Current Students

Policies & Procedures

Production equipment policies and procedures vary by department so please check with your academic program coordinator.

In general: Equipment is only available to students currently enrolled in specific COM classes or student activity groups. Special requests can be made to the Director of Technology at

When checking out equipment it is important to bring your Boston University Terrier Card. The information provided on the card will gain you access to the equipment database.

The College of Communication’s technical staff is here to assist with any COM equipment hardware issues between the hours of 9am-9pm. The Technical Staff will not assist in software questions. Please direct all software related questions to your professor or teaching assistant.

The College of Communication’s Computer Support Department located in room 205is here to assist students with COM owned computers and printers only. The Computer Support Department is open between the hours of 9am-9pm Monday-Friday.

Please see the IT Help Center website at for all non-COM computer hardware.

In addition to the computing policies set forth by the Office of Information Technology, Computer Support Services maintains a number of policies and procedures related to computer hardware and software, as well as IT-related COM facilities.

Software Policies

  • The installation of any software not authorized or purchased by CSS on COM-owned computer systems is prohibited. This is primarily directed towards personally purchased software, but also applies to “freeware” such as instant messaging clients, peer-to-peer network applications, bit-torrent software, and any other software CSS deems unsuitable for the COM IT environment.
  • The distribution of software purchased by CSS to individuals for installation on their personal computers is prohibited. CSS purchases Departmental licenses of software, and these licenses explicitly prohibit installation on privately owned computers. Violation of this agreement is considered copyright infringement and is prosecutable by federal law. Please visit the Business Software Alliance website for more information on software piracy.
  • Administrative-level access to COM-purchased systems is prohibited. Due to reasons of network security and University policies regarding departmental systems, students, faculty, and staff are not allowed to have Administrative access, preventing them from adding, removing, or significantly modifying software.
  • If a personally-owned computer system (usually a laptop) is going to be used in COM facilities and connected to the BU network (either over Wi-Fi or a wired connection), CSS strongly recommends that the system have regularly updated anti-virus and anti-malware (such as spyware) software installed and running on the system. If CSS discovers a personal computer on the network that is not running current anti-virus software, we will insist that it be taken off the network.

Hardware Policies

  • As noted on the main page of this website, CSS does not provide support for privately owned computer systems, particularly laptops. For reasons of liability, it is our policy that privately owned systems should be serviced by the vendors or manufacturers that sold these systems. For this reason, we strongly suggest that anyone who is purchasing a new, privately owned system invest in a manufacturer’s or vendor’s service and support agreement.
  • In the same vein, CSS prohibits the permanent installation of personal computers, printers, or network hardware (specifically wireless access points or multi-port Ethernet switches) within COM facilities. This does not mean faculty and staff can’t occasionally hook a personal laptop up to the network – it is just to prevent personal computers from residing on the BU network and BU property on a permanent basis for reasons of network and physical security liability.
  • In addition, CSS (and OIT) prohibits the installation of any unauthorized server or server-type service running on either COM-owned or personally owned hardware. Any server-type service running in COM must be installed and administered by a member of the COM technical staff (either CSS staff or other authorized staff members).
  • Any COM-purchased system – desktop or laptop – must be secured with a CSS-approved security cable when left unattended within any BU-owned facility, and COM-purchased laptops must be secured with a CSS-approved security cable any time they are left unattended, either on or off campus.