Laboratory Access and Use Policy
Department of Interdisciplinary
Laboratory access means that an individual will be issued a key and/or
designated entry privileges to one or more of the laboratory spaces in
the Engineering Center or Discovery Learning Center. All faculty
and staff of the department will have unrestricted access to the laboratories.
Students will have access only when they have a need sponsored by a faculty
or staff member and by prior arrangement with the laboratory manager.
Sponsored access will be in one or more of the following categories:
Teaching assistants for courses that have laboratory activities.
Student research for thesis or capstone purposes.
Independent study that requires laboratory resources.
Research assistants working with laboratory resources.
Student access may be unlimited or restricted to certain times and/or days
depending on the need and faculty sponsor request. In any case, all
student access must be reestablished at the beginning of each semester
and summer period. Students, who are in the lab to do course activities,
will not have access privileges unless they are in one of the categories
above and must always be accompanied by the TA supporting that lab activity.
Laboratory Resource Use
Laboratory resources include equipment, space, communication connections,
equipment configurations, and material supplies. Use of all resources
must be scheduled with the laboratory manager. This includes both
regular, scheduled time for laboratory access for a course and for one-time
activities associated with research or demonstrations and visits.
Equipment configurations, such as those for computers and data communication
routers and switches, will be maintained only if that is requested as part
of a multiple session resource reservation. Reservations will be
taken on a first come, first served basis. Agreements between users
of reserved resources to trade or swap reservations have no force - changes
can only be made through the laboratory manager.
The laboratory provides a resource reservation process and database
to track use. The laboratory manager, the laboratory director, and
the department chair, in that order, will resolve potential conflicts in
General-purpose equipment such as telephones, printers, and copiers
are for laboratory related use only.
The laboratory has three classes of information technology resources:
A. The laboratory maintains general-purpose computers as both workstations
and servers. They are for laboratory related use only and not for
general use such as e-mail and document preparation even for students with
access privileges. Laboratory computers are connected to the campus
Internet by way of a firewall and other information security measures.
No one is to disable, modify, or otherwise circumvent these measures in
any way. The workstations in this class will be reconfigured at the
beginning of each semester to a standard configuration and any data left
on them will be lost at that time. No backup support is provided
for these computers. Servers are maintained to support laboratory
operations only and the laboratory manager schedules the necessary backup
and other maintenance. The laboratory manager must explicitly approve
any changes to software or hardware configuration in these resources.
B. The laboratory maintains numerous computers and data networking gear
for use in laboratory experiments and activities. This equipment
is not to be connected to the campus Internet in any manner without explicit
permission and oversight of the laboratory manager. The laboratory
manager schedules any necessary software installation and maintenance required
on this equipment.
C. The laboratory houses other computers and servers used by faculty
and staff for their use and support of research and teaching activities.
These systems will be connected to the campus Internet either through the
laboratory firewall, through restricted access not behind the firewall,
or through physically separate network connection. In the first two
cases, the laboratory manager has complete authority to manage the network
connection and changes may only be made with his/her explicit and scheduled
approval. In no case can there be any network connections between
these computers and those in class A or B. The laboratory provides
no backup of maintenance services for these computers.
Housekeeping and Safety
The basic rule of housekeeping in the laboratory is "leave it as you found
it." Each student with access privileges is responsible for the state
of resources used. Any TA supporting a laboratory activity for a
course is responsible for the state of resources used by the students in
that activity. Detailed rules for housekeeping are posted in the
All activities in the laboratories must be carried out in a safe manner
and consistent with University policies. Detailed safety regulations
are posted in the lab. The faculty and staff sponsors of students
with laboratory access are responsible for assuring that students have
received a review of safety regulations in the laboratory.