Patriot Act Policy
The Evergreen State College is committed to protecting the civil liberties of its students, faculty and employees. Preservation of academic freedom and open debate is essential to the well being of the academic community. Many members of our community are concerned that federal policies adopted since September 11, 2001, including provisions in the USA Patriot Act (Public Law 107-56) and related executive orders, regulations and actions could threaten fundamental rights and liberties.
Accordingly, and in order to assure constitutional rights on this campus, this policy is intended to provide a simple and clear procedure for responding to any actions occurring on campus under the auspices of the USA Patriot Act. Further the policy is intended to:
- Affirm our strong support for fundamental constitutional rights and opposition to any measures that infringes on civil liberties and academic freedom.
- Affirm our strong support for the rights of all students, faculty, and employees and oppose measures that single out for legal scrutiny or enforcement activity groups of individuals based on their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age or country of origin.
- Assure that the institution abide by the law in a manner which protects the constitutional rights and academic freedoms of our students, faculty and students to the maximum extent allowed, and to assure that we do not respond to requests for information related to this statute in the absence of a legal requirement to do so.
Each request for information, whether made by subpoena, court order, search warrant, or otherwise will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Associate to the President or appropriate Vice President when the Executive Associate is unreachable. To the extent possible the Executive Associate or Vice President will consult with the offices of the State’s Attorney General regarding any requests. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Associate to the President to familiarize him or herself with the general form of subpoenas, court orders, and search warrants and to provide appropriate training to Vice Presidents and other areas that would be most likely to receive such requests.
Procedure for handling requests
Do not discuss requests for information with anyone other than those individuals identified in this procedure without the authorization of the college’s legal counsel.
Subpoenas, court orders, national security letters or general requests.
In the event an individual representing himself or herself as a law enforcement representative or other governmental agency representative requests (1) content of any paper document (2) the content of electronic communications, (3) any information about users of or traffic on The Evergreen State College computer network, or (4) library records that contain the identity of the user and the books, documents, films, recordings, electronic communication, or other property of the library s/he used, or any other record or document through a subpoena, national security or verbal request do not disclose any information. Immediately contact the Executive Associate to the President, who will handle the request with advice from the college’s legal counsel and contact all appropriate college administrators required to appropriately respond to the request. If for any reason the Executive Associate to the President is unavailable, immediately contact the Vice President of the area where the records are retained, who will handle the request with advice from the college’s legal counsel, notify all appropriate college administrators and notify the Executive Associate to the President as soon as practicable.
In the event an individual presents a search warrant, begin complying with the search warrant and immediately contact the Executive Associate to the President. If the Executive Associate to the President is unavailable, immediately contact the Vice President of the area where the search warrant was presented. Both the Executive Associate to President and each Vice President will be responsible for seeking advice from college counsel as soon as practicable. Do not leave the individual alone during the search, and while not impeding the search keep factual notes related to the search.
Disclosures of an Emergency Involving Immediate Danger
Anyone with a reasonable belief that they have accessed information about an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury should immediately contact the campus police and provide them the information. Immediately after contacting the campus police contact the Executive Associate to the President who will contact appropriate campus administrators and the college’s legal counsel. If the Executive Associate to the President is not available, immediately contact the area vice president, who will contact other appropriate administrators and the college’s legal counsel. The vice president will inform the Executive Associate to the President as soon as practicable.
Police Services Procedures
In order to assure that this policy is carried out in a nondiscriminatory fashion Police Services will continue its long-standing commitment to the following practices:
- a. Any search warrants presented to Police Services under the auspices of the Patriot Act will be handled via the procedures provided for in this policy. Any other search warrant outside the auspices of the Patriot Act will trigger advance or simultaneous notice of the execution of a search warrant to any student, faculty or staff whose property is the subject of such a warrant. Police Services will not participate in a joint search with any law enforcement agency.
- b. In any instance where a request for information do not fall under legally served subpoenas, search warrants or other official legal requirements, refrain from disclosing any information about a student, faculty member, or campus employee to federal, state, or local law enforcement without notice and approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs;
- c. No engagement in the surveillance of individuals or groups of individuals based on their participation in activities protected by the First Amendment, such as political advocacy, the practice of a religion, without particularized suspicion of criminal activity unrelated to the activity protected by the First Amendment;
- d. No utilization of race, religion, ethnicity or national origin as a factor in selecting which individuals to subject to investigatory activities except when seeking to apprehend a specific suspect whose race, religion, ethnicity or national origin is part of the description of the suspect; information regarding affiliation with any of these categories would not be disclosed without an appropriate subpoena or search warrant.
- e. Refrain, whether acting alone or with federal, state or local law enforcement officers, from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership unless such information directly relates to an investigation of criminal activities, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct. No such activities shall occur even when such evidence exists without prior approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- f. Refrain from video surveillance, with exception of retail areas on campus, unless there is reasonable suspicion that the subjects of the video surveillance have or are about to commit a crime, establishing a general surveillance network of video cameras, deploying facial recognition technology or other unreliable biometric identification technology.
- g. Refrain from the practice of stopping faculty, staff or students for the purpose of scrutinizing their identification documents without particularized suspicion of criminal activity.
Law Enforcement Investigation of Computer Trespass
Any employee who knows or believes that a college computer system has been compromised by a computer trespasser must immediately report the matter to Director of Computing and Communications or, in the absence of the Director of Computing and Communications, the Vice President for Finance and Administration. In consultation with appropriate college administrators and legal counsel a decision will be made as to whether the incident falls under the Patriot Act, the need to report the activity to police services and/or the appropriate college process to follow to address the incursion. Should the matter have implications under the Patriot Act the Executive Associate to the President shall be notified.
A committee shall be formed consisting of representatives from those areas most likely to be affected by a request under the Patriot Act. That committee shall meet at least semi-annually to review any potential sources of information that may be sought under the act and to identify any new areas of potential requests. The purpose of this identification shall be to provide ongoing education including but not limited to the requirements of the act and appropriate procedures for compliance and protection of rights of the campus community. In addition the committee will provide recommendations to administration regarding retention of records. Among the responsibilities of the committee will be to assure that areas that are required to gather data post notices that such data is being compiled and that it may be subject to disclosure under the Act as provided for under the Notification section of this policy.
The Executive Associate to the President shall provide immediate notification of the execution of a search warrant to any student, faculty or staff whose property or records are the subject of such a warrant unless legally prohibited from doing so by statute or court order.
Should the records of any individuals on our campus be seized, the Executive Associate to the President will provide immediate notification to those individuals whose education, library, or other records have been obtained or examined by law enforcement agents or other governmental entities unless prohibited from doing so by statute or court order.
In order to better education and inform our community regarding potential Federal actions under this statute, at minimum the following steps shall be taken:
- We as an institution are doing everything we can to protect your constitutional rights and personal property. The campus library shall notify library users about our obligations and privacy protections under the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56). This warning shall also be sent to parents, students, faculty and staff via mail and email.
- The campus bookstore and other entities that maintain business records of purchases at the college will post in a prominent place the following notice to customers: “WARNING: Under Section 215 of the federal USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), records of the books and other materials you purchase from this store may be obtained by federal agents. That federal law may prohibit storeowners from informing you if records about you have been obtained by federal agents”. This warning should also be sent to parents, students, faculty and staff via mail and email.
- All computer laboratories on campus will post in a prominent place within the laboratory a notice to computer users as follows: “WARNING: Under Sections 214, 216 and 505 of the federal USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), records of your computer use and certain information about the emails you send or websites you visit may be obtained by federal agents. That federal law contains provisions that may prohibit the College from informing you if records about you have been obtained by federal agents.” This warning should also be sent to parents, students, faculty and staff via mail and email. It shall also be contained within the colleges “Appropriate Use” Policy and be referred to in any general guidance provided to college personnel related to computer use.
- All records of book borrowing and Internet use shall be destroyed on a regular basis. All bookstore and other entities that keep records of borrowing or purchases shall destroy records as soon as they are no longer necessary, and refrain, whether acting alone or with federal, state or local law enforcement officers, from collecting or maintaining records of purchases or borrowing unless legally required to do so by a court order for a specific individual, and under those circumstances, to maintain them only for that individual and only for the duration specified in the court order.
Designation of Patriot Act Officer
The Executive Associate to the President serves as the college’s primary contact point for the purposes of this policy. Should the position be vacant the President will designate an officer to perform the functions during the interim.