Students at Glasgow University have chosen NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden as their new Rector, ahead of former Hour Record holder Graeme Obree.
The election today saw a record turn out as students decided to use the vote to make a political statement and appoint Edward Snowden to the role. The Rector represents the students but is also, ex-officio, the Chairman of the University Court, the body which administers the resources of the University.
Previous incumbents include Winnie Mandela, who at the time was the wife of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela and Mordechai Vanunu, who in 1986 revealed details of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British press and was subsequently abducted and imprisoned.
After the vote was announced at 5pm this evening, Graeme Obree said in a statement:
“I was happy to put myself forward as a candidate to become Rector of Glasgow University and it has been great fun to be involved in the campaigning. I would have been delighted to become a representative of the students and would have been energetic in the role, had I been elected.
“Also, I have no doubts that he other local candidates for Rector, Alan and Kelvin would have been outstanding Rectors, they are passionate and progressive people who would have been great in the role.
“I have the utmost respect for Edward Snowden, he has made a huge personal sacrifice which must have been a massive choice for him and was the clear favourite as soon as his name was put forward for the role of Rector.”
Obree was briefly a student at the university, attending four months of an engineering design degree before dropping out. He was nominated to the three-year post by two student societies, the Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) and the the Glasgow University Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans, Queer, Plus Society ( GU LGBTQ+). He stood on a platform of promoting sport and diversity, and giving students a vote.
Chris Cassells, Edward Snowden’s spokesman for the Rectorial election campaign, said: “We are delighted to see Edward Snowden elected as the new Rector of the University of Glasgow.
“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.”
David Newall, Secretary of Court at the University of Glasgow, said: “This has been a record turnout for a Rectorial Election and I warmly congratulate Edward Snowden on his success. I would also like to thank Charles Kennedy for the contribution he has made to the University over the last six years.”
Charles Kennedy, the outgoing Rector said, “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the students of the University of Glasgow for the past six years. The post of Rector is an important one, and I would like to wish my successor all the very best for his term of office.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.