Students react to IT policy

Trey Crumbie

Students have expressed their concerns about a new IT policy being put into place.

The ‘new’ policy, to be discussed and voted on during the university senate today, are not new. They codify actions that IT has done for some time, though few students know or understand what actions those actions are.

The IT policy itself, policy 5.5020, states “university officials and upper management, under the direction of the University General Counsel, can access seize, and/or commandeer any and all physical or electronic resources as deemed necessary to address a given situation.”

Bob Owen, vice president of the Information Technology department, said the term “physical resources” in this policy only applies to equipment owned by WKU. A student’s private resources could only be seized with a court order, he said, though the policy does not distinguish between student and WKU property.

The policies also state Internet access can be revoked if one engages in “inappropriate conduct.”

One junior from Bowling Green, who wished to remain anonymous, said his computer contains illegally obtained files.

The junior says he would change his habits if the policy were to be codified.

“I’ll probably not use the school’s internet anymore to download,” the junior said.

A senior from Greenville, Tenn., who also wished to remain anonymous, said he has always been cautious about his internet habits, but will be more cautious now that he is aware of the policy.

The senior said he would feel comfortable with IT seizing his property only if the university felt that he was a threat to their security.

“I mean it depends on the circumstances,” the senior said. “If it’s for purposes of protecting their security, then yeah, I do feel comfortable. Because their protecting the security of everything on campus. But otherwise, no I don’t. That’s private property. But if they have the intent to believe that I’m doing something to harm them or anything like that, then yeah, that’s completely fair.”