I recently submitted my completed Bachelors Thesis. In the guidelines we were given for the thesis, it was stipulated that the thesis should not be more than a certain amount of pages long. My thesis due to the nature of the topic it deals with ended up being quite a bit longer than that.
I spoke to my supervisor about this issue and he said that it would not be a problem, and that the guidelines were there mainly to give an idea and that they shouldn't be restrictive based on length. Upon submission of my thesis to our program coordinator, however, the program coordinator complained about the length of the thesis to me and phoned my supervisor.
The program coordinator informed my supervisor and myself that I was in a violation of the rules of my bachelor's thesis and I would be penalized as a result (in terms of the mark I would receive for my thesis). I've since received my marks for the thesis and I've discussed the issue with my supervisor and a former head of department, they agree I was unfairly penalized and are writing to the program coordinator to help resolve this issue.
Furthermore my supervisor and former head of department made it known to me that those guidelines I quoted above were only internal (departmental) guidelines, they are not strict guidelines that our university enforces, and it doesn't stipulate anywhere in our official university handbook regarding these matters that our Bachelors theses need to be maximum of x pages. Also, it seems that the program coordinator has enforced the penalization without any external consultation.
As a result of this unfair penalization of my thesis, I will miss out on receiving summa cum laude with my degree which is the highest honors attainable. This may affect my future Masters applications.
Here is my take on the situation: Objectively I do think I was in a violation of the thesis guidelines rules, but it essentially feels like I am being punished for doing too much work.
What can I do (or what should I do) in this situation?
At the moment it seems that I cannot do much, especially regarding the issue that my applications to other universities will contain an unfairly lowered mark and degree status. I don't think I can mention to the universities I'm applying to of my situation in any case as I doubt anyone will care if one of the many applicants to these universities has had some problem like this, plus it may just seem downright odd.
Let me mention that I do not want to put my supervisor in an awkward position as I am grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to do my thesis on my chosen topic and he has been a great mentor to me and I do not want to sour our relationship by bickering over marks. The same goes for the former head of department, who is a former lecturer of mine and who has provided me with numerous opportunities, I do not wish to wish to sour my relationship with her over an issue such as this.