Email/User Account Policy

Black Hills State University's Email/User Account Policy

1.0 Purpose

To establish email use guidelines and to prevent tarnishing the public image of Black Hills State University. When email goes out from Black Hills State University the general public will tend to view that message as an official policy statement from Black Hills State University. To establish requirements for student network and email accounts for logon to Black Hills State University network resources. This policy defines account expiration and deletion procedures for BHSU assigned network and email accounts. This policy also establishes general guidelines for acceptable use.

2.0 Scope

This policy covers appropriate use of any email sent from a Black Hills State University email address and applies to all students, employees, vendors, and agents operating on behalf of Black Hills State University. This policy applies to all Black Hills State University network/email accounts.

3.0 Policy

3.1 Official University Communications

Black Hills State University uses electronic mail (email) as a means of communicating official University information to students. When a student enrolls in a BHSU course, he/she is issued an email account. Students should be aware that the university uses email to communicate official information of many kinds to students. Students are responsible for the information in official university emails and are expected to meet all deadlines, requirements, and safety recommendations, as described. Examples include, but are not limited to, financial aid announcements, billing statements, registration or enrollment information, course cancellations, etc. Much of this information is time sensitive, therefore, students are expected to check their e-mail twice a week.

If students have problems with email access, they should immediately contact Technical Support Services at 642-6580 or see the BHSU Help Desk in the Library.

3.2 Email Filtering

The Black Hills State University email system is protected from virus/worms/spam/and other potentially dangerous electronic communications via an email policy enforcement solution. This solution is intended to protect university resources and personnel from unwanted communication. Technical Support Services researches potentially dangerous communications and has the authority to take action in order to prevent damage to university resources. Content blocking is a necessary part of protecting the university resources. As a result, occasionally legitimate email is filtered from the system. A method of retrieving filtered messages is provided to email users and notification of filtered email is sent from Technical Support Services.

3.3 Prohibited Use

The Black Hills State University email system shall not to be used for the creation or distribution of any disruptive or offensive messages, including offensive comments about race, gender, hair color, disabilities, age, sexual orientation, pornography, religious beliefs and practice, political beliefs, or national origin. Employees or students who receive any emails with this content from any Black Hills State University employee or student should report the matter to the appropriate authorities immediately.

All Student Email Distribution List

Pursuit to SDBOR policy 3.19, Black Hills State University restricts email sent to all students to college or academic use only. Official information is anything sent out from the administration that pertains to the students' academic career.

Students must sign up for the listserv to receive information regarding campus social, sporting and organizational events.

Email to all students is subject to approval. To obtain approval for access to the all student list, please request permission from your Dean or Vice President. Approval should be emailed to Technical Support Services staff.

3.4 Personal Use

Using Black Hills State University resources for personal emails is prohibited by the South Dakota Board of Regents. Sending chain letters or joke emails from a Black Hills State University email account is prohibited. Virus or other malware warnings and mass mailings from Black Hills State University shall be approved by Technical Support Services before sending. These restrictions also apply to the forwarding of mail received by a Black Hills State University employee/student. Black Hills State University email systems should not be used in the promotion or business communications for any personal/commercial business.

3.5 Monitoring

Black Hills State University employees and students shall have no expectation of privacy in anything they store, send or receive on the University's email system. Black Hills State University may monitor messages without prior notice. Black Hills State University is not obliged to monitor email messages.

4.0 Enforcement

Any employee or student found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion. Please see the Employee Handbook/Student Handbook for guidelines.

4.1 Account Expiration/Termination

Only currently enrolled students and current employees are granted the privilege to use university resources. Therefore, network accounts and email are deleted on a periodic basis to remove accounts from the system. Dates for deletes vary between semesters, but usually occur two weeks after census date for each semester and two weeks after graduation dates for spring, summer, and fall. Students who are returning to BHSU for classes should register as soon as possible to avoid having their account removed from the system. Employee accounts are deleted according to employment status.

4.2 Network Account/Email Creation

Student network/email accounts are created for the first two weeks at the start of the semester on a daily basis. After that period accounts are created on a weekly basis or as necessary. Employee accounts are created upon submission of a valid Network Access Application Form.

5.0 Definitions

  • Email: The electronic transmission of information through a mail protocol such as SMTP, IMAP, or POP. BHSU supported email clients include Microsoft Outlook and OWA.
  • Forwarded email: Email resent from an internal network to an outside point.
  • Chain email or letter: Email sent to successive people. Typically the body of the note has direction to send out multiple copies of the note and promises good luck or money if the direction is followed.
  • Sensitive information: Information is considered sensitive if it can be damaging to Black Hills State University's reputation or market standing.
  • Virus warning: Email containing warnings about virus or malware. The overwhelming majority of these emails turn out to be a hoax and contain bogus information usually intended only to frighten or mislead users.
  • Unauthorized Disclosure: The intentional or unintentional revealing of restricted information to people, both inside and outside Black Hills State University, who do not have a need to know that information.

6.0 Revision History

1.1 March 16, 2005
1.2 August 12, 2005 (to include section 3.5-Forwarding)
1.3 October 19, 2005 (to include section 3.1-Official University Communications)
1.4 October 23, 2005 (clarification of Prohibited Use)
1.5 November 19, 2005 (removed section 3.5-Forwarding and adjusted section numbers)
1.6 October 30, 2006 (added sections 4.1 and 4.2)


Black Hills State University


Information & Instructional Technology Services
E.Y. Berry Library Room 007
Black Hills State University
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM M-F
IITS Office: 605.642.6020
IITS Help Desk: 605.642.6580

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