The Senior Common Room (SCR)


The College Principal: The Revd Canon Dr Joseph Cassidy
The SCR President Dr William Apedaile
The SCR Secretary Paul Braidford
The SCR Treasurer The Revd Dr Ashley Wilson
Governing Body Rep. Sue Shaw

For an excellent introduction to the SCR, see the YouTube video below:

Information for members can be found here.

To view a copy of the SCR Constitution, click here.


The SCR

The Senior Common Room represents the interests of all College fellows, officers, academic staff and tutors in College. It exists to further the academic aims of the College by encouraging research activities throughout the year and by encouraging cross-disciplinary engagement across all three common rooms. It is also home to a larger and wonderfully diverse group of colleagues from all walks of life who share in the life and aims of the College.

In addition to its regular meetings and scheduled events, the SCR gathers together twice a week to dine a time not just to share food, but chiefly to share ideas and to welcome guests to the College.

The SCR has its own physical common room (pictured above); and, like the other common rooms, its members help to govern and manage the College by sitting on various College committees. SCR members sponsor lectures, have access to guest and function rooms, and are encouraged to contribute to College life beyond the life of the SCR itself.

Council of Fellows

In addition to the SCR, the Council of Fellows (which is to say all Fellows, Professorial Fellows, Senior Research Fellows, Research Fellows, Junior Research Fellows) meets to advise the Governing Body on academic and academic-related matters, chiefly to do with strategy, policies and quality-control.  It recommends Fellows for appointment by the Governing Body. The Principal chairs the Council. The life of the Council and the SCR obviously overlap to a great degree.

Academic events

A feature of the Chad's SCR is the regular 'colloquy' or conversation. Several times a term before Formal Hall, two or three members of the SCR (and or guests) have a two-way or three-way conversation in public, usually in their area of academic expertise. This allows members to be kept abreast of each other's work without requiring one another to give formal lectures.  After the colloquy, everyone joins in the fray -- and it can become a real fray when controversial issues are addressed and when passions are really engaged.  At those moments, no one is in any doubt that ideas matter.

The SCR also sponsors more formal lectures, poetry readings, round-tables, literary and musical events throughout the year, bridging the worlds of the academy, business, government, religion and culture. The various artists, poets and writers in residence, as well as Visiting Fellows are all encouraged to share in the life of the SCR and indeed to introduce members to their work.

The SCR sponsors several scholarships, supports various charities and works closely with the Collegiate Studies Programme throughout the year.

Social events

In addition to regular business meetings each term, the SCR sponsor a small number of purely social events throughout the year. These range from guest nights and wine-tastings to dances and film-nights.

SCR members are asked to give College at least one week's advance warning of their intention to attend these extra social events by ringing the Admin Support Office on 334 3337. 

High Table

The College dines formally twice a week (meeting at 7.00pm for pre-dinner drinks ('preprands') in the SCR and for dinner at 7.30). Due to high demand for places, SCR members may dine at high table a maximum of three times per term (or more frequently when invited by the Principal or Vice-Principal; guest nights are in addition to the three-times per term guideline). Bookings for normal sittings of high table should be made by lunchtime of the day in question by ringing 334 3337 or in person via Reception or the College's Conference Office.

The Rector or Principal presides (when present) at High Table; otherwise the Vice-Principal, Chaplain, Bursar or SCR President will preside in their stead. (If none of these is present, then a College Fellow will preside, either by common agreement or by order of seniority.) Presiding is not onerous, though the one presiding needs to interact with whoever is presiding over JCR and MCR tables and with the kitchen staff to ensure the smooth running of the evening. Presiding should not interfere with the laid-back 'informal-formality' of the evening.

Undress gowns are worn by Senior Common Room members unless meals are immediately preceded by a College congregation (when dress gowns will often be worn). Gowns are generally not worn by guests (although graduate members of other colleges or the University are not discouraged from wearing them).

Combination Evenings

At least once a term, the College dispenses with High Table for formal hall. This encourages a mixing of the common rooms, giving everyone a chance to get to know one another.  While there is still a pre-dinner reception in the SCR, the regular post-dinner cheese and port is held in the Quad instead of the SCR. Attending these combination events is especially important for those members of the SCR not otherwise connected with the University.

SCR membership

The SCR is first and foremost an academic body and all members are expected to make an ongoing academic contribution to the academic and research-led life of the College.