Information Technology

Olympic College E-Mail, Website Policies, and Style Guide - Content

This document is a guide for Olympic College staff, faculty, students, and administrators to e-mail and website policies, procedures, and style issues.

I. Applicable Laws and Policies.

Use of Olympic College technological resources is subject to a variety of policies, laws, licenses, and regulations, including, but not limited to:

A. The CIS Acceptable Use Policy

B. The Copyright Act of 1976

C. The State of Washington Telecommunications Fraud Act of 1990


D. The State of Washington Public Ethics Act

E. NSFNET Backbone Services Acceptable Use Policy

F. Licenses for computer software

G. Section 1030 of the U.S. Criminal code, the 1986 Computer

H. Fraud and Abuse Act

I. Olympic College Information Technology Services User Information

   and Guidelines

J. Olympic College Instructional Computing Resources Guide

K. Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckely


L. Privacy Act of 1990

Violations of this policy by students should be handled via the Student Conduct Code. Violations by employees should be handled by the Executive Director of Information Technology, Director of Human Resources and the employee's supervisor in consultation and in accordance with negotiated working agreements and established disciplinary procedures.

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II. Restrictions on Use.

Use of the Olympic College technological resources, including electronic messaging and websites, is limited to educational purposes. The following actions are in violation of this policy and may result in disciplinary action:

  1. Harassing others by sending or posting threatening, libelous, fraudulent, or sexually, racially, or religiously offensive materials. Use that creates or contributes to a hostile work and/or learning environment.
  2. Transmission of commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations, promotions, or use of the resources for personal business interests.
  3. Waste, misuse, or abuse of technological resources. Your use should not interfere with the operation of the networks, computers, or with the work of others. Examples of prohibited activity include (but not limited to): flooding systems, networks or user accounts with e-mail; forging e-mail or obscuring the identity of the e-mail sender; providing access to your account to people affiliated with the College; or unauthorized access to other users' accounts, data, files, or passwords.
  4. Promotion of political beliefs or unlawful activities.
  5. Use of state resources to benefit nonprofit organizations shall be consistent with the Executive Ethics Board Advisory Opinions; specifically, any use should be de minimis cost, should not interfere with any employee's official duties, and should be officially sanctioned by Olympic College.

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III. Security.

Documents published on the Web are public by default. Information providers should take whatever steps are necessary to restrict information intended for campus use only. Olympic College will, insofar as possible, respect the privacy of a user's files or electronic mail. However, all files or electronic mail are subject to inspection in the course of investigating misconduct or criminal activity, at the request of a supervisor or as the result of court order.

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IV. Official and Unofficial Websites.

Visitors to Olympic College's Websites should be able to clearly distinguish between "official" websites from offices and departments and "unofficial" websites from members of the campus community. Allowing individuals to publish freely may also have legal implications for the College.

      On-line providers are responsible for the content of messages sent by their members if the provider claims to exercise editorial control over its subscribers' messages. Olympic college will claim no editorial control over material maintained in the unofficial accounts of staff, faculty and students. To keep a visible distance form "official" Olympic College information, the standard disclaimer notice in a College-approved format will appear on all unofficial pages.

       The Standard Disclaimer. All faculty and staff unofficial pages should contain a link at the top of the page which designates the page as unofficial and provides a link to the full text of the standard disclaimer. Violation of this policy or of the previously cited laws and regulations in Section I above may result in the removal of an unofficial website.

      The following standard disclaimer should also appear in full on any page with links to unofficial pages maintained on any server:

Posting to Olympic College's website by individuals or organizations reflect their own thoughts, interests, and activities; they do not implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of Olympic College. Authors of unofficial webpages assume responsibility and liability for the content of their documents. Please address all comments and other feedback to the author of the page. For further assistance, contact (webmaster address here; live link if published on web)

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V. Copyright.

Releases should be obtained before you use portions of a web page such as photographs, wallpaper, icons, banners, drawings, video or sound clips. Using items from sites set up specifically for distribution of these items is appropriate, but don't assume the item is freely available.

      You can indicate your own preferences with regard to the materials you create on your webpage by including a notice stating "(c) YEAR AUTHOR" to indicate that you reserve the copyright to the content of the webpage. If a work includes this statement, it is a good indication that the author cares about copyright infringement. Consider works that do not include this statement as still protected by copyright, however, and look for a published authorization to use the material. When you do use the material, be sure to credit your source.

      Official webpages produced using state equipment or person paid by the College shall be owned and copyrighted by the College, unless a written agreement to the contrary is entered into prior to the production. Unofficial or personal webpages are owned or copyrighted by the producer, who is solely responsible for the content.

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VI. Responsibilities.

Webpage coordinators of Departments, Units, Programs, or Divisions:

  • Responsible for contacting Information Technology to gain a 'official' website presence
  • Responsible for the development and maintenance of official web pages representing their area.
  • Responsible for communicating changes to Information Technology

Head of Unit Department, Program, or Division:

  • Assign or reassign responsibility for the unit's official web pages if the page coordinator leaves the College or is relieved of this responsibility.
  • Responsible for the content (including links to other information) of the unit's or department's official webpages and must sign off on content of webpages before links from the Olympic College home pages will be set up. (Webpage coordinator may be assigned this duty.)
  • Unit head or designee may remove links from official pages to pages containing material that violates local, state, or federal laws, or other Olympic College policies.

Internet Committee:

  • Advise OC campus units about policy, style, and content.
  • Evaluate and revise this policy to keep it up to date.
  • Evaluate and revise OC campus web publishing procedures to keep them up to date.
  • Review the maintenance of Olympic College home pages.
  • Take questions regarding the policy and forward complaints of policy violations to the appropriate offices.
  • Deal with ongoing issues on each campus.
  • Review and recommend changes to policy, procedures, or the structure of the College and campus home pages.

Information Technology (IT):

  • Provide links from the campus home page via a procedure that handles all requests through a uniform, jointly agreed-upon method.
  • Monitor information found on the institution's home pages to ensure it is current and replace links to outdated information.
  • Monitor use of resources and allocation of website space availability.
  • Promote the use of World Wide Web by providing training on web servers, clients, and authoring tools.
  • Faculty/Student Advisors (of ASOC, clubs, etc.) :
  • Faculty and student advisors may decide to sponsor links to individual student websites or to sponsor websites of student organizations.
  • Instruct students in webpage policy.
  • Maintain any websites they create and insure presence of disclaimer statement on all student websites linked to their sites.
  • Remove student websites when no longer current or needed.
  • Faculty, Staff, Administrators, and Students:
  • When publishing information, observe copyright regulations, all local, state, and federal laws, and Olympic College policies.
  • Observe publications and other standards that befit the image of the College.

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VII. Web Style Guide

A. Compatibility

Olympic College Web documents should be accessible and useful from all generally used Web browsers, especially graphic browsers. The following guidelines reflect this goal:

  • All official Web documents should confirm to current HTML standards. Limited use of addition extensions is permitted, as long as all pages display effectively in most graphical browsers.
  • All graphic elements must use if appropriate, the ALT tag within HTML to provide a textual replacement for the image.

B. Page Templates

  1. First Page. The first page of any official Olympic College websites should be based on the First Page Template, which includes the following elements:
  • The Olympic College nameplate.
  • The name of the department or office in prominent text or graphic
  • A document expiration or review date
  • The standard Olympic College navigation bar
  • A date indicating when they were last updated and the e-mail address of the person in charge of the page as a live link
  • First pages should have a link back to the institution's home page at the bottom of the page
  • The First Page template is available from the webmaster
  1. Following Pages. All other official Olympic College pages may be based on the General Page Template, which includes the following elements:
  • A document expiration or review date
  • A date indicating when they were last updated and the e-mail address of the person in charge of the page as a live link

Within these guidelines, all other webpage content decisions are left to the discretion of each department.

  1. Faculty/Staff Pages. Initial unofficial pages of faculty and staff must include a link to the official disclaimer page.
  1. Student Pages. Any links to student unofficial pages must be preceded by the standard disclaimer displayed in a prominent fashion.

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