With elections open as of 9am today for the Rector of Glasgow University, the overwhelming message The Glasgow Guardian would like to promote is merely this: vote.
There is no other way to so comprehensively get your point across. A 1, 2, 3, and 4 vote will make all the difference, and is the only way the students at Glasgow can have their say in this election. Whilst a boycott is certainly a powerful message, it is an idealistic and flawed tactic at this point in time, and we are glad that GU Femsoc retracted their message of a boycott.
You can vote until 4pm on 21 March at gla.ac.uk/vote.
Remember to inform yourself fully of all the options out there. The Glasgow Guardian, GUST, Subcity, and qmunicate have all contributed to coverage of the Rector election, and we urge you to read widely before you make your choice.
With that in mind, we would like to announce our personal support for two candidates. We believe Aamer Anwar and Jonathan “JJ” Tease through hustings, their manifestos, and their (one markedly more than the other) presence on campus, have proven their potential as able and effective working Rectors. While both certainly have their flaws, we believe these are the candidates who will most effectively fight for student rights in University Court and on campus. Remember you can number as many or as few candidates as you like, and we would urge you to consider giving them a one and two.
Hustings proved that presence on campus is important, with only Aamer Anwar, Sir Vince Cable, Duncan Logie, and Jonathan “JJ” Tease able to attend, out of the ten remaining candidates. Candidates that were not present saw their campaigns suffer, and it was a valuable connection made between students and their would-be representatives. It is surprising and telling of the strangeness of this election cycle, that one of the candidates who we believe proved themselves as most worthy of this position opened hustings by discussing how he recently soiled himself. We are not referring to Anwar.
Anwar’s dedication to his campaign as Rector comes second only to his dedication to human rights in his impressive career as a lawyer. We believe his appointment as Rector would be more of a statement than that of an absentee figurehead. He is someone who will actively and passionately fight for this student community.
While Tease at first appeared to be a joke candidate and may not live up to the usual fame of a Rector, his passion and his remarkable performance at hustings, not least going toe-to-toe with Sir Vince Cable, has proved him worthy to stand by the other nominees. We believe this, as well as his commitment to mental health services, a safer campus at night, and fighting against tuition fee raises, marks him out as a candidate who understands what students want.
We would further encourage you to not cast any votes for Milo Yiannopoulos or Professor Jordan Peterson. We have seen first-hand their flippancy and contempt respectively in the face of serious questioning about specific university policy. Neither would be able to attend campus regularly or work actively, and both have demonstrated their disregard for equality time and time again. We are disappointed by the University and SRC’s lack of statement on the nominations of these two candidates. Whilst we acknowledge that all candidates equally have the right to run, their direct contravening of the Equality and Diversity policy at Glasgow should have at least been enough to issue a statement condemning their nomination.
Ultimately, with a campaign cycle marred by a lack of nominations, excessive nominations, controversy, and disruptions to campaigns it is imperative that we vote.
Voting closes at 4pm tomorrow. Make sure your voice is heard.