Internet policy needs deadlines

By Northern Star Editorial Board

The Computing Facilities Advisory Committee and Chief information Officer Brett Coryell needs to set deadlines for revising the language in NIU’s Acceptable Use Policy.

The university’s Acceptable Use Policy enforces use of NIU’s Internet network “based on common sense, decency, ethical use, civility, and security applied to the computing environment,” according to the Division of Information Technology’s website. Thinking the policy blocked students from accessing political websites, pornography and social media, blogs and social media users accused NIU of censorship in August.

The Acceptable Use Policy is now facing revision, but there aren’t any dates on when those revisions will be finished.

The Computing Facilities Advisory Committee needs to provide students with deadlines and clear messages regarding updates to the Acceptable Use Policy.

Because the university’s reputation was damaged by rumors the Acceptable Use Policy was censoring students, committee members need to make these revisions a top priority. Without clear deadlines, it appears committee members are neglecting this priority.

In order to prevent future misunderstandings of the Acceptable Use Policy, the committee needs to show transparency.

Committee members should notify the community of the committee’s agenda and meetings by posting official minutes on the Computing Facilities Advisory Committee’s website. Students deserve to know when meetings will take place so they can take part in discussions on what they found confusing in the original policy.