Snowden is voted rector of university

US whistleblower Edward Snowden has been elected rector of Glasgow University.

Loading Comments
Edward Snowden was elected rector of Glasgow University
Edward Snowden was elected rector of Glasgow University

The computer analyst was nominated by a group of students who said they had received Mr Snowden's approval through his lawyer. He defeated cyclist Graeme Obree, author Alan Bissett and the Rev Kelvin Holdsworth.

Mr Snowden became a wanted man when his leaks brought to light secret National Security Agency documents which revealed widespread US surveillance of phone and internet communications.

He is living in Russia where he was given temporary asylum.

A statement from the group which nominated Mr Snowden said: "We are incredibly delighted to see Edward Snowden elected as the new Rector of Glasgow University.

"We have a proud and virtuous tradition of making significant statements through our rectors and today we have once more championed this idea by proving to the world that we are not apathetic to important issues such as democratic rights.

"Our opposition to pervasive and immoral state intrusion has gone down in the records.

"What is more, we showed Edward Snowden and other brave whistleblowers that we stand in solidarity with them, regardless of where they are.

"In the following weeks we will continue to campaign for the NSA and GCHQ to cease their assault on our fundamental right to privacy and for Edward Snowden to be recognised as the courageous whistleblower he is, rather than a traitor."

Previous incumbents have been elected as political statements, including Winnie Mandela in 1987 and Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu in 2005.

The election was held under the single transferable vote system. Mr Snowden received 3124 votes in the first round and 3347 in the second. The nearest candidate was Rev Holdsworth, with 1563.

PhD student Chris Cassells said: "It's a clear statement from Glasgow students that they stand in opposition to pervasive state surveillance."

But some students expressed disappointed with the outcome.

Louise Wilson said: "It sucks. It's very disappointing but not surprising in the slightest.

"I'm all for political statements, but at a time when the university and students need the biggest say with all the cuts it's just not appropriate not to have a working rector."

Hannah McNeill added: "I'm furious. I think most people here are very upset about the result. We need an active rector."

Block list

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

The Look Awards, a bra fitting and going veggie at Usha’s.




Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

Jam packed with Empire biscuit making.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.