I would love it if we could find a non-browser way for us to be able to continue to chat. Sure, all internet traffic is probably monitored, but if it were some kind of... command line encrypted jabber client, wouldn't that kind of operate under the radar? Or maybe we could SSH to a common server and use one of the *nix tools for talking on the same server?
Ethics professors: Yes I realize she could just respect her employer's policy but... zero chat?! You have GOT to be kidding me! Plus, I doubt getting caught doing some occasional chatting is going to get her fired, probably just a warning. She's a great employee otherwise. And, this is our quality of life we're talking about here!"