Information Technology Policies

Guidelines for Use of Campus Information Technology Resources

(Revised 2008)

To further the College’s mission, Harvey Mudd College makes computing and network resources available to all students, faculty and staff. These resources should be used appropriately in accordance with our educational mission and in a manner consistent with the College’s Standards of Conduct.

Your use of information technology resources is governed by The Claremont Colleges Policy Regarding Appropriate Use of Campus Computing and Network Resources. Please read the policy carefully.

The computing and network resources of the College may not be used for commercial purposes without the explicit approval of the Chief Information Officer, the Harvey Mudd College Computing Committee or the Harvey Mudd College Treasurer.

Here are some general guidelines you should consider when you are using College Information Technology resources.

  1. You are responsible for all activities on your accounts. You are responsible for the data stored, the messages sent and any actions taken from that account. Do not “share” your accounts. Create strong passwords for your accounts and change them regularly.
  2. Respect the privacy and rights of others. Do not read, copy or modify files belonging to others (including system files and software) without the owner’s explicit permission.
  3. The network is a shared, and finite resource. Your use of computing and network systems should not interfere unreasonably with the activities of other users.
  4. You are encouraged to express your opinions via electronic media. However, your opinions must be clearly labeled as yours and should be expressed in a manner consistent with the College’s Standards of Conduct.
  5. You also should be aware that there are federal, state and local laws which govern certain aspects of computer and telecommunications use. Members of the College community are expected to respect these laws.
  6. The following annual disclosure is provided as part of the College’s compliance with t he requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
    1. Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities.
    2. Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalities for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws:Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office, especially their FAQ’s.
    3. The College pursues a vigorous program of accepting and responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices. If the College receives notification of unauthorized file sharing of intellectual property (e.g., software, music, video), College personnel will notify the alleged offending user. Failure to comply with this notification within 24 hours may result in the user’s access to the network being restricted. Repeat offenses may lead to further disciplinary action.
    4. A comprehensive list of legal sources of online content is available.
  7. When there is evidence of inappropriate use of campus computing or networking resources, authorized College personnel will take steps to investigate. This may include monitoring traffic on the network, including its contents, and examining files on any system which has connected to the HMC network.
  8. If you wish, you may connect your own computer to the HMC network in your dorm room to offer computing resources on the network. If you do so, then you are responsible for the resources you offer, and you must register the resources.

For students, violations of appropriate use may result in one or more of the following actions:

  1. A written warning to the offender.
  2. A restriction on the hours available to access a system for a specified term.
  3. A revocation of system access for a specified term.
  4. A statement of charges to the appropriate disciplinary body at the student’s home college.

If you have questions regarding the appropriate use of computing and network resources at Harvey Mudd College, you should contact either the Chief Information Officer or the Harvey Mudd College Computing Committee.


Official Students-l Policy as adopted by ASHMC Council

(As of March 24, 2009)

Students-l is the all-campus mailing list. While it is primarily for students, anyone who has signed the Harvey Mudd College roster and wishes to subscribe may do so. Anyone else who wishes to subscribe to students-l may petition the ASHMC Council at their weekly meeting to be included in the distribution of students-l messages. Students, faculty and staff of The Claremont Colleges may contribute announcements of events to this list at any time during the school year.

A student of Harvey Mudd College moderates the list. The student is to be chosen by the ASHMC Council. The moderator has final authority to send or reject any messages sent to the list. The moderator is not responsible for the content of messages sent out to the list.

Mail sent to students-l is treated as if it were a flyer about to be placed in every student’s mailbox. To make sure a message is approved, follow the guidelines below:

The email must be potentially useful to all the students of Harvey Mudd College. Announcements should be sent no less than three days in advance of the event. Last minute announcements may be rejected. One message may be sent eight or more days before the event and one reminder seven or fewer days before the event. No reminders or the like will be issued through students-l. Club announcements may only be sent out at the beginning of the year. After the initial announcement, the clubs are expected to keep their own mailing lists or other information distribution system. Make sure your announcement includes information about who is involved, what is happening, when and where the event is and a brief description. Make sure you have contact information such as a phone number or email address for anyone who needs more information.

Regular mailings that occur may include a 5-College (5-C) crime report sent out weekly, and the Weekly Events Calendar (a list of upcoming events for The Claremont Colleges). To have something included in these mailings, contact those responsible for them, not the students-l moderator.

A College-wide lost and found message (which often includes other minor announcements) is also sent out sporadically (usually once or twice a week). To have something included in this, send mail to and it will be sent with the next message. Make sure you put “Lost: [item]” or “Found: [item]” in the subject line of your email. Be aware of an additional delay in posting these messages.

Messages that do NOT belong on students-l include the following: messages that are directed at a small number of students and not the entire student body, opinions or discussion, chain letters, humor files, etc. This list is for announcements.

The moderator reserves the right to edit your submission to fix formatting problems, correct any obvious mistakes or trim non-essential information. You will NOT be contacted to approve such changes unless you explicitly request otherwise in your message. The subject line may also be modified.

Mail sent to is queued during the day and reviewed in the evening. It is usually sent out in the later hours of the night or early hours of the morning. Any messages sent to students-l are subject to this one-day delay, and possibly more. Plan messages accordingly.

If your message is NOT posted to students-l, a response will be sent informing the sender that the message was not sent. Oftentimes, a reason will be provided along with this rejection notice. Rejected messages may be revised and resubmitted to students-l. If any questions arise, contact the moderator. Messages that are sent to students-l will be carbon copied to the sender.

There are ways to bypass students-l and still send email to all of the students. This is strictly forbidden. If a message needs to be sent out to a sizable subset of students (or more than two HMC classes, or more than half the dorm lists and/or dorm chat lists) in the student body, the message should be sent to students-l or to student-chat-l instead of through other means. Abusing the privilege of mass mailing to the College may result in a written or verbal warning from the moderator and possibly further disciplinary actions. If someone does abuse the mailing lists, ONLY the moderator should contact the offender. If other students have problems with the use of the campus mass mailing lists, they should contact the moderator instead of the senders of the messages.

If you are not sure if a message should be sent to students-l, but you need to reach a sizable portion of the student body, messages can be sent to student-chat-l. Student-chat-l is an unmoderated list, so anything can be sent to it. However, you must be subscribed to student-chat-l to send to it. To subscribe to student-chat-l, send an email to with “subscribe student-chat-l” in the subject line.

Official Community-l Policy

Community-l is an unmoderated list consisting of faculty, staff and students of Harvey Mudd College. Anyone who is a faculty, staff or student of Harvey Mudd College may subscribe to community-l. Its primary goal is to provide an unmoderated forum for members of the HMC community to converse freely about whatever issues may be on their minds. However, the fundamental concept of the community-l is that it is totally unmoderated, so anything someone chooses to send to the list will be posted to all the subscribers. The hope is that the forum will be self-regulated to consist primarily of HMC-related issues, but it should be understood that tangents will spring up from time to time.

Community-l is not to be treated like the dorm chat lists. Simply because community-l is unmoderated does not mean you should not exercise restraint when posting to it. Remember to think about what you are saying when you write to the list. Your peers, your professors, the people you live with and work with, all will read your words. Treat this forum with respect, and you will find that the conversations on it will be immensely rewarding.

After much deliberation, it was decided that only people with an domain address will be able to subscribe/post to community-l. While this creates a minor inconvenience for people on campus who use alternate mail services like hotmail or yahoo, it was generally agreed that this inconvenience was worth the advantage of keeping community-l a tight-knit community of Mudders. While there are members of the other Claremont Colleges who are practically members of the Mudd community due to how much time they spend here, their numbers are relatively small and excluding them is worth keeping community-l from becoming an off-campus spam receptacle. Keep in mind though that there is no privacy guarantee. If you post to community-l, it will be talked about by people on campus and possibly spread to people from the other colleges. If you do not want what you say to get around, then do not say it on community-l.

Official Emergency-l Policy

Emergency-l is a mailing list that includes every member of the HMC students, staff and faculty. It is unmoderated, so messages sent to it are sent directly to everybody. DO NOT SEND MESSAGES TO EMERGENCY-L. The list is solely for emergency use by people who are supposed to inform the campus in the event of an emergency. THIS IS NOT YOU. An example of use in the past is notification of an impending power outage, which was sent by the Facilities & Maintenance (F&M) staff. IF YOU SEND A MESSAGE TO EMERGENCY-L, YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION. Abuse of this mailing list is strictly prohibited.

It is also recommended that you do not keep emergency-l in your address book if you are using Outlook. First of all, you should never send mail to it. Secondly, if you contract an Outlook virus, the virus may immediately send itself to every student, staff and faculty on campus.

The requirements for a message to appear on emergency-l are that the message must be of vital importance to the students, staff and faculty of HMC, the message must be time sensitive, and the message must be relevant to a large enough subset of the students, staff and faculty that a different list wouldn’t be appropriate (like staff-l, hmc2017-l summer13-l).