The faculty may vote as early as next week on a measure that would forbid students in the Class of 2012 and beyond from using the Credit/D/Fail option in classes taken to fulfill distribution requirements.

The Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee (CEP) is expected to submit a motion at Monday's faculty meeting addressing the question and recommending that the body vote in favor of the rule change.

"The ability of students to broaden their 'capacities to view and interpret the world from a variety of perspectives' and to develop 'proficiencies in new areas of knowledge' requires sustained, active engagement in courses across the curriculum," reads a draft of the motion provided to the Orient.

"Though many students who elect the Credit/D/Fail option do fully participate in a serious and thoughtful manner," it continues, "many students in required courses appear to be using the Credit/D/Fail option to lighten their workload by decreasing the need to engage with course material in which they are not particularly interested."

The issue of whether students should be allowed to exercise the Credit/D/Fail option for required classes came up last April, when Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) proposed a Grade/Credit/D/Fail option?which would essentially allow students to choose to record whatever grade they earned above a 'D'?as a way to encourage engagement.

However, the faculty remanded the issue to the CEP, insisting that the committee review the policy of allowing Credit/D/Fail in required classes before any other changes were considered.

The CEP is composed of eight professors and two students, with the dean of academic affairs and the president serving as ex officio members.

Not every member of the committee favors the rule change.

"Requiring students to take such courses for a grade may actually discourage exploration and encourage students to seek 'easier' courses within the categories rather than the most interesting or most challenging," dissenting members wrote in opposition to the committee's recommendation.

Bowdoin has broadened its distribution requirements twice in three years, most recently mandating that students entering the College in 2006 or later take at least one course in each of the following categories: mathematical, computational, or statistical reasoning; inquiry in the natural sciences; exploring social differences; international perspectives; and visual or performing arts.

If the faculty votes to eliminate the Credit/D/Fail option, the CEP will recommend that a working group be formed to discuss the logistics of implementing the new rule before making a final recommendation to the faculty later in the spring. It will also advise that any new policy apply only to next year's first-year class and beyond.

Student government discussed the Credit/D/Fail issue at a meeting Wednesday (see article, page 3). BSG President Dustin Brooks '08 said he and other members of the body will be assembling outside the faculty meeting to express their opposition to the proposed change. BSG encourages other students to join them.

"Students who want to show up and talk to their professors as they come through are welcome to," Brooks said.

The student representatives will be handing out copies of a resolution the body passed Wednesday opposing the CEP's recommendation.

"We'll be handing out pamphlets that explain our policies on one side," Brooks said. "On the other side will be stories of students who used Credit/D/Fail to good effect."