Winthrop University: Cultural Events - Petition Process

Cultural Events

Petition Process

Submitting a Cultural Events Petition

The purpose of the Cultural Events petition process is to allow students to receive Cultural Event credit for past experiences that are considered to be culturally significant. There are several different types of experiences that students can petition for Cultural Event credit, including off-campus events (e.g., attendance at a Broadway musical), travel within the U.S. and abroad, and military service. There is no limit to how old these experiences can be; however, the Cultural Events Committee will only consider petitions for post-high school experiences.

Petitions may be submitted by e-mail to the Cultural Events Coordinator at or turned in as hard copies to the Office of Records & Registration at 126 Tillman Hall.

Petitions for On-Campus Events

Students who attend on-campus Cultural Events but do not receive credit for their attendance should notify the Cultural Events Coordinator immediately, as they may be required to submit a petition. In this petition, students must include the following:

  • A completed Cultural Event Petition Form (PDF - 331 KB).
  • A one-page report (minimum of 250 words) on the event. This paper must be typed and should include a discussion of the student's experience at the event, including what happened at the event and what the student learned. Students will also need to explain why they did not receive credit for their attendance; this must be a legitimate excuse. [Note: Students who arrive late to events will not be able to receive credit for their attendance, even through a petition.]
  • Proof of attendance such as a ticket stub or receipt and/or photo of the student at the event.

Petitions for Off-Campus Events

Students who attend off-campus events may be eligible to receive Cultural Event credit for their experiences; however, these events must be similar in nature to those that have been - or would likely be - approved as Cultural Events if they were held on campus. [Note: A list of examples may be found here.] For this type of Cultural Event petition, students must include the following:

  • A completed Cultural Events Petition Form (PDF - 331 KB).
  • A written report (minimum of 250 words). This paper must be typed and should include a discussion of the student's experience. The purpose of this is to help the committee ascertain that you did, in fact, attend the event. Therefore, it should be personal in nature. Therefore, the report should be personal in nature. It should include your personal reaction to the event (whether you loved it or hated it!). A plot summary, in the case of a play, opera, or musical, for example, is not necessary or even useful, but your reaction to the sets or costuming or performance is relevant. Tell us about the event and how you felt about it. Add significant details. Be checked over for correct spelling, grammar, etc. Spelling is particularly relevant in the case of a museum visit for example. If you cannot spell the artist's name, the committee will doubt that you got anything out of your visit. Take notes during your visit so that you can accurately write up the event later.
  • Proof of attendance such as a ticket stub/receipt. If there is no admission, a brochure and/or photo(s) of the student at the event will suffice [Note: It must be clear in the photo(s) that the student is, in fact, at the event].

Petitions for Travel Experiences

Students can earn Cultural Event credit for travel experiences in the U.S. and abroad.

Travel within the U.S. should include a significant cultural component (e.g., visiting a national museum or historic site.) Although a trip to Yellowstone National Park or a cruise in the Bahamas might be interesting, it likely would not qualify as a Cultural Event. Travel abroad may include student exchange programs. One or more credits may be granted for such travel experiences or in cases where the student has visited multiple countries. If credit is being sought simply for traveling in foreign countries, students may receive no more than one cultural event credit per country. Students, however, may seek more than one credit per country for specific cultural experiences; in such cases, the same criteria used to determine cultural event credit for experiences within the United States will be applied. In this petition, students should include the following:

  • A single completed Cultural Events Petition Form (PDF - 331 KB).
  • Proof of travel such as a plane ticket/receipt, boarding pass, travel itinerary, or stamped passport. Students should also include photos to help supplement the petition. [Note: It must be clear in the photo(s) that the student is, in fact, at the location.]
  • A written report. This paper should be a minimum of 2-3 pages long; however, students may use as many pages as they would like to discuss their experience. In the write-up, students should detail and describe the things that they saw and did on their trip, especially those which were of a cultural nature. For example, a report on a trip to Paris might include the following statements: "I visited the Cathedral de Notre dame, the Sacre Cour, and the Left Bank of the Seine. I also spent the afternoon at the Louvre Museum, where I saw The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci and many other famous paintings. I would the architecture of the new pyramid addition to the museum quite fascinating. In addition, I attended a performance by the opera Carmen at the Paris Opera in the evening." The rubric for assessing these write-ups is as follows. Students should (but are not guarranteed) to receive:
    • +1 credit per country (this would be automatically awarded based on your proof of travel) 
    • +1 credit for discussing the international cuisine (i.e., talk about the food you ate abroad and how it relates to the culture[s] you visited)
    • +1 credit for discussing your interactions with the locals (i.e., did they teach you anything interesting about their culture - did you take note of any cultural differences?)
    • +1 for each culturally-distinct event attended (e.g., touring a national landmark or historical site, visiting an art museum, attending a theatre, etc. For these, you would need to include photos of yourself on site and, if there is an admission fee, provide a scanned copy or screenshot of your ticket/receipt.)

Petitions for Military Experiences (Student Veterans)

Students who have served in the military are eligible to receive Cultural Event credit for their military experiences. In order to receive credit, students must submit a military petition to the Cultural Events Committee. These petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Upon receiving a petition, the committee will assess the nature of a student's experience and determine how many credits they should receive. A maximum of nine (9) Cultural Event credits will be awarded to students for this type of petition. In this petition, please include:

  • A single completed Cultural Events Petition Form (PDF - 331 KB).
  • A well-written, detailed report of their military experience. This paper may be as many pages long as students feel is necessary to discuss their military experiences. Students may wish to include information about countries they visited, cultures they explored, and people they met while on active duty. In addition, students may wish to discuss their leisure time spent off-duty, including any recreation they took part in that may be considered culturally significant (e.g., dance performances, music recitals, museum tours, festivals, etc.). As proof of these leisure activities, students may include photos, tickets, brochures, and other such materials to supplement their petition.
  • Your military service will be verified by the Office of Records & Registration; however, if they do not have that information on file, we will contact you to request your DD Form 214 certificate of release or discharge from active duty.

Petitions for a Portfolio of Experiences (Post-Traditional Students)

Post traditional students may receive Cultural Event credit for past experiences that are considered to be culturally significant. This petition is primarily designed to allow students to receive credit for experiences they underwent since high-school and prior to matriculation at Winthrop University. Students who submit portfolio petitions are strongly encouraged to do so after their first semester of enrollment at Winthrop University.

A portfolio petition is designed to illuminate those activities and life experiences which a student has had which are unrelated to college activities. Consideration will be given for experiences such as travel (foreign or domestic), museum visits, and attendance or participation in plays, dance programs, operas, or concerts done by professional, college, or community groups. Therefore, in the case of transfer students, no consideration will be given for activities participated in or attended at another college while they were a student there. Allowance is already made for that by the reduction in the number of overall Cultural Events credit they must obtain at Winthrop. In this petition, please include:

  • A single completed Cultural Events Petition Form (PDF - 331 KB).
  • The portfolio petition should accompany a well written, detailed report.
  • The committee does not expect a student to have ticket stubs or programs relating to plays attended; however they do expect a detailed report (i.e., provide titles of plays, location, and a description about the performance, your intake and experiences from this event). The idea is to give the committee a clear understanding of those things which you have been involved with and/or attended, how they affected you, and some sense of your continuing commitment to such activities as a participant or audience member.
  • The portfolio may contain programs or photographs.
  • The more experiences you cite in some detail, the better your chances are of getting the maximum number of cultural events credits on the portfolio itself.

Decision of Petition

In all cases once a petition is approved or denied by the Cultural Events Committee, the Cultural Events Coordinator will notify the student and will enter the approved petition(s) into the student's record. The Office of Records & Registration keeps the complete petition on file for one year. After that, reports and supporting materials will be discarded, and a copy of the petition form itself is all that is retained permanently. If you submit materials that you wish to have returned please mark these clearly with your name and with "return" and make sure you come back to the Office of Records & Registration to claim them.

Appealing Cultural Event Petition Decision

A student reserves the right to appeal a decision made by the Cultural Events Committee. Students may request to appeal a petition decision to the Cultural Events Coordinator. The Coordinator will assist the student to begin the appeal process.

Note: Students may not earn more than one half of the total required cultural event credit through a single event (e.g. trip abroad, conference). It should be noted, and strongly emphasized, that failure to attain the approval of the Cultural Events Committee does not reflect upon the quality or the validity of any event, nor the committee's support for the program being presented, only its relevance to the specific goals of the cultural events requirement.

For clarification or questions about submitting a petition feel free to contact the Cultural Events Coordinator.

The Cultural Events Committee reserves the right to award less than full Cultural Event credit to students if it feels that they would benefit from exposure to on-campus Cultural Event programming or if it feels that these experiences represent a rather narrow focus and wishes to encourage them to broaden their experiences. 







Last Updated: 12/11/19