Student Email Guidelines

Chattahoochee Technical College provides email services to students in support of education, research, and in communications with the College faculty and staff.


To ensure that the Chattahoochee Technical College (CTC) electronic mail community is aware of instituted rules and maintains compliance with related State of Georgia laws. This guideline has been developed to ensure a quality email service environment at CTC that furthers the academic distribution of information and service of the institution. Achieving these goals requires that every individual in the CTC user community cooperate and adhere to these guidelines.

Email Accounts:

All network and email accounts are the sole property of CTC and certain restrictions apply to their privacy. There are a number of laws and policies that may require or permit examination of computer related records such as email.

CTC recognizes the importance of academic freedom, freedom of speech, and privacy of information. CTC respects the privacy of users and does not routinely inspect or monitor email without the user’s permission unless one of the following conditions requires such action as:

  • When required by and consistent with law;
  • When there is reasonable assumption that a violation of law or College guideline has occurred;
  • When there are time-critical operational circumstances; or
  • In the normal course of system administration by Authorized Administrators.

Since Georgia is an open records state, the law requires that public records be open and available for inspection by any member of the public. These public records include most electronic records of all state agencies. Documents, data, emails, etc. are considered public records regardless of where they reside. Other laws and acts may also require access to these records. Both Georgia law and CTC guidelines prohibit, in general, the theft or other abuse of computer systems. Some prohibitions apply to electronic mail services and include, but are not limited to: unauthorized entry, use, transfer, and tampering with the accounts and files of others, interference with the work of others and with other computing facilities. Under certain circumstances the law contains provisions for felony offenses. Users of electronic mail are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these laws and policies.

It is also understood that system administrators must perform routine maintenance on these systems. The nature of this system administration will sometimes require Technology Advancement and Support (TAS) to work with these files. Each email server also has at least one Postmaster assigned to monitor email that the system cannot deliver due to a variety of factors. The Electronic Communication Act of 1986 provisions this access for system administrators. Only certain Technology Support Staff are allowed this access and they are required to follow prudent guidelines in dealing with this information. Disclosure of this information should occur only if the material is illegal or in violation of guidelines. TAS must notify the senior college administrators, who will address the violation or give further direction to TAS or another department.  Under direction with vice presidential or presidential approval records can be monitored without notice to the user, but this is only conducted when there is substantial evidence of an illegal activity or serious guideline violation.

Legal Risk:

Since Email is not a totally secure medium, Email should not be used for the transmission of extremely personal and/or confidential educational records, copyright infringement, fraud, slander, libel, harassment and obscenity.

Users have a responsibility to use this resource in an efficient, effective, ethical and lawful manner. Email communications should follow the same standards expected in written business communications and public meetings. Although by its nature email seems to be less formal than other written communication, the same laws apply. Therefore, it is important that users are aware of the legal risks of email. Violation of this guideline may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination/expulsion and/or legal action.

By following the guidelines, the email user can minimize the legal risks involved in the use of email. If any user disregards the rules set out in this Email guideline, the user will be fully liable.

Legal Requirements:

No user shall give their password for any email system to an unauthorized person, nor shall they obtain any other individual’s password by any unauthorized means whatsoever. In addition to the above, no user shall utilize Email for their personal use if it (1) directly or indirectly interferes with the College operation of computing facilities or electronic mail services; (2) burdens the College with noticeable incremental cost, or (3) interferes with the individual’s employment or other obligations to the College.

Furthermore, no user shall use the College’s Email systems or services for the purpose of transmitting fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, obscene, or threatening messages, or any other communications that are prohibited by law. Use of the college email system for the purposes of sending spam or non-business related bulk mail sent to distribution lists is strictly prohibited whether the distribution list is internal or external. The following rules are required by law and are to be strictly adhered to. It is prohibited to:

  • Send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks;
  • Unlawfully forward confidential information;
  • Send unsolicited email messages;
  • Forge or attempt to forge email messages;
  • Disguise or attempt to disguise your identity when sending mail;
  • Send email messages using another person’s email account;
  • Copy a message or attachment belonging to another user without permission of the originator which could be construed as copyright infringement or plagiarism;
  • Send an attachment that contains a virus.


Violations of these policies incur the same types of disciplinary measures as violations of other CTC policies or state or federal laws, including criminal prosecution.

CTC reserves the right to amend this guideline at its discretion. In case of amendments, users will be informed appropriately.