IT Facilities

Somerville has a very wide range of IT facilities for use by the students.

Along with several computer rooms provided by the College for graduates and undergraduates, there is also a stock of laptops for loan to students who require them for academic use. Every student room is now connected to the university network, which not only provides Internet access, but opens up a whole host of software and other facilities that are provided by the departments and services within the university.

  • The Palmer Room is the main College computer room and has a selection of top of the range PCs along with a laser printer, scanner, CD writers and many varied software packages. The room is located in Park building and is in use 24/7.
  • Margery Fry Computer room is located in the graduate accommodation building of the same name, and offers a similar array of PCs with a printer, and software for general use.
  • The Bannister room is the Medics computer room located in the Wolfson building and has PCs for use by the Medics of Somerville for their research. Printing facilities are also available here.
  • The College Library contains a number of workstations used to access the wide array of electronic resources provided by Oxford University Library Services.
  • The DHQ Music room also has a dedicated PC running the Sibelius software for use by our students, there is also a network version of Sibelius available, which means that they can install a copy of the product onto their own PCs and work from their rooms.

Other facilities available to our students include a colour laser printer, digital camera, advice and help with most computing needs.


Rules for IT Facilities

The following rules are necessary if we are to ensure the integrity and security of the network and maintain a reasonable working environment in College. One inconsiderate user can stop everyone from being able to use the computers.

Any breach of these rules will mean immediate suspension of the users account and the incident reported, in the case of students, to the Dean; reinstatement of the account will only be considered after representation from the students’ personal tutor.

General Rules

  • Use of computer equipment and software owned by College or University is permitted for bona fide academic and College purposes only, and is bound by the University’s Computer Usage Rules and Etiquette.
  • Users must not intentionally or otherwise disrupt or interfere with the work of other users or staff.
  • All users must respect the provisions of the Copyright Laws.
  • All users must act within the Data Protection legislation.
  • Somerville College accepts no liability for any loss of data or consequential damage arising from use of its computer systems.
  • Somerville College reserves the right to monitor and restrict the use of ANY computer connected to the Colleges network. In some cases of dispute the College reserves the right to take copies of any hard disks connected to ANY computer involved, this is for your own protection as well as the Colleges. This includes personally owned computers.

Rules for College Computer Facilities Use

  • Smoking, drinking or eating is not permitted in any of the computer rooms.
  • Only the designated user of an account may use it. There are no shared accounts. You must not let other people know your password.
  • No changes whatsoever may be made to the software configuration of the computers.
  • “Logged in” workstations must not be left unattended – this is a security risk and antisocial.
  • All work must be backed up to removable disk at the end of each session. College makes NO commitment to preserve ANY user’s data on the hard disks or server. This includes personal configuration files and mail. You may NOT assume that any of your files will be in your account the next time that you log on. College computer equipment may not be used for commercial purposes.
  • No illegal activities may be carried out using the College equipment.
  • No material that may cause offence is to be accessed, viewed, stored or printed on the computer equipment, e.g. pornography.
  • No hardware or software may be used which compromises the security of the network or the privacy of users.
  • Do not move the computer units on the worktops. This can upset the cabling, potentially compromising the network or preventing a workstation from operating.
  • All users’ software must be removed from the local hard disks at the end of each session, e.g. your personal files must be removed from the C: drives.
  • No connections may be changed or made to any of the computer hardware without specific consent
  • The playing of games in College computer rooms is forbidden.
  • Users wishing to do work on the computers have priority over chat line users, Internet explorers etc.
  • It is forbidden to send mail to the system defined groups, e.g. #EVERYONE, #JUNIOR etc.
  • The sending of unsolicited junk mail is forbidden – e.g. chain letters.
  • There is no reserving of terminals. If someone’s personal belongings are crowded around an unattended terminal you should log them out and dump their stuff on the table. Do not complain if this happens and you lose your work!
  • Personal belongings must not be left in the computer room.
  • People wishing to use the scanner have priority on that machine provided that other stations are free.
  • The copying of licensed software from the system is forbidden.

Rules for Network Use

  • No equipment other than a single Ethernet card in a computer may be connected to the Ethernet socket.
  • Only a single registered Ethernet Card may be used.
  • The use of Wi-Fi hubs/switches, AirPort Extreme Base Stations and other hubs or switches are forbidden
  • Network connection sharing is forbidden
  • Members with computers in their rooms will be held personally responsible for the content of their computer and for any use to which their computer has been put.
  • If a member’s computer compromises the efficient running of the network it will be disconnected.
  • Member’s computers may not run games servers, mail, web or other form of server or file/resource service.
  • Members who share their computer resources are not recognised as System Administrators and may not act in that privileged position in respect of the University Security and Privacy Policy.
  • College will not recognise any obligations made to outside parties concerning the use of a computer attached to the College network.
  • Ethernet connectivity will be maintained whenever possible; however, College may need to take the Ethernet down at short notice and therefore cannot guarantee connectivity.
  • There is no College responsibility to maintain an Ethernet connection.
  • In the event of a breach of University or College rules the use of the Ethernet socket will be suspended until the matter is resolved.
  • Self updating antivirus software, with on-access scanning enabled, must be installed whilst you are connected to the college network. The college provides members with antivirus software, which you can download here.
  • You must make sure that your computer has the latest security patches installed.
  • If anyone feels that another user is unnecessarily troubling him or her, they should report the matter to the IT Systems Manager

In cases of dispute, the IT Managers decision will be final. These rules are correct at time of going to press; the College reserves the right to change these rules at any time.


IT Acceptable Use Policy

Somerville College provides IT and network facilities for use by members of the College and visitors to the College subject to the terms and conditions stated in this policy. Under no circumstances shall this policy limit the applicability or obscure the intentions of any other policy or legislation that already govern computer use at Somerville College.

Definition of Terms

  1. Without limiting its generality, the term IT facilities shall be taken to include: free standing computers, networked computers, time-shared computers and terminals; services or software running on those systems; networking that connects a computer or terminal to any other computer or terminal; computer peripherals; media (CDs, DVDs, USB Memory Sticks, etc.); components; operating manuals and other documentation.

External Conditions of Use

  1. Some IT facilities are provided by Somerville College through contractual agreements with third party organisations. Users of IT facilities must abide by the terms and conditions of these agreements such as are in force at the time;
  2. Of prime importance is the JANET Acceptable Use Policy as stated by UKERNA (latest version is available online at
  3. Users must read this before using computer facilities at Somerville College.A copy may be provided; otherwise you should obtain this for yourself. If you have difficulty obtaining this document then please contact IT Support as described in the ‘Reporting of Problems’ section;
  4. Other requirements specific to computer use currently include:
    • Computer Misuse Act (1990);
    • Data Protection Act (1998);
    • Rules of Oxford University Computing Services;
    • Oxford University Statement of IT Security and Privacy;
    • Oxford University disclaimer of liability;
    • Microsoft CAMPUS agreement;
    • Licenses for other installed software.

Authorisation to Use IT Facilities

  1. Authorisation to use IT facilities may only be granted by the IT Systems Manager of Somerville College. Authorisation will generally be granted to members of the College and visitors registered with the College;
  2. It is not permitted for members of the College and visitors to allow use of Somerville College IT facilities by anyone not registered with the College

Acceptable Use

  1. IT facilities are provided for use by visitors during their stay at Somerville College;
  2. Under no circumstances may IT facilities be used for conducting business or other commercial activities;
  3. Users of IT facilities are not permitted to use IT facilities for any of the following:
    • any unlawful activity;
    • the creation, transmission, storage, downloading or display of any offensive, obscene, indecent or menacing images, data or other material or any data capable of being resolved into such images or material;
    • the creation or transmission of material which is designed or likely to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety, or to harass another person;
    • the creation or transmission of defamatory material about any individual or organisation;
    • the sending of any email that does not correctly identify the sender of that email or attempts to disguise the identity of the computer from which it was sent;
    • the transmission, without proper authorisation, of email to a large number of recipients, unless those recipients have indicated an interest in receiving such email, or the sending or forwarding of email which is intended to encourage the propagation of copies of itself;
    • the creation, access or transmission of material in such a way as to infringe a copyright, moral right, trade mark or other intellectual property right;
    • private profit, except to the extent authorised under the users conditions of employment or other agreement with the College; or commercial purposes without specific authorisation;
    • gaining or attempting to gain unauthorised access to any facility or service within or outside Somerville College, or making any attempt to disrupt or impair such a service;
    • the deliberate or reckless undertaking of activities such as may result in the following:
      • the waste of staff effort or network resources, including time on any system accessible via the Colleges network;
      • the corruption or disruption of data;
      • the violation of the privacy of other users;
      • the disruption of the work of other users;
      • the introduction or transmission of a virus into the network.

Monitoring and Control

  1. Somerville College IT facilities are managed by appointed system administrators who are the IT Systems Manager and the IT Support Assistants;
  2. The system administrators reserve the right to monitor the usage of IT facilities, including network traffic. Any records taken will be retained for an appropriate length of time and will be held securely;
  3. In the event of an alleged breach of this policy, or other circumstances that are deemed by the system administrators to warrant such a response, then access to IT facilities may be restricted or suspended. Members of the College and Visitors will be notified of the reasons and action taken.

Reporting of Problems

  1. A Member of the College or Visitor may contact IT staff during office hours by email to or by telephone on 01865 (2)70597;
  2. Any problems with the provided IT facilities should be reported in a timely manner so that IT staff can make suitable arrangements;
  3. If consumable resources (e.g. paper, toner) are running low and need replenishing then this should be reported before they are exhausted so that IT staff have adequate time to acquire suitable stock.