Mildert has thrived for over half a century thanks to the hard work of the students who fill the hundreds of JCR positions. The library, the shop, the bar, social events, welfare services and much more are only possible because of the hours sacrificed by students looking for a way to avoid studying. Some even put the real world on hold for a year (or occasionally two) by taking full-time sabbatical roles after graduation.
And then are there are those whose dedication to a single cause leads them to become a KOTC: Keeper of the College Things.
These roles date back to at least the 1990s. The JCR’s standing orders from 1994 require the annual election of a ‘Keeper of the College Darkroom’, and while this role may not have survived either the loss of a college darkroom or the advent of digital photography, it does seem to have been the seed of dozens of similar KOTC positions.
Some KOTC positions were serious roles, requiring specialist skills and knowledge, such as the keepers of the college multi-gym, drum kit and sewing machine. Others – like the KOTC Stallion, Spew and Stubble – had rather less clearly defined responsibilities.
The JCR standing orders expressly forbids the Keepers of the College Things from ever meeting together, presumably out of concern that the combined power of those with expertise in ducks, snooker rooms and spew would threaten the existing power structures.
In 2004, the crime most feared by a KOTC Thing occurred: burglary. The JCR’s 42″ plasma TV screen was stolen from the wall, leaving the KOTC Plasma – George Weeks – with the unwelcome honour of being the only known KOTC Thing to outright fail to maintain the existence of their thing within the college.
It is unclear if KOTC Things still exist, and the journalistic quality of Mildert News does not extend to me actually asking anyone, but there does not seem to be any evidence of these roles in the current JCR standing orders. It is unclear how the college can continue to operate effectively without someone dedicated to advertising the existence of its sewing machine, but somehow they soldier on.
Here is a list of all the KOTC Things that I could find. If you know of more, please comment below or on the Mildert Memories Facebook group:
- KOTC Drum Kit whose duties shall include the maintenance of the college drum kit
- KOTC Ducks whose duties shall include caring for and the protection of the college’s duck, particularly newborn ducklings.
- KOT Mildert Spirit whose duties shall include compelling members of the JCR to get involved with as much as possible within college and share Mildert love.
- KOTC Multi-gym and four assistants to the KOTC multi- gym whose duties shall include the maintenance and improvement of the multi-gym.
- KOTC Plasma whose duties shall include looking after the 42” wide screen plasma television located in the JCR.
- KOTC Pianos whose duties shall include facilitating the regular tuning and maintenance of pianos around college.
- KOTC Sewing Machine whose duties shall include keeping, maintaining and advertising the college’s sewing machine.
- KOTC Snooker Room whose duties shall include the maintenance and improvement of the colleges Snooker room.
- KOTC Spew whose duties are too vulgar to record within the Standing Orders.
- KOTC Stallion whose duties include pampering and caring for the college stallion.
- KOTC Stubble whose duties shall include maintaining visible facial hair growth for seventy percent (70%) of the academic year.
- The Average Person, who shall be responsible for representing the average view on any JCR matter.
- KOTC Drill, who shall be responsible for ensuring that the legend of the Drillman, and the associated song by Jonathan Fudger, continues to be passed on to new generations of Mildertians.
- KOTC Friendly Sloth, whose duties shall include introducing the sloth into any argument to remind the two sides that they should be being nice to each other.
- KOTC Grounds, whose duties shall include caring for the college grounds, the lake and the surrounding areas. The KOTC Grounds shall be responsible for recruiting and co-ordinating a team of volunteers to maintain and improve the grounds and to plant bulbs etc.