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MUSC Student Handbook

Electronic Communications

I. RATIONALE
The Medical University of South Carolina encourages the use of electronic communications resources to improve its workforce's efficiency and effectiveness. While electronic communications resources are widely available within the MUSC enterprise, there are limitations and restrictions that should be considered when using such resources as e-mail and the internal paging system.

This policy does not address general guidelines for computer use on the MUSC campus, data “ownership,” security, confidentiality, or intellectual property. For further information regarding broad computer-use policies, please refer to the MUSC Computer Use Policy at http://www.musc.edu/infoservices/cup.html. The term “university” is used in this policy to apply to the entire MUSC enterprise and its affiliates, including, but not limited t Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA), University Medical Associates (UMA), Foundation for Research Development (FRD), Health Science Foundation (HSF), and Carolina Family Care (CFC).

II. USING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS RESOURCES
University electronic communications resources are intended for the sole use of MUSC's staff, faculty, students, and other appropriately authorized users to accomplish tasks related to the mission of MUSC. These electronic facilities and associated messages originating or transported within the information system infrastructure are considered to be the property of MUSC. Electronic communications resources are provided by MUSC in support of the educational, research, and patient care missions of the university, as well as for administrative and other functions.

Users of MUSC's electronic communications resources are required to comply with federal and state laws, MUSC policies, and normal standards of professional and personal conduct and courtesy. Users must understand that they are using university assets and resources, and their electronic communications are held to the same standards and accountability as are other communications and interactions on campus. Misuse of electronic communications resources, facilities, services, and/or messages is subject to provisions outlined in MUSC Disciplinary Action policies.

Students: http://www.musc.edu/honorcode/
MUSC: http://www.musc.edu/hrm2/policies/policy45.html
MUHA: http://www.musc.edu/medcenter/policy Human Resources/POLICY45-DISCIPLINARY_ACTION.pdf
UMA: http://www.musc.edu/uma/

MUSC users of electronic communications services may use the facility for incidental or occasional personal purposes, provided that such use does not: a) directly or indirectly interfere with the university's operation of such resources, b) interfere with the user's employment or other obligations to the university, or c) generate direct costs for MUSC.

In the course of interactions with professional organizations and/or affiliations, MUSC users of electronic communications may use those facilities for sharing information and dialogue on issues relevant to their profession and job function.

MUSC is not responsible for any loss or damage incurred by an individual as a result of personal use of the university's electronic communication resources.

III. IMPROPER USE OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS RESOURCES
University electronic communications may not be used for the following:

  • illegal activities
  • personal financial gain
  • personal messaging, other than incidental use
  • utilizing MUSC business resources including operators' assistance through the paging system, except under extenuating circumstances
  • messages that may be construed as a conflict of interest or ethical violation
  • sending copies of documents in violation of copyright, trademark, or defamation laws
  • “spoofing,” i.e., creating an electronic mail communication appearing to be from someone else
  • commercial purposes not directly related to MUSC business
  • promotion of political activities, philosophies, or positions
  • endorsements of any non-university entity except for entities that fund or support MUSC's mission
  • uses that violate other MUSC policies or guidelines, such as policies regarding harassment, intellectual property, obscenity, pornography, threats, theft, etc.
  • attempts to breach security mechanisms or intercept electronic communication transmissions
  • messages that could adversely affect MUSC's image.

Users of electronic communications should not give the impression that they are representing and/or making statements or opinions on behalf of MUSC or any division / unit of MUSC unless they are expressly authorized to do so.

Electronic mail should not be used in a manner that would understandably strain computing resources or interfere with another's use of e-mail or productivity. Such uses include but are not limited to:

  • Sending or forwarding chain letters
  • “Spamming,” i.e., exploiting mailing lists for widespread distribution of unsolicited mail
  • “Letter bombs,” i.e., resending the same e-mail repeatedly to one or more recipients.

IV. BROADCAST MESSAGES
Occasionally, it is important to have the ability to widely broadcast messages over available electronic resources. Two such methods are broadcast e-mails and broadcast paging.

Broadcast e-mail messages for employees may be arranged through the Office of Public Relations and are monitored by that office for appropriateness. Broadcast e-mails concerning promotional, sales, and fund-raising activities shall be restricted to events that benefit MUSC's patients, employees, students, or residents. All messages must be MUSC-related and originate from an MUSC employee, staff member, or student. Other specific guidelines regarding the posting of broadcast messages can be obtained through the Office of Public Relations at 792- 3621.

Broadcast e-mail messages for students are coordinated through the Office of Student Programs at 792-2693 or stuinfo@musc.edu. Only MUSC entities and commercial enterprises offering MUSC students discounts may send messages via student bulk e-mail.

Contact the Hospital Communications Call Center for information on group paging at: 792-7992.

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