Academic Computer Labs - General Usage Policy

The School of Computing and Information Sciences (CIS) at Florida International University maintains computer labs in ECS 241, 237 and 252 for use by students enrolled in computer science and information technology classes offered by the School. Students taking such a course may use an account (described below) to use the lab. CIS establishes these policies to provide a secure, consistent and effective learning environment while ensuring that computer and information resources are used appropriately. This policy document applies only to the labs maintained by the School of Computing and Information Sciences and all users of our. Please note that this document is subject to change and will be reviewed and updated from time to time. Failure to abide by these policies may result in the loss of computing privileges or possible disciplinary action.

The CIS Academic Labs are staffed and managed directly by the School of Computing and Information Sciences. Technical Support Staff are hired by the school to assist students in the labs with account and system issues. Staff can be found in ECS 258 during business hours. Lab users can obtain technical support or pose a general question by sending an email to: request@cis.fiu.edu. Steve Luis, CIS Director for Technology (luiss@cis.fiu.edu) oversees all operations of the CIS Academic Labs and is responsible for the staffing and maintenance of the labs.

Access:

The CIS academic computer labs are open 24x7 except when the closed for national holidays and other FIU important dates including Winter and Summer breaks. The labs may also be closed for special maintenance and cleaning. Such closures as well as the overall schedule for the lab is posted on the lab website aul.fiu.edu and on lab electronic signage.

The JCC Collabrium (ECS 241) will host a limited number of seminar events that are open for student participation during each semester. We encourage all CIS students to attend these events, as they are part of their career development. During the Seminar the computers in the room will not be available.

Obtaining Accounts:

Each semester, students are issued accounts in the CIS computer labs based on course enrollment. Students receive an account automatically at the beginning of each term, if they are enrolled in an CIS course which is eligible to use our labs. Students who drop courses will have their computer accounts disabled. All undergraduate accounts are disabled and recreated at the beginning of each semester. Graduate accounts are carried over from semester to semester.

A student who is "auditing" a course, finishing work to satisfy an incomplete, or is working on a project that is not related to a specific course can have an account enabled in the labs with the approval and by request of their sponsoring faculty. The sponsoring faculty will need to request the account on behalf of the student by sending email to request@cis.fiu.edu.

CIS faculty can have accounts enabled in any CIS lab on request. In many cases, accounts are preexistent. Please contact Technical Support if you require assistance in gaining access to an CIS computer lab.

NOTE: Accounts generally require 24-48 hours to be created. Please allow sufficient time for us to process your request.

Account Sharing:

Accounts in the CIS environment are assigned to individuals for the purposes of completing coursework, instruction or support of CIS. THE SHARING OF CIS COMPUTER ACCOUNTS IS PROHIBITED. Further, it is your responsibility not to share your account or your password with any other student. The lab reserves the right to revoke account access if account use is not consistent with the guidelines stated in this document.

Logging Off:

All computer lab users must log off after they have finished their computer session. This is to protect your account and our system from mischievous users. Workstations that run Windows are configured to automatically log out users after they have been idle for 15 minutes. Any unsaved work WILL BE LOST. Individual users are responsible to keep their data secure by locking or logging out of lab workstations. Users who are not aware of proper logoff procedures should contact a Lab Assistant for help.

Conduct and Harassment:

Users engaging in improper or disruptive behavior including yelling, swearing, and using inappropriate language will be asked to leave the labs. Additionally, the display of offensive material on websites or computer wallpaper is prohibited. Students and Lab Staff are equally held responsible to refrain from offensive conduct and to report it when it is encountered.

If you have a specific problem that you feel is not being resolved please contact the CIS Director of Technology (noted above). All rules and guidelines listed in the Florida International University student and University employee handbooks will be followed regarding improper conduct or harassment.

Environment:

Dress:

Users are expected to dress appropriately, as this is a public environment. Users dressed improperly will not be admitted to the labs.

Food:

No food or drink is allowed in the computer labs. Water bottles with sports lids are the only exception. Please use the trash receptacles outside of the lab to discard your unwanted food items to prevent order in the lab.

Music:

All users must wear headphones when listening to music. The volume of the listening device must be kept low enough as not to distract other lab users.

Cell Phones and Pagers:

To maintain a comfortable environment for all users, cell phones and pagers brought into the Labs should be set to "silent" mode. Additionally, cell phone calls should be kept short and quiet. If conversations are lengthy or become loud or disruptive, they should be taken outside of the Labs.

Children and Babies:

It is not permissible to bring children or babies to the CIS Computer Labs.

Use of Resources

Hardware and Software:

Lab equipment is to be used for academic purposes only. Users are only permitted to use the computer systems in the CIS labs as they are configured and maintained. With the exception of headphones and portable media, (CD, DVD, and USB "keys"), additional equipment may not be added to any computer system. The installation, removal, or the addition of any other hardware item is not permitted. If a computer peripheral or component is malfunctioning please contact technical support at request@cis.fiu.edu. Swapping components or peripherals, including cables, is not permitted. All software available on each computer has been tested and licensed for use in the labs. Restrictions are imposed which prohibit the installation of software.

If your coursework or research requires a piece of hardware or an application that is not available, you should consult with your instructor. Your instructor can help you assess whether there is an available alternative and they can work with staff to assess whether and how to meet your hardware or application need.

Printing:

Printer services are provided in the CIS computer labs in support of academic research or coursework. At this time there is no print quota being enforced, however, students who abuse lab printing services will be contacted and may loose the right to print in the CIS computer labs. If the material you are printing is not academically related, you are asked to refrain from printing.

Lab printers support all users of the lab, so we ask that you limit your print jobs to 30 or less pages. If you need to send large print jobs please consult the technical staff and they can help you print the job efficiently. You are urged to be conservative and print only what you need and do not abandon your print jobs.

Some materials are not permitted to be printed:

  • Material that contains adult content
  • Copyrighted material
  • Material for business related purposes or financial gain
  • Excessive amounts of flyers or handouts
  • Manuals, guides or books

Users are not permitted to interfere with the operation of any lab printer including loading paper, repairing jams or changing toner. If a printer needs servicing, please contact a technical staff or email to request@cis.fiu.edu.

Server and Workstation Connections and Storage:

Upon login, all Windows accounts are connected to a U:\ drive. This is the Windows "home" directory and is the only location for storing work from CIS lab accounts. Each student has a 1gb quota on the server. If you exceed your quota, you will not be able to save any additional work. Please work to keep a "clean house" and delete unneeded documents or files. All labs are configured with DVD burners so that you may back up your work at regular intervals.

The C:\temp directory is open for write; however, all files in that directory are DELETED AT EACH LOGOUT. Please use your U:\ as the directory is backed up daily. Backups are kept for two weeks and are created primarily for the purpose of catastrophic recovery, however we can restore files that are stored on the network share within the last two weeks, and that were on the disk for at least 24 hours. You are urged to keep backups of your own work.

There are various unix compute severs available to graduates and undergraduates and access is provided to students enrolled in courses which require the use of services on these servers. A complete listing of all servers that are open to student connections can be found at: http://www.cis.fiu.edu/support.

Homework:

Technical Staff are not permitted to help students with homework assignments. Students must direct all homework questions to their professor.