Computing Policies

SSU Electronic Communications Responsible Use Rules: Rules for use of SSU electronic communications resources including computers, networks, airspace, telecommunciations devices, email, and the World Wide Web. These rules apply to all Computer Science Department supported equipment and systems.

UNIX Account Policies

Please note: It is against policy on all CS Department computer systems for anyone to use another person's account (even with his or her permission). Furthermore, excessive use of IRC or running bots is not allowed.

Who can have an account?

Accounts on the Computer Science Department UNIX server are available to:

  • Computer Science majors
  • Computer Science minors
  • Students taking certain Computer Science classes which require the use of UNIX
  • Students sponsored by a faculty member of the Computer Science department or by the system administrator
  • Staff sponsored by a faculty member of the Computer Science department or by the system administrator

Accounts issued to students majoring in Computer Science are automatically renewed as long as the student remains in the major. Account expirations are set just enough in the future so that a student can skip one semester and return to school without having the account disappear.

Accounts issued to other students require renewal.

Students who graduate from the Computer Science program have about six months before the account expires. During that time they should arrange for an ISP and move any files they are interested in keeping.

How do I get an account?

To obtain an account, you must present a current SSU student ID to the system administrator. No accounts will be given out over the phone or by e-mail.

What can I use my account for?

You can use your account for anything you want, as long as it does not violate any laws or SSU policies or cause problems. The system administrator is empowered to take actions to stop you, should you choose to ignore this rule. For minor problems, staff will send you an e-mail message asking you to stop. For major problems, your account could be turned off; you can appeal any such actions to the CS Department faculty.

What actions are 'causing problems'?

All of the following are considered to be inappropriate actions:

  • Harassing other computer users, here or elsewhere.
  • Interfering with the normal operation of our computers by software actions (damaging the Operating System, system cracking ,etc.) or by physical action (rebooting machines without approval).
  • Interfering with other users by interrupting or impeding their use of the computer systems.
  • Using excessive amounts of disk space.
  • Violating other users' privacy.
  • Illegal activity (cracking into remote sites, sending chain letters, sending email threats, etc.).
  • Harassing SSU faculty, staff or students.

We will generally give you the benefit of the doubt, unless we feel you are intentionally causing problems. Extreme infractions can be dealt with by immediate account deactivation by the system administrator if he feels it warranted. Extreme violations may also result in SSU disciplinary proceedings.

Asking staff questions or for help is not harassing them. That's part of their job.

If you have any questions about user policies, send mail to the system administrator. The system administrator generally handles enforcement, while the CS department faculty make policy.

Other behaviour may also qualify as causing problems. You will be notified if the system administrator feels you are causing a problem. If you feel you are being treated unfairly by the system administrator, then send mail to the department chair explaining your position.

Can I get my quota increased?

There are physical limitations (hard disks don't have infinite space) so we run 'quotas'. If you need more disk space than you are currently allotted, you can usually get more if you give us a good reason.

Sonoma State students have cooperated to give us a long tradition of open computer labs. Most campuses require supervisors in their labs who enforce the lab rules. Please take personal responsibility for observing the rules yourself, and help us maintain the open lab tradition.


These are Computer Science Deptartment labs, so these priorities are in force:

  • CS Class Work - Students doing work for Computer Science classes have first priority.
  • Other Class Work
  • Word Processing, E-Mail, Surfing the Web - You can do these in any other lab on campus.
  • Games - Don't play games if the lab is more than 1/2 full. You must give up your computer to anyone who wants it if you are playing games.

No Food or Drinks

Food and drinks are NOT permitted in the labs. Accidents happen, and we would rather spend our scarce budget on upgrades than on repairs.

No Sexually Explicit Pictures or Sounds

Please respect the rights of others.

Keep It Quiet

Do not play sounds so as to disturb other students. Use headphones when appropriate.

Don't Install Software

Don't install software on the hard disk. If you have an application that you feel would be valuable in the lab, tell the lab manager. Adding software, particularly to the system, can disrupt the functioning of other software.

Files on the Disk

If you put a file on the disk, erase it. The labs are routinely 'swept' by software that will remove any files you try to hide in the lab.

Do not erase files from the disk or move them on the desktop. If you do accidentally erase a file, please notify the lab manager so that it can be restored.

Do NOT Steal Software

Assume that all applications on these computers are licensed, and that you may not copy them. If you wish to know whether a specific piece of software is in the public domain, please ask before you copy it.