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Community: Internet Center Policies

Internet Center Policies

CRPIC patrons, students, and visitors must agree to adhere to the Internet policies below. CRPIC students must also be familiar with the Enrollment and Course Policies found in the CRPIC Classes section of this website and the course catalog, and available at the front desk.

Table of Contents

Public Access/Education Program Usage
Class Enrollment
Payment
Cancellation
Refunds
Parking
User Registration
Sign-In
Questions for Staff
Restroom Usage
One-On-One Tutoring
Private Tutoring
Private Tutoring Cancellation
Photography Policy
Financial Assistance/Scholarship
Printing and Downloading
Compliance
Policies Subject to Revision
Adaptive Technology
Privacy
Liability
Quality of Information
Filtering of Information
Access by Minors
Rules Governing Use
Users May Not
Public Users’ Security
Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment Policy

CRPIC is a privately funded organization. CRPIC does not receive city, state or federal funds to cover operating costs. For this reason we charge fees for printing, scanning, copying, faxing, computer courses, workshops, and private tutoring.


Detailed Policies

Public Access/Education Program Use

The Center has the right to observe actions of its customers and visitors when using the facility’s equipment, and monitor where those said customers and visitors go while on the Internet. Any database account, email messages, and/or files stored by said customers and visitors on the facility’s desktop or hard drive will be considered property of CRPIC, and these may be viewed by employees of CRPIC without permission of the creator.

Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult and supervised while they are in the Center. Any customer or visitor, if asked, will be required to show CRPIC staff a picture ID to verify his/her age.

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Class Enrollment

Students may enroll for CRPIC courses up to 7 business days prior to the start date of the course. Late enrollments will be accepted at the discretion of the administration, provided the minimum number of students has been achieved to ensure the course will run, and space is still available in the class.

Students may enroll by mail, fax, online, or in person. Students must fill out the enrollment form and pay for courses in full when enrolling. CRPIC accepts cash, checks, money orders, or credit cards. Upon receipt of the enrollment form and payment, students will be mailed or emailed an executed copy of the enrollment agreement and the suggested textbook purchasing information. There is a $25 fee for returned checks due to insufficient funds or declined credit cards.  

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Payment

CRPIC accepts cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, checks, and money orders for fees and tuition. 

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Cancellations

CRPIC has the right to cancel any workshop, course, or educational program if a minimum number of seats are not filled. CRPIC will notify students by phone and/or mail if a course has been cancelled due to low enrollment or other administrative reason. In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, CRPIC will use reasonable efforts to reschedule the cancelled course. Notifications of cancellations due to weather are by phone and students are advised that CRPIC follows the Waltham Public School closings.  

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Refunds

CRPIC is a nonprofit organization that sustains itself through fees generated by the classes and programs offered at our site. These fees allow us to provide free access to anyone to computers with high speed Internet access, free email accounts, free one-on-one tutoring, and affordable computer classes for the community. Each seat in CRPIC class represents an opportunity for a client to receive training and education at a cost below market rates. Instructor costs are incurred for each class or program at the time a class reaches full enrollment status.

Enrollment may be cancelled up to 7 business days prior to a course start date to receive a full refund. All enrollment and other fees will be refunded if there is insufficient enrollment to run the course or other unforeseen circumstances. Refunds are not issued to students who withdraw fewer than 7 business days from the start date of a course, are “no-shows”, or who drop out after the first class. Students requesting refunds for medical reasons must submit a written note from their physician or health care agency to CRPIC with 10 business days of the course start date. In no case will a student who was dropped from a class for disciplinary reasons, poor attendance, or lack of academic effort be considered for a refund or credit toward a future class.

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Parking

Parking is available in the Embassy Parking Lot, a Waltham Municipal Parking Lot, for a minimal fee. Under no circumstances are customers, visitors, or students permitted to park in the lots for the residents and visitors of the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill Building or the Charles River Museum of Industry. Both entities reserve the right to tow illegally parked cars.

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User Registration

All new visitors are required to fill out a User Registration Form located at the front desk. All information collected on this form is for contact and statistical purposes only. No personally identifiable information will be sold or given to a third part for any reason, without your prior written consent, unless where required by law or in cooperation with law enforcement officials.

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Sign-In

All customers are required to sign in and sign out when using the Public Access Lab. Customers are required to use their full name and write legibly. By signing in, you agree to the Internet Center Policies facility set by CRPIC.

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Questions for staff

Our professional staff is available to provide informal assistance and answer questions that arise during your stay at CRPIC. However, if you seek in-depth reviews or lessons, we encourage you to sign up for our free one on one tutoring, our private tutoring, or any one of the workshops, classes, or educational programs that we offer. Our staff cannot provide lengthy assistance. CRPIC staff, volunteers, independent contractors and interns will not answer technical questions or give computer advice in person or over the phone regarding a patron’s personal home computer. CRPIC is not a computer repair center; it is a community training and access center. CRPIC will not be held liable for any claims of damage as a result to any advice obtained while performing research at CRPIC.

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Restroom Usage

Our Restrooms are locked and for patrons only. Keys to the restrooms are available at the front desk.

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One-on-One Tutoring

CRPIC offers free One-on-One tutoring session per year per patron. Appointments for this can be taken over the phone or made at the front desk.

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Private Tutoring

CRPIC offers Private tutoring for a fee. Reservations must be done in person or on the phone. Payment is due at the time of registration. Registration forms are available at the front desk. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, checks, and money orders.

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Private Tutoring Cancellation

Patron's wishing to cancel a private tutoring appointment must call CRPIC at least 24 hours prior to the date your appointment is scheduled. Failure to do so results in full payment of the fee.

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Photography Policy

Photographs will be used to document and provide information on CRPIC and its program to funding sources and future participants. A Photo Release form must be signed in order for us to photograph you. Names will be withheld.

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Scholarship Information

It is the policy of the Charles River Public Internet Center (CRPIC) to provide services to all that need them regardless of their ability to pay. While CRPIC sets fees at affordable rates to the majority of residents in our service area, scholarships are sometimes available to those who cannot afford the fees. Scholarships are based on each applicant's ability to pay and available funds. Any resident of CRPIC service area may apply. Please call CRPIC prior to applying to determine if funds are available.

Scholarships will be granted based on the need demonstrated by household income and/or extenuating circumstances. Applicants are required to pay some portion of the program fee for which they are requesting assistance. This contribution demonstrates both a desire and a commitment to participate. Applications are available at the front desk of CRPIC or can be mailed upon request. Verification of income and expenses must accompany applications or the application will not be processed. Please submit a copy of your most recent 1040 Federal tax return, if requested.

If you are exempt from paying taxes, send verification of income received from federal, state or local agencies. Please attach a copy of your rent or mortgage agreement, utility bills, and other receipts or cancelled checks as needed to complete the form.

Applications will be reviewed for eligibility by the management staff of CRPIC and kept confidential. This is an application only and not an offer of scholarship. You will be notified within one week as to the status of your application. Financial assistance is made possible by grants awarded by foundations and companies and individual donors.

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Printing & Downloading

The Center provides paper and a networked printer, and charges $.10 cents per page for printing (black & white), $1.00 per page for color. You may save files on your own flash drive or the Public Drive (P Drive), but may not load software or save anything to the hard drive. The Center sells flash drives for $5.00. Any files or documents left on the desktop or public drive are deleted and cleaned every night.

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Compliance

The Center reserves the right to take appropriate action to insure compliance with these policies.

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Policies Subject to Revision

The Center's policies are subject to change without user notice.

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Adaptive Technology

All customers are required to sign in when using the Public Access Lab. By signing in, you agree to the Policy on Public Use of the Internet & CRPIC facility set by CRPIC.

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Privacy

By authorizing use of the Center's equipment, the Center does not relinquish control over materials or files contained exclusively on the equipment. Users should expect only limited privacy in the contents of personal files on the Center's public drive. The Center's public drive is open to public use.

All contents of this drive are the property of CRPIC. CRPIC reserves the right to review and remove any and all contents as deemed necessary. Routine maintenance and monitoring of the Center's equipment may lead to a discovery that a user has violated this policy, another Center policy, or the law. An individual investigation or search will be conducted if Center personnel have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of law or Center policy.

The Center will cooperate fully with local, state and federal authorities in any investigation concerning or related to any illegal activities and activities not in compliance with Center policies. No personally identifiable information will be sold or given to a third part for any reason, without your prior written consent, unless where required by law or in cooperation with law enforcement officials.

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Liability

Use of the Center's equipment and Internet access is at the user's own risk. The equipment is provided on an "as is, as available" basis. The Center will not be responsible for any damage users may suffer, including, but not limited to, loss, damage or unavailability of data stored on Center flash drives, tapes, hard drives or servers, or for delays or changes in or interruptions of service or miss-deliveries or non-deliveries of information or materials, regardless of the cause. The Center is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of any advice or information obtained through or stored on the Center equipment. The Center will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through unauthorized use of the Center's equipment or the Internet.

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Quality of Information

The Internet is a series of communication linkages leading to a highly diverse array of information content. CRPIC is not responsible for content of the Internet and patrons use it at their own risk. In an effort to assist its users, the Internet Center published a "Guide to Websites" that contains a number of useful sites for the general population, teens and children to help guide them to quality sources of information. This Guide can be borrowed from the Front Desk during your stay at the Center. The Center also employs knowledgeable staff to assist the public in using the Internet in a safe, effective and efficient manner.

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Filtering of Information

The Center, as a privately funded non-profit organization, has the right to filter any material that can be found on the Internet. While most information is freely accessible, the Center does not allow obscene, abusive, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, disrespectful, or sexually explicit or pornographic material to be viewed.

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Access by Minors

Children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult and supervised during their visit. Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which Internet resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents or legal guardians should guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. While the Internet Center affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine their children's access to Internet materials and resources, the Center has taken certain measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors.

The following guidelines should be employed to insure the safety and security of minors when using the Internet's vast communication mediums:

• Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
• Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed.
• Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without parents' or guardians' approval. • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make one uncomfortable.
• Have parents or guardians report an incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if one becomes aware of the transmission of child pornography.
• Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
• Remember that everything one reads may not be true.

To address the issue of unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking," and other unlawful activities by minors online, minors and all other Internet Center users are hereby advised that use of the Center's computers for hacking or any other unlawful activity is strictly prohibited.

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Rules Governing Use

The use of the Center's equipment and its access to the Internet is a privilege, not a right. Depending on the nature and degree of the violation and the number of previous violations, unacceptable use of the Center's equipment or the Internet may result in one or more of the following consequences: suspension or cancellation of use of access privileges, payments for damages and/or repairs, civil or criminal liability under other applicable laws.

The Center reserves the right to limit the amount of time an individual user can devote to a single session. The public must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, including laws governing the transmission and dissemination of information while accessing the Internet.

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Users may not:

• Use CRPIC for personal business ventures such as private tutoring, "for credit" or commercial business ventures.
• Use the network to make unauthorized entry into other computational, informational or communication services or resources.
• Transmit or receive obscene, abusive, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, disrespectful, or sexually explicit language.
• Access, review, upload, download, store, print, post, or distribute materials that use language or images that are obscene.
• Distribute unsolicited advertising.
• Access, review, upload, download, store, print, post, or distribute materials that use language or images that advocate violence or discrimination toward other people (hate literature) or that may constitute harassment or discrimination. Knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization, or to harass another person, or to engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.
• Engage in any illegal act or violate any local, state or federal statute or law. Invade the privacy of others.
• Vandalize, damage or disable the property of another person or organization, will not make deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt equipment, software or system performance by spreading computer viruses or by any other means, will not tamper with, modify or change the Center's software, hardware or wiring or take any action to violate the Center's security, and will not use the Center's equipment in such a way as to disrupt the use of the equipment by other users.
• Use the Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other rights of third parties, usage licensing agreements, or otherwise to use another person's property without the person's prior approval or proper citation, including the downloading or exchanging of pirated software or copying software to or from any of the Center's computers.
• Obscenity and child pornography are illegal according to Federal and state statutes.

According to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, obscenity must be determined using a three-part test.

To be obscene:

o (1) the average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interests;
o (2) the work must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct as specified in the applicable statutes; and
o (3) the work, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Child pornography may be determined using a slightly less rigorous test. To be child pornography, the work must involve depictions of sexual conduct specified in the applicable statutes and use images of children below a specified age. Materials "harmful to minors" include descriptions or representations of nudity, sexual conduct, or sexual excitement that appeal to the prurient, shameful, or morbid interest of minors; are patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

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Public Users' Security

Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. However, CRPIC will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation of the Center.

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Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment Policy

CRPIC is committed to providing an educational and training environment that is free of discrimination and unlawful harassment. Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, actual or perceived sexual orientation or any other legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated. Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors have no place in our educational and training environment.

Staff members, public users, clients and volunteers are prohibited from stating or implying that an individual’s submission to or rejection of such conduct will in any way affect his or her access to training or educational services and programs. All users, staff, and volunteers are prohibited from engaging in other sexual harassing conduct that may create an offensive educational and training environment, whether it is in the form of physical or verbal harassment.

This conduct includes, but is not limited to, repeated offensive or unwelcome touching, sexual flirtations or advancements, verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about a person’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe a person, the display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, and other offensive verbal or visual conduct or gestures. Such conduct can unreasonably interfere with CRPIC operations, the organization’s performance and create an intimidating, hostile and offensive educational and training environment. It will not be tolerated.

Employees, users, volunteers or clients suspecting the existence of – or experiencing – sexual or other harassment should immediately contact the management at CRPIC. CRPIC will promptly investigate any reported incidents and, if they are substantiated, will take all necessary and appropriate action, up to and including discharge or banning the offender from CRPIC organization and facility.

No employee, user or volunteer will suffer retaliation or intimidation as a result of coming forward in good faith with a charge of sexual harassment. Following is CRPIC's Official Policy on Harassment:

I. PURPOSE To Establish a Policy Concerning Harassment.

II. SCOPE This policy applies to all employees, volunteers, interns and users

III. POLICY The fundamental policy of CRPIC is that the organization is for the conduct of CRPIC’s mission and related business. Our goal is to provide an educational and training environment free from tensions involving matters, which do not relate to CRPIC’s mission and business. In particular, an atmosphere of tension created by non-work, non-educational or non-training related conduct, including ethnic, racial, sexual or religious remarks, animosity, threats, sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or other such inappropriate conduct does not belong in CRPIC.

Harassment of employees, applicants, volunteers, interns, or users by other employees, applicants, volunteers, interns, or user is prohibited. Harassment includes, without limitation, verbal harassment (e.g., epithets, innuendo, slurs, threats, derogatory statements, etc.), physical harassment (e.g., assault, physical interference with normal work or activities, etc.), visual harassment (e.g., body language, cartoons, posters, drawings, etc.), or any other forms of harassment.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome advances of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact and other verbal, visual or physical conduct when submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of employment or access to educational and training programs, or is used as the basis for employment or advancement decisions, or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational and training environment. An employee, volunteer, intern or user cannot be forced to submit to such conduct as a basis for any employment decision, or decision related to educational or training programs and services.

CRPIC will do its best to keep itself free of any conduct, which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work and educational environment for our employees, volunteers, interns and users.

IV. COMPLIANCE CRPIC’s officers, managers, supervisors, team leaders, volunteers and users are obligated to report to the Director any activities of their peers, staff, or volunteers that might violate this policy. All employees, volunteers, users and interns are strongly encouraged to report to their manager or a staff member any instances of ethnic, racial, religious or sexual harassment which they become aware of, or similarly any abusive verbal or physical conduct which interferes with any individual’s work performance, educational or training experience or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment.

If an employee, volunteer, intern or user feels uncomfortable bringing the matter to their manager or a staff member, they should speak directly with the Director who will ensure that the appropriate level of confidentiality is maintained to the extent possible. Any charges of harassment will be immediately and thoroughly investigated and a report will be made to the individual concerned concerning the results of the investigation and subsequent actions by CRPIC.

The Director is responsible for directing or conducting an independent investigation, including obtaining statements from the complainant and any witnesses. The Director will make a report with respect to the results of the investigation along with proposed remedial actions and/or disciplinary action. If CRPIC determines that harassment has occurred, appropriate relief for the employee, volunteer, intern or user bringing the complaint and appropriate disciplinary action against the harasser, up to and including immediate discharge, ban of access to CRPIC programs, services and facilities will follow. A non-employee who subjects an employee to harassment in the workplace will be informed of CRPIC’s policy and appropriate action will be taken. In all cases the Company will make follow-up inquiries to ensure that the harassment has not resumed.

CRPIC understands that these matters can be extremely sensitive, and so far as possible, will keep all employee, volunteer, intern and user complaints and all related communications, such as interviews and witness statements in strict confidence. CRPIC will not tolerate retaliation against any employee, volunteer, intern or user who complains of harassment or who provides information in connection with any such complaint. Violation of any portion of this policy shall subject an employee, volunteer, intern or user to disciplinary action, which action may include immediate termination and banning of access to CRPIC’s services, programs, and facility.

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