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The Senior Common Room (SCR) constitutes a distinct entity within Trinity College, subject only to the authority of the Board of Trustees, to which it reports (if necessary) through the Provost. The Senior Common Room controls the use of the rooms known as the Senior Common Room, the Combination Room, the Private Dining Room, and the High Table in Strachan Hall, in accordance with its constitution and by-laws as enacted from time to time. The Senior Common Room serves meals and holds events for members and special guests throughout the year.
When the East and West wings of Trinity College were constructed, a Senior Common Room was included in the plans, adjacent to Strachan Hall. According to a “Sub-committee on matters affecting the whole staff with regard to the new building,” the SCR should be open to all members of the staff, men and women, and their personal guests; tea should be served, and a Committee should be set up to make recommendations regarding the SCR. The sub-committee noted that “the high table in Hall is necessarily restricted to men.” In 1942, a Common Room Committee was established, consisting of the Dean of Residence (ex-officio) and three members elected by the College Committee, “of whom one shall retire annually and not be eligible for immediate re-election.” In 1968 the College Committee was renamed the Academic Council and in 1968 this body was split to form the Committee of the Teaching Staff and the Trinity College Council. At this time, it was recommended that the SCR become a self-governing body, with its own constitution. The first meeting of the Senior Common Room as a distinct entity was held on 29 April 1968.