Computing Policies

PennDesign Computing

Computing Policies

  • Implied Consent
  • Computing Center-Sponsored Labs
  • Network Printing in PennDesign Labs or Studios
  • Priorities
  • Networking (Wired & Wireless)
  • Scheduling of Computer Projection Equipment
  • Computer Purchasing and Support for Student-Owned Equipment in Electronic Studios
  • E-Mail Support

PennDesign computing policies are designed to ensure that resources are used wisely in service to our educational and research programs.  Visit here for more information.

PennDesign computing policies are extensions of Penn’s computing policies. The University’s policies on Computing and Networking Policies and Laws are outlined on their Web page. The PennDesign computing center is required to comply with the University rules. Some of the University’s policies are spelled out below.

The general policy of PennDesign emphasizes network resources, the sharing of software where site licenses are obtainable, and shared peripherals. Individuals must take responsibility for personally owned machines. Refer to the PennDesign Computing website for more information on available equipment and software, computing announcements, lab schedules, and other information related to PennDesign Computing.

Policy on Unauthorized Copying of Copyrighted Media

Downloading and sharing copyrighted material of any kind is a violation of the University’s Policy as well as a legal violation.

The violation reports will include names of files shared, software used to share the files, time of detection, and the IP address. This information, combined with our detailed logs, is more than enough to accurately pinpoint the offending user. We will take the following steps for any user/computer reported to be sharing copyright material:

E-mail containing specifics of the violation will be sent to the user’s PennDesign address with copies sent to Penn’s Information Security office, the Office of Student Conduct, and the student’s Department Chair. The student must respond to the notice within 24 hours and demonstrate the removal of the file sharing program, and copyright material. A second violation will result in a repeat of the above action, and a copy of the violation will be sent to the Dean’s office. Further sanctions may be taken; such as removal from Penn’s network (both wired and wireless). For more information, see the University’s page on this topic.

Implied Consent

Each person with access to the University’s computing resources is responsible for their appropriate use and by their use agrees to comply with University, school and departmental policies, with applicable City, State and Federal laws and regulations, and with the acceptable use policies of affiliated networks and systems. This includes, among other things, prohibitions against use of the network for illegal or threatening purposes, restrictions on the copying and use of copyrighted software, respect for privacy of individual files stored on computers, etiquette towards other users and respect for equipment and facilities. Also, students are forbidden to install additional software programs on computers in the labs or in any other way reconfigure or modify the hard disks.

There will undoubtedly be many questions of interpretation of policies. The general rule is to attempt to resolve differences at the lowest possible level – preferably among users. If not possible, the computer resource staff will make interpretations. Issues of broad policy that arise will be referred to the dean, PennDesign’s executive committee, and to the faculty during regular meetings.

Computing Center-Sponsored Labs

Computing labs are located in Meyerson and Addams Hall. Equipment in these labs is available for use only by PennDesign students, faculty and staff. All users are required to have a PennDesign account in order to have access to PennDesign computing resources. The Digital Video Editing Lab is available only to students currently enrolled in Digital Video courses. Staff assistance is available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; lab assistants provide support during a limited number of evening and weekend hours. During the summer labs are open, but technical help is limited. Labs may close for occasional maintenance.  Labs are often reserved during the semester for classroom instruction. Lab schedules are posted in the labs, and on the PennDesign Computing website.

Local Data drives are available only on some lab machines. These drives are to be used for temporary storage. All data stored in this location is NOT backed up and can be deleted by any user at any time.  Students can permanently store data on the School of Design Server called Juno in their network home area while their account is in an ACTIVE status.  PennDesign will not provide any backups of data left on the local data drive on lab or other public machines.  At times computers may be removed from the Lab for repair or maintenance.  It is highly recommended that students make multiple backups of their work.  Data stored in the network home folder on Juno is backed up daily.  Loss of work on any computer is no excuse for failure to meet a presentation or course deadline.  In addition, all students have access to Penn+Box which provides students with 50GB of Cloud Storage (see here for more information).

Students are prohibited from installing software on any public machine (lab and checkout machines, public use machines). This includes, but is not limited to, translation software, statistical software, and file sharing software. These programs are not PennDesign authorized or supported and are not to be installed onto the machines. If unauthorized programs are found on a hard drive, they will be immediately removed so that the integrity of the machine remains intact, and the person who installed the software will be warned. A second violation may result in suspension of your School of Design account.

NO food is allowed in any of the computer labs. Liquids must be in a spill proof container.

Network Printing in PennDesign Labs or Studios

A variety of printing devices are available throughout the various PennDesign buildings (Meyerson and Addams Halls, Morgan). Printers can only be used by students with active PennDesign accounts. Students are charged for printing once a month (PennCash is not required for printing on the PennDesign network). Pricing and media types are posted above each printer/plotter, and on the PennDesign website. When you are finished with a public computer, remember to log out.


When demand for computing resources exceeds available capacity, priorities for their use will be established and enforced.

The overall priorities for use of PennDesign computing resources are:

  • Highest: Uses that directly support the educational, research and service missions of the School of Design. The following locations get staff support in order of priority: Computing Center Lab, all other School of Design studio machines.
  • Medium: Other uses that indirectly benefit the education, research and service missions of the School of Design, including reasonable and limited personal communications.
  • Lowest: Recreation web surfing and news reading.
  • Forbidden: Activities that consume network bandwidth, such as game playing, music services, peer-to-peer networking (file sharing) or use of installed unlicensed software on student machines.

Networking (Wired & Wireless)

All PennDesign buildings have wired and/or wireless networks. Wired studio desks are equipped with a high speed 100MB wired network port to provide access to the Internet and various PennDesign network resources such as printing and plotting.

Wireless Networking is perfect for reading e-mail, browsing the internet, and working on group projects. Wired connections are preferred when working with large files or printing over the network.  For more information on Wireless at Penn, see the Get Connected section of Penn’s Connect to Penn page.

Personal wireless access points will conflict with the primary router in the buildings. This will cause problems with all networking wired and wireless. As a result, these devices are prohibited on our network. Students found violating this policy will be subject to having his or her wireless device disconnected from the network, and suspension of their PennDesign account for 48 hours. This policy is designed to protect our network resources.

Scheduling of PennDesign Checkout Equipment

To avoid scheduling conflicts for courses and electronic reviews that need access to laptops and projection equipment, we ask that all faculty and students observe the following policies:

  • Projector carts are only available for use for PennDesign courses in Meyerson Hall.
  • Stand-alone portable projectors and laptops are available for presentation on campus outside of Meyerson.
  • Pick up and return of equipment is the responsibility of the person reserving the equipment. Delay in returning the equipment may result in suspension of scheduling privileges.
  • For more information and to reserve a projector or laptop, visit our online calendar and scheduling page.

Computer Purchasing

Computer ownership is a requirement for Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation and City Planning students. Studios are networked to facilitate computer usage. Each student with studio space will have adequate electrical service and network outlets to allow connection to the University of Pennsylvania Network, which is connected to PennDesign servers. Student-purchased equipment and software must meet specifications set by the PennDesign IT Department if it is to be connected to the network. When given the choice to work wired or wireless, always choose wired; it is faster and more reliable.

For the latest configurations and pricing for PennDesign-recommended computers, please see our Student Guidelines for Purchasing a Computer.

Note: while PennDesign endeavors to provide a secure environment for student computers, the University of Pennsylvania and PennDesign assume no responsibility against theft or damage for equipment. Students must secure their machines and peripherals with lock-down devices. Students who wish to have insurance should seek personal policies or check for coverage under existing policies. Students are to take collective responsibility for being sure that all studio doors are closed and locked at all times and for excluding people who are not working in the studio. If for any reason students encounter a problem, they should refer such a problem to the Facilities Office (Meyerson Hall Rm G29) or should contact the University Police at 511 (off-campus and cell phones, 215-573-3333).

Support for Student-Owned Equipment

The PennDesign Computing staff does not support student owned machines. Students need to acquire repair service from the manufacturer of the computer system. The on-campus computer service  can be obtained by contacting the Computing Resource Center (215.573.4778) as well as Computer Fixer (215.387.5900).

E-Mail Accounts and Support

Each full time PennDesign student is eligible for a Penn-mail account. Every student is expected to use their University e-mail regularly since the majority of communications from the University and PennDesign is sent to that account.

More information about creating your E-Mail accounts can be found on our Student Email page (You will need your PennKey ID and password to access this site). Information about everything from courses to Happy Hour is distributed via e-mail.

Links to University Policies and Useful Security Links

In addition to Design policies, students need to be aware of the University policies surrounding Acceptable Use of University Resources and policies regarding Copyrighted material. Reports of copyright abuse are reported immediately to the student’s Departmental Office and the Office of Student Conduct.  There is valuable information concerning security issues. Links below:

Policies and Guidelines

Security & Privacy

Policy on Unauthorized Copying of Copyrighted Media

Connect to Penn: Guides to Wireless and Software Downloads

Penn Design IT Services

PennDesign IT Services If you have further questions, please e-mail us at or use our contact page.