Recording Committee

One of the major functions of the Recording Committee is to serve as the academic rules and regulations appeal committee. All of its decisions are final. There are times when exceptions to academic regulations or curricular requirements are appropriate. However, in order to maintain the integrity of the Bowdoin degree, and ensure fairness and consistency, the Recording Committee approves all such exceptions.

One of the most common petitions to the Recording Committee is a petition to drop a class after the drop deadline. Some petitions are approved and others denied. The circumstances of the individual student's petition are what guide the decision. Generally, if there's an extreme medical or personal circumstance, something beyond the student's control, drop petitions are approved. They are not approved if a student is simply trying to avoid a disappointing grade.

The Recording Committee believes strongly in student accountability and responsibility. In general, petitions are only approved if the Committee determines that the situation is something truly beyond the student's control.

Before You Decide to Petition...

Can you make a convincing case why an exception should be made for you? You need to think through carefully why a rule that applies to others should be waived for you, and argue that point convincingly in the statement of your petition.

What Should Your Petition Include?

Your petition should include a typed statement (maximum length: 1 page) that addresses all relevant questions the Committee could be expected to ask in its deliberations. You must present compelling justification for requesting an exception to policy.

Depending on the nature of the request, some petitions may require supporting documentation from a faculty member, doctor, counselor, or the Director of Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. It is your responsibility to present your case fully. The Committee will not make assumptions in your favor when information necessary to support your case is missing.

Finally, your petition must also include your signature and the signature of your dean and advisor so be sure to schedule appointments with both your dean and advisor. (Note: Your dean and advisor's signatures on a petition signify that you have discussed the petition and/or the petition process; it does not necessarily mean that your dean or advisor approves or supports your petition.)

When Should Your Petition Be Filed?

The Recording Committee meets every other week during the semester and does not regularly meet after the last day of classes. Submit your completed petition to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. The deadline for a completed petition to be considered by the Committee is two full working days before the bi-weekly meetings. For example, if the Committee meets on Wednesdays, the petition should be filed by 10:00 a.m. the Friday before the meeting. Petitions received after that time will be reviewed at the next Recording Committee meeting. The Dean's Office will not accept petitions that are not complete.

Recording Committee Petition Form [pdf]

What Should You Do After Filing?

Until you receive notification of the Committee's decision, take no action that may adversely affect your status in a course. Keep going to class. You will receive notice of the Committee's decision the day after the meeting.