Edward Snowden appointed Rector of Glasgow University

Heroic whistleblower? Alleged criminal? Coward? Whatever your label for Edward Snowden, the former CIA man has been given a new, official title by Glasgow University in the United Kingdom: the prestigious 'rector' title, following a vote amongst students.

The rector at Glasgow is effectively a figurehead appointed to represent the concerns of the student body.

Snowden is reported to have beaten three other candidates in the poll: the cyclist Graeme Obree, author Alan Bissett and Scottish clergyman Kelvin Holdsworth.

Previous rectors at the university include Edmund Burke, Winnie Mandela, Mordechai Vanunu, and former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

Rectors serve three-year terms, though it may be difficult for Snowden to fulfil all his ambassadorial expectations, since the NSA whistleblower is still believed to be taking refuge in Russia.

Chris Cassells, Snowden's spokesman for the rectorial election campaign, told The Guardian: "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.

"We would like to thank all other candidates as well as the students who nominated them for promoting an exciting and relevant debating atmosphere over the last few weeks."

David Newall, secretary of court at the university, 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."

Outgoing rector Kennedy remarked: "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."

Raheem Kassam is the Managing Editor of Breitbart London. Follow him on Twitter at @RaheemJKassam


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