College Regulations: Cyberethics, Internet Safety, and Community Standards

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Vassar’s computer regulations set clear guidelines in accordance with college regulations to govern conduct on computers (see above). Cyberethics and Internet safety are issues that all community members must be aware of to ensure a healthy, safe, and respectful campus environment. Cyberethics codes of responsible and safe online behavior consider the effects of behaviors both on individuals and on groups in our community. Behaviors that create harmful effects include illegal activities, offensive and defaming language, hate speech, postings of private information such as phone numbers and addresses, posting private photos, and anonymous messages that target individuals or groups.

Vassar encourages community members to consider and be mindful of potential effects on the individual and the community and to make responsible decisions when engaging in online communication. Certain online behaviors may violate particular college regulations and, when connected to known individuals, can be adjudicated. Other behaviors, however, may fall outside of sanctionable conduct either because they do not violate a college regulation or are anonymous in nature. Nonetheless, when such behaviors are damaging to individuals and community values, those responsible for the actions have an ethical obligation to come forward and engage with others in community restoration and dialogue. Vassar takes pride both in the rights afforded to individual students and, at the same time, in the community responsibility that comes with those rights (see Part A, Student Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities and Academic Freedom and Responsibility in Part G, Section I). Vassar is committed to diversity and the creation of inclusive environments. When engaging in any form of communication, members of the college community should be mindful of these values.

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