subject to various administrative sanctions such as probation, suspension, or dismissal from the University.

All violations will be permanently noted by the Computer Science Department and reported to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. If necessary, violations will be reported to the appropriate local, state, or federal authorities.



1: This document is the compilation of ideas from COS 499, Spring Semester, 1996. The contributors were: Lawrence Chiasson, William Packard, Lynn Pelletier, Clarence Pendleton, Leslie Pendleton, Timothy Shook, and Charles Welty.

2: From Cornell Information Technologies, "Policy Regarding Abuse of CIT Computers and Network Systems", Cornell University, August 6, 1992.

3: From University of Southern Maine, "Computer Use Policy", February 7, 1996.

4: Accounts assigned for group use may only be used by people in that group.