Computer Science

General Use and Misuse Policy


Computer Science Department

The following are general departmental policies for Computer Science courses that involve programming. An instructor may have additional restrictions which will be given to the respective students in writing.

*COMPUTER ABUSE is defined for the purpose of this policy to include plagiarism of programs: misuse of computer accounts; unauthorized access to or destruction of files, programs or services; creating illegal accounts; unauthorized possession of passwords; and disruptive or annoying behavior on the computer. (Definition from The National Association of Academic Affairs Administrators Newsletter, Summer 1985.)


Each student who has declared a Computer Science major, or is enrolled in a Computer Science prefixed course, is assigned a computer account on Computer Science servers and lab machines.

Penalties for misuse of an account can range from a zero for the assignment to an "F" for the course or further punishment as noted in the Departmental ACADEMIC DISHONESTY POLICY which follows this section.

Each student is responsible for use (or abuse) of his/her class account. Each student must maintain the necessary security of her/his account by observing the following:

  1. Keep passwords secret.
  2. Change your password if you suspect that it has been stolen.
  3. Do not share your password with another user.
  4. Whenever you run a program and print out the output, get the entire output, including the date and time, and save all output at home until you receive your final grade for the course. This output may be needed to prove that you wrote the program in case someone steals it.

Students taking computer classes may be users of Information Technology Department (ITD) facilities or may be users of computers from the Computer Science Department. Your instructor will tell you which computer will be used for your class. The students are responsible for adhering to regulations of ITD. Any unauthorized user of an ITD account will be liable for the costs incurred and is subject to University disciplinary action. A student who is an unauthorized user will be referred to the University administration for approprite action, including possible suspension.

The primary purpose of all Computer Science Department facilities is faculty research and assigned student course work. Any other use is secondary and subject to review by the Computer Science Department's Facilities Committee.

Use of all Computer Science Department facilities must adhere to all Federal/State statutes and the policies of Oklahoma State University and the Computer Science Department. Explicitly prohibited are activities which in any way try to gain, maintain, or collect information for unauthorized access, or any activities for personal or corporate profit.

STATEMENT OF DOWNLOAD POLICY: Downloading of media files such as music and movies for non-academic use to the Computer Science Department computer accounts is prohibited unless explicit permission is given by a faculty member. Violation of this rule can result in loss of account privileges. Additionally, University policy requires system management to report any illegal activities, which would include those involving violation of copyright laws, to the proper university authorities.


Cheating on exams or assignments or misuse of computer accounts may result in a grade of "F" for the course and will result in required reports to University officials.

When it is established that cheating has occurred, appropriate disciplinary action will be imposed. Such action may be imposed by the instructor or it may be imposed as a Departmental or University action. The penalty for the offense will be more severe than the penalty for failing to turn in the assignment (or take the exam) in question. That is, it will be more severe than receiving a "0" for the assignment. An academic dishonesty report will be completed also. Copies of this report are sent to the student involved, the student's academic advisor, the Head of the faculty member's Academic Department, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the OSU Office of Student Conduct.

Some examples of cheating are: turning in someone else's work, wholly or partially, as your own (with or without the other person's knowledge); stealing a program from a student or from a trash can; using another student's ID or password; allowing someone else to turn in your work as his/her own; buying or selling a program; several people writing one program and turning in multiple copies, all represented (implicitly or explicitly) as individual work; stealing an examination or solution; taking an exam for someone else.

A quote from the Oklahoma State University Policy and Procedures (P&P) letter 2-0822: "Care must be taken that exam answers are not seen by others, that term papers or projects are not plagiarized or otherwise misused by others, etc. Even passive cooperation in a dishonest enterprise is unacceptable."

OSU Academic Integrity Policy page provides a more in depth statement.

Academic Integrity Student Information page provides more detail.


If any member of this class feels that he/she has a disability and needs special accommodations of any nature whatsoever, the instructor will work with you and the Office of Student Disability Services, 315 Student Union, to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in this class. Please advise the instructor of such disablility and the desired accommodations at some point before, during, or immediately after the first scheduled class period.

OSU University Counseling Services page contains more in depth review of Disabilities Act and related services.


Oklahoma State University is committed to the maintenance of the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct of its members. This level of ethical behavior and integrity will be maintained in this course. Participating in a behavior that violates academic integrity (e.g., unauthorized collaboration on homework or assignments, plagiarism, multiple submissions of the same assignment, cheating on examinations, fabricating information, helping another person cheat, having unauthorized advance access to examinations, altering or destroying the work of others, and fraudulently altering academic records) will result in your being sanctioned. Violations may subject you to disciplinary action including the following: receiving a failing grade on an assignment, examination or course, receiving a notation of a violation of academic integrity on your transcript, and being suspended from the University. You have the right to appeal the charge. Contact the Office of Academic Affairs, 101 Whitehurst, 405-744-5627.