Edward Snowden to be installed as rector

Euan McTear

Following his election win in February, Edward Snowden will be formally installed as rector of the University of Glasgow later this month.

At a ceremony on April 23 in the Bute Hall, Snowden will be formally installed and although he will not attend in person, the NSA whistleblower is expected to send a video message.

Snowden is currently in exile in Russia after being charged with espionage in the US and was not elected as a ‘working rector’, with his campaign team making it clear during the election that a vote for Snowden was a symbolic one. The campaign to elect Edward Snowden said that the election gave students “a unique opportunity to show their support for the US whistleblower.”

More than 6,000 students voted over the course of the two day election and Snowden won the most votes in both rounds of the voting with 48% and 51%. His closest rival was Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral Kelvin Holdsworth, whose 1,562 votes fell well short of Snowden’s total of 3,347. Also standing in the election were cyclist Graeme Obree and author Alan Bissett.

Snowden will be replacing Charles Kennedy as rector, with the Liberal Democrat MP recently emailing all students to thank them for their support during his rectorship. Kennedy said: “It has been a great privilege for me to serve two consecutive terms over these past six years. I pay tribute to the scores of students with whom I have enjoyed working and socialising over this period.”

Many students have been upset at Snowden’s election and the idea of the University lacking a working rector for the next three years. A ‘No to Snowden as GU Rector’ Facebook group was set up shortly after the results were announced and has more than 650 likes. The SRC, however, has already made it clear that it stands by the “democratic” election.

The installation ceremony on April 23 will begin at 11.00am and students are invited to attend. Anyone wishing to go should arrive at the Bute Hall by 10.50am.