aNewDomain.net — Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, now in hiding in Russia, is the latest student-elected rector of the University of Glasgow, school reps told the BBC today.
Snowden won the election over three other candidates nominated to the position, reps said. They include: Graeme Obree, author Alan Bissett and Scottish Episcopal clergyman Kelvin Holdsworth.
And he follows Winnie Mandela and Mordechai Vanunu as previous rectors who, voted in by students, weren’t able to perform the rector responsibilities in person.
The job’s duties include working with student council reps and attending University Court — in-person jobs that he’s unlikely to fulfill. But the election, said student Lubna Nowak in an interview with the BBC, was more than anything a statement of support for Snowden, who revealed to the world in June 2013 the extent to which the U.S. FBI and NSA were spying on Internet communications and wireless phone calls.
I am incredibly happy and I believe that he deserved it from the beginning … of course I’m (honored) as a Glasgow University student to be able to say now Edward Snowden is our rector … that’s pretty amazing. I think we’ve shown that we oppose mass surveillance and intrusion (into) our private lives … and that also we stand in solidarity … We believe whistleblowers should be honored and … they’re heroes rather than traitors.”
Snowden, absent as he is likely to be, will serve a three-year term, she said.
Snowden also has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, among other honors he’s received over the last several months.