Acceptable Use Policy

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Student Computing at Stanford University provides computer clusters and residential connection services in selected on-campus residences in support of the educational mission of the University. It is the responsibility of each resident to use these services appropriately and in compliance with all University, City, County, State, and Federal laws and regulations.

Residential Network Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

Student Computing has adopted the following regulations on the use of the residential computing network:

  • Student Computing network services and wiring may not be modified or extended beyond the area of their intended use. This applies to all network wiring, hardware, and cluster and residential jacks.
  • The residential network (residential connections or computer cluster connections) may not be used to provide SUNet or Internet access to anyone outside of the University community for any purposes other than those that are in direct support of the academic mission of the University.
  • Stanford-specific or commercially obtained network resources may not be retransmitted outside of the University community. Examples include: the su.* newsgroups, the clari.* news hierarchies, and Britannica On-Line.
  • The residential network is a shared resource. Thus, network use or applications which inhibit or interfere with the use of the network by others are not permitted. (For example, using an IP address not registered to you, or applications which use an unusually high portion of the bandwidth for extended periods of time, thus inhibiting the use of the network by others, are not permitted).
  • Use of the residential network must comply with the University's policy on Unrelated Business Activity. In short, you cannot use University resources to make money.
  • Forgery or other misrepresentation of one's identity via electronic or any other form of communication is a Fundamental Standard violation. Prosecution under State and Federal laws may also apply.
  • Students living in the residences who wish to use their residential network connections must register through Student Computing. Registering with your department is not an option.
  • Only students living in on-campus housing may register for residential network connections with Student Computing. Visitors must register through their respective departments.

For clarity, routers, DHCP servers, or NAT servers are generally not allowed as they can violate the first, fourth, and seventh terms. At their worst, if misconfigured (as they sometimes come out of the box), they can bring down entire buildings.

Computer Cluster Acceptable Use Policy

The Student Computing clusters are provided as productive work environments for students and members of the residence community. The primary use of these resources is for work related to academics. All other uses are considered secondary.


  • Student Computing clusters may be used only by members of the residence in which they are located, unless the local residence community decides otherwise. In any case, residential computing clusters are for the use of on-campus residents only. (Brief, incidental, low priority use may also be permitted by the local residence community to academic advisors and other faculty or staff members invited to the dorm.)
  • Academic work by students takes precedence over all other uses of the cluster computers (such as games, non-academic e-mail, etc.).
  • Stanford students have priority over non-students (spouses, children, etc.) in using the computers.
  • Anyone engaged in an activity or use of the cluster computers which hampers or interferes with the ability of other students to do academic work may be asked to quit the activity and/or leave the cluster by other users of the cluster. Examples include excessive computer volume, loud conversation, and disruptive behavior.


  • Food and drink are not permitted in any residence cluster. Smoking is prohibited throughout all University buildings, as detailed in the Stanford Smoke-Free Environment Policy.
  • Any theft of or damage to residential cluster computer equipment will be the financial responsibility of the local residence if the theft or damage resulted from negligence on the part of residence members (e.g. - leaving the doors to the cluster propped open). If the theft or damage can be traced to a specific individual, or group of individuals, then they will be held personally financially responsible for the damage or theft.
  • Unlawful copying of software is not permitted, as detailed under the Stanford Guidelines on Software Copying (from Memo 62 of the Stanford University Administrative Guide).

Problems or violations of any sort regarding the use of the computer clusters or residential computer network should first be reported to your local Resident Computer Consultant.

Overall Acceptable Use Policies

Use of the Student Computing resources at Stanford University is governed by The Fundamental Standard and The Honor Code, and must comply with all policies outlined in the University Residence Agreement. Non-student users (e.g., resident fellows, spouses, and children) are also expected to abide by the spirit of these policies and all guidelines mentioned herein when using these resources.

Stanford's sexual harassment policy covers all uses of electronic technology and communication on campus, including e-mail correspondences and newsgroups. Refer to the Sexual Harassment Policy for further information and a description of your options for addressing sexual harassment. The Sexual Harassment Policy Office website contains additional information, and a list of contact and resource people. For further assistance, send e-mail to

The Stanford Computer and Network Usage Policy describes in detail the overall university policies, scope, applicability, responsibilities, and consequences.


Failure to comply with any of the above policies may result in termination of residential network services, loss of computer cluster use privileges, prosecution by the University based on Fundamental Standard violations for students, standard disciplinary procedures for faculty and staff, and/or criminal prosecution.

If your residential network connection is terminated due to violations of the above policies, and you subsequently register legitimately or rectify the problem, you will be charged an $80 port-reactivation fee to regain access to the network. This fee is IN ADDITION TO the normal usage fee.

Student Computing reserves the right to terminate any residential or cluster computer connection without notice should it be determined that network traffic generated from said connection drastically inhibits or interferes with the use of the network by others.

Student violations of the above policies will be handled through the Office of Student Computing and the Judicial Affairs Office; other violations will be referred, as appropriate, to the Provost's Office, Personnel Services, and/or the Stanford University Police Department.

Questions about this policy or whether a particular activity would violate it should be addressed to the Office of Student Computing (650-724-5600,