Howard University

Student Affairs Committee

The Student Affairs Committee has prepared this handout, “Information for Students,” to facilitate the submission of petitions and to advise institutional stakeholders of the decision-making process. The authority of the Committee and the substantive standards guiding its work are determined by the faculty and the administration with consideration of the input of the Student Bar Association (SBA). The Committee has limited jurisdiction. The Committee considers petitions submitted by students, faculty, and administration, including but not limited to petitions for re-admission; waiver of academic rules; and requests to visit at other institutions. It does not, however, consider petitions regarding grades. Decisions are made by majority vote. Student members share a single vote. Students may submit a petition to the full faculty after a decision by the Committee.

The Committee reviews the merit of each and every matter within its jurisdiction. Its approval should not be expected as a matter of course or on a pro forma basis.

The Committee considers any and all relevant evidence, including but not limited to a report by the Dean of Students, which may include such information as is within the non-confidential personal knowledge of the Dean of Students. The Committee proceeds in an informal and non-adversarial manner. It considers student petitions under the relevant rules of the university, law school, law faculty, American Bar Association (ABA), and Association of American Law Schools (AALS). It seeks where and when possible to follow its own precedent.

Students who wish to submit a petition may do so be delivering one (1) copy to the Dean of Students or one (1) copy to the Chair of the Committee. The Dean of Students and/or the Chair will distribute copies to the members. Students also may submit a petition via e-mail to the Dean of Students or the Chair of the Committee. Please include in your petition your current mailing address and phone number.

Students are advised to consult the Student Affairs Guide and the H-Book and to be aware of the relevant standards applicable to their petition, prior to submitting a petition. While the Committee may exercise its discretion to allow students to supplement their petitions, students would be well served by preparing a petition that addresses every aspect of the relevant standards. Although students are not required to submit documentary evidence other than their own statements contained in their petition, they should consider whether their petitions would be more persuasive if supported by documentary evidence from other sources. Any such supporting materials should be submitted in writing. Letters are acceptable, and they should clearly identify the writer, his/her title and institutional affiliation, and contact information. The Committee will not contact individuals who have submitted such supporting materials without the permission of the petitioner(s).

Students should feel free to discuss their concerns with the Dean of Students. They are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students p1~or to 5~bmifting a petition and as soon as issues arise that may require lat they do so. A number of matters can be processed by the Dean of Students within his/her discretion, without the need for a petition to the Committee. Other than with respect to the Dean of Students, students re not encouraged to discuss their petitions with Committee members, whether through written, oral, electronic, or other means, at any time, whether prior to filing, while a matter is pending~ or after a decision as been rendered. Individual faculty members, however, have the autonomy to exercise their own professional judgment in these matters. No individual member of the Committee, including the Chair and the Dean of Students, has authority to bind the Committee to a particular decision on a petition.

The Committee makes every effort to maintain the ~0~fldentiality of the matters it considers. Other than as lay be required by law or authorized by the law school administration or faculty or the Committee by majority vote, no aspect of the petitions considered by the Committee, including but not limited to papers led with the Committee and its deliberations, are to be divulged to individuals who are not members of the committee or the petitioner(s).

A list of the members of the Student Affairs Committee is available from the Office of Student Affairs. The committee meets on an as needed basis.

The Committee, by majority vote, approved this document on March 30, 2000.