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The beginnings of Welch House at Trinity College can be traced back to the 1940s, when the eastern edifice of the Hoskin Avenue campus was erected in 1941 amidst significant delays due to the Second World War. However, the modern form of Welch College was not realised until 1986, when, under the oversight of then-newly appointed Provost Robert H. Painter, Trinity College residences underwent a significant overhaul. As part of this restructuring, Welch was firmly defined as a social house by the college administration.
Since then, Welch has been a centre for undergraduate student activity and social life, playing host to a wide array of events and parties throughout the school year. In addition, Welch annually publishes and sells a calendar, the proceeds of which go to supporting local charities. Over the years many Welch House residents have become student Heads as well as executives in levied clubs and the Trinity College Meeting.
One notable aspect of Welch is that it is an all-male residence, a legacy of the historical segregation of male and female students at Trinity College. This fact, along with the fact that Welch is a noticeably small house, has allowed its inhabitants to enjoy a strong camaraderie and highly social atmosphere that distinguishes Welch from other houses. These strong ties are exhibited in the mock student administration that has existed in Welch since 1988. The “University of Welch at the University of Trinity College at the University of Toronto” (formerly known as “Welch College”) is the centrepiece of the highly satirical, often farcical nature of student interaction within Welch, with a de jure Dean of Welch, who tends to be a third-year undergraduate, providing humour and satire. These are often exhibited through inter-urinary memorandums (IUMs), notices and messages which are posted by the Dean of Welch above the urinals of the house’s washrooms, that have been a Welch tradition since 1992.
Although the Male Head of College and Arts is the primary student authority within Welch, sharing responsibility on an annually rotating basis, the mock administration exercises control over social life in the house, and is responsible for the planning of student events.
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