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Violators of computer use policies will be subject to the normal disciplinary procedures of the University.  Violations of the policies described below for legal and ethical use of computing resources will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner.  Illegal acts involving Montana Western computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.  Computer use violations are divided into four categories, described below with examples listed.

1. Computer Use Policy

The University of Montana Western provides electronic communication services to students and utilizes them as a primary communication mechanism between Western and its students.

2. Purpose

The UMW email system is a primary communication mechanism between Western and it students.  UMW has established generally accepted guidelines for use of this communication medium including university use of email, assignment of student email addresses, and expectations of email communication between faculty and students, staff and students, and administrators and students.

3. Procedures

a. University Use of Email

All students currently actively enrolled at UMW are provided with a campus email address. Email is a mechanism for official communication within the university.  UMW expects and requires that students open and read such communications in a timely fashion.  As steward of the electronic communication services, the Technology Steering Committee is responsible for overseeing the usage of student email and other communications.  The primary administrative offices (Dean of Students, Registrar, Director of Admissions, Director of Student Success, Director of Financial Aid, and Director of Business Services) will review special requests for access to the campus email system.

b. Assignment of Student Email Accounts

Official University email accounts are created automatically for all actively enrolled students. These accounts expire approximately one year after the end of each semester. The email address is used in all other campus computing systems.

c. Expectations About Student Use of Email

Students are expected to check their email no less than twice a week in order to stay current with University-related communications. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical. “I didn’t check my email”, and non-delivery of email because the student’s mailbox is full, are not acceptable excuses for missing official University communications via email.

d. Confidential Information

Since email is an insecure method of communication, Montana Western officials will never transmit nor solicit confidential information via email. Students should never respond to requests for Social Security Number, credit card, or other personal information via email. Because the Banner Student Self-Service System (DAWGS) is encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), it can be used to provide additional information.. Only DAWGS, face-to-face, or written communications will be used to provide confidential information to or request confidential information from a student.

e. Privacy

Users should not use email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters and should not assume that email is private and confidential. It is important that users be careful to send messages only to the intended recipient(s).

  1. All use of email must be consistent with Board of Regents policy on use of electronic communications.
  2. Confidentiality of student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). All use of email will be consistent with FERPA.
  3. Email shall not be used for notification of any legal action.