Welcome to the SCR

By Benedict Douglas, SCR President

The Senior Common Room (SCR) is the fourth of the College’s common rooms. It is a bit like an elephant, in that it has so many different aspects it is famously difficult to describe, and food is very important to it, but its main attributes are community and friendliness. It exists to enable people who are not undergraduates to participate in and support the life of the college.

Its members come from the local, college and university community. They meet for a buffet lunch on Wednesday and twice termly formal dinners. SCR members also sit on high table at the weekly College formal dinners and you may have seen us enjoying college brunch on Saturdays. This year we have also had a Wine Tasting, theatre trips and a weekend on the Isle of Lindisfarne. The SCR supports the students by offering summer travel bursaries and, this year, a prize for the best snowman.

I’ve never been very comfortable organising anything bigger than a rowing outing, but I agreed to be SCR president because I have found that the university’s academics are largely unaware of what the colleges do and the community they can offer. Most young academics have short term contracts for one or two years, often far away from their friends and family. Combined with pressures to teach well, publish in the best journals, and apply for the next job, it can be a very stressful, insecure and sometimes lonely time. College provides such a supportive environment for our students, and I would like to help academics to also find a home in John’s.

In the next couple of years we are planning to renovate our common room, and I hope to be able to offer accommodation to academics within the College. If you would like to know more please get in touch.