Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reject CSU Computer Usage Policy



We are warned that if we do not sign, then we will lose our computer privileges. We will not sign this poorly written policy as it contains many objectionable sections including the following paragraph:

“Electronic mail and all other electronic communication (including websites and blog posts) should adhere to the University standards of conduct which prohibits any communication which tends to embarrass, humiliate or shed a negative light on any member of the community. Respect others you contact electronically by avoiding distasteful, inflammatory, harassing or otherwise unacceptable comments.”

For a number of reasons this policy should be rejected by all who care about our university and rescinded by the administrators responsible for it:

1) It is too vague. Who defines humiliating, embarrassing or negative? Does an email to a poorly performing student which makes them feel bad constitute a violation? Does publishing a blog that points out the potential fraud and mismanagement at CSU constitute a violation?

2) It violates first amendment rights to freedom of speech.

3) It violates the whole premise of an institution of higher education that proposes to engage in free inquiry, critical thinking and problem solving.

4) It creates a climate of fear in which workers at CSU feel their jobs threatened for merely exercising their constitutionally-protected rights and doing their jobs as members of a university.

5) It protects from scrutiny those engaged in questionable practices and, thus, wish to hide their actions behind a policy. Recent and ongoing negative press coverage has resulted from mismanagement. Those who have cast this negative light on our campus would rather that their “dirty laundry” (in other words, their failures) not be examined.

The policy can also lead to severe punishment for those who violate. The policy requires our signature affirming that we are aware of the consequences of its violation. The policy reads “my failure to comply with the laws, rules, policies, and procedures referred to within this training course may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of University employment and possible criminal prosecution, depending on the nature of the violation.”

Resist this attack on our university and our rights to speak freely within it. Let everyone know of this latest in an ongoing attack on students and faculty. Call the press. Call elected officials. Let CSU administrators know of your rejection of such policies.

1 comment:

  1. I signed, but I pulled mine from the file after reading it more critically. I appreciate the efforts of those who are fighting this policy.