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Shaw University Student Network Usage Policy

I. Authorized Use

Use of the University computing resources is a privilege and must be treated with the highest standards of ethics and respect for others. Individuals using the Shaw University network from anywhere on campus, as well as individuals connected to the network remotely, must adhere to all of Shaw University's ethical standards. All students are expected to review and follow the Shaw University Policy On Responsible and Ethical Use of Computer Technology (pp. 72-75) and the Social Media Policy (pp. 107-110) of the Student Handbook (2017-2020, revised November 2016). Students are also expected to immediately report any fraudulent/unauthorized use of their Shaw University credentials to the OIT; OIT will take necessary steps to rectify the situation and ensure the continued security of student data. The OIT strongly encourages students to report any spam or phishing received via email and to refrain from opening such emails and/or external links within them.

Academic and class related use takes priority over personal use. Authorized users recognize and accept the standard for appropriate use and will confine their activities to the established guidelines, which include but are not limited to:

  1. 1. Conducting the business of the institution;
  2. Completing the assignment or other body of work directly related to a course in which the individual is enrolled;
  3. Conducting research for educational purposes;
  4. Communicating with other users, both within and outside the Shaw University network, in a reasonable manner;
  5. Downloading files that do not violate International copyright agreements;
  6. Accessing information resources at other institutions in a non-invasive manner; and
  7. Developing technological skills.

II. Unauthorized Use

Unauthorized uses include but are not limited to:

  1. Using computer resources for personal or financial gain, such as selling access to college computer resources, distributing advertisements, software, or copyrighted materials, or performing College work for personal profit;
  2. Engaging in activity that might be harmful to system performance or access, such as flooding the system with e-mail traffic, introducing a virus to the network, running peer to peer file-sharing applications, hosting servers, or making unauthorized changes to University system's settings;
  3. Using computer resources to harass another person or entity;
  4. Using computer resources to access or display copyrighted, illegal, or pornographic materials;
  5. Attempting to circumvent resource limits or security measures;
  6. Engaging in illegal activities, such as attempting to gain unauthorized access to any computing resources;
  7. Violating license agreements or copyright laws, such as transferring copyrighted materials to/from a University computer;
  8. Allowing any other users to access any Shaw University accounts, the Internet, or other computer/digital assets and resources with Shaw University authenticated credentials; and
  9. Violating any University policies, regulations, rules, and procedures, such as lab and system regulations, and policies prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment.

III. Consequences of Network Usage Policy Violations

Users who violate Shaw University policies are affected in the following ways:

  1. Any computer infected with a virus will be disconnected from the Internet until the virus is removed. If the student cannot remove it, they are required to contact the Information Technology help desk at (919) 546-8587 or The help desk will remove the virus and restore Internet access. The disconnection will not affect access to Shaw University network resources, such as the Shaw University Website.
  2. Any computer or user that violates a network usage policy regarding access of pornographic or copyrighted materials will lose their Internet connection for a short period of time. Accessing pornographic materials results in, but is not limited to, a 60-minute ban from the network. Computers found to be distributing copyrighted materials, or accessing peer-to-peer networks will result in, but not limited to, a 60-minute ban from the network.
  3. Any computer or user that violates network usage policy will be reported to Student Affairs, Human Resources, and campus police. Violations of State or Federal laws will be reported to the proper authorities.

If you have any questions about this policy, or need to report an Internet/network outage or any policy violation, please contact the IT helpdesk at Please note that you are entitled to a free e-mail account with authorized usage. All Shaw University e-mail is scanned for viruses, fraud, hoaxes, and spam.

Originally Approved August 2004
Reviewed Annually by OIT
Revised February 2011
Revised November 2017