University Students Elect Edward Snowden as Their New Student Body Rep

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 18 2014 3:07 PM

Edward Snowden Has a New Job In Scotland

184211606-frame-grab-made-from-afptv-footage-reportedly-taken-on_1
A frame grab made from AFPTV footage, reportedly taken on October 9, 2013, shows US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden speaking during his dinner with a group of four retired US ex-intelligence workers and activists at a luxurious room in an unidentified location.

Photo by AFPTV/AFP/Getty Images

Students at the University of Glasgow on Tuesday tapped Edward Snowden as their new rector. The election means that, technically speaking, the former NSA contractor will spend the next three years as a student body representative, but in practice the vote was more of a political statement than anything else. Here's the Guardian with more:

Snowden was nominated by a group of students at the university who said they had received his approval through his lawyer. Snowden is staying in Russia where he was given temporary asylum. He defeated the former champion cyclist Graeme Obree, the author Alan Bissett and the Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, who also stood for the post.

As The Hill notes, Snowden follows in the footsteps of Winnie Mandela (Nelson Mandela's ex-wife), and Mordechai Vanunu (a former Israeli nuclear technician who disclosed details of his country's nuclear program) in being selected as rector. Two of the earliest rectors in the school's 500-plus-year history, meanwhile, were Adam Smith and Edmund Burke.

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"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," a student spokesman said in a statement.

The United Kingdom has an extradition treaty with the United States, so obviously Snowden is unlikely to carry out his official duties from the Scottish campus.

Kelly Tunney is a Slate intern in New York City.

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