Rector Manifestos 2017
The manifestos for all confirmed candidates in the 2017 Rector election are below:
Between 9am on Monday 20th – 4pm Tuesday the 21st March, voting in the election for rector will be open. Voting takes place online. You simply need your University login details and an internet connection. The link for voting will be widely advertised as soon as polls open.
The result of the election will be announced 5pm 21st March in Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre 1.
Choose a candidate below to see the manifesto:
“As a University of Glasgow Student, I am delighted that Aamer has been nominated as Rector. Whilst at this University, Aamer led campaigns for social justice and throughout this life has stood against inequality and for human rights. Aamer marched side by side with us at Glasgow Pride and has continued to support our campaign for LGBTI inclusive education in Scottish schools. Our University needs a Rector who understands what student life is like, who knows how to win campaigns and can represent those who are often underrepresented. I believe Aamer is that person, and I wish him all the best.”
Jordan Daly, Cofounder of the TIE Campaign
“Aamer began fighting for our family when the killer of my brother Surjit Singh Chhokar walked of court in 1999. As a final year law student he set up a campaign for justice which took on legal establishment, exposing institutional racism and the shocking treatment of victims. For 17 years he never gave up, pushing for a change in the law which eventually put killer Ronnie Coulter behind bars for life last October. Had it not been for Aamer’s courage, passion and commitment my family would never have got justice. I cannot think of anyone better suited to serving the students of Glasgow University as their Rector.”
Manjit Sangha sister of Murder Victim Surjit Singh Chhokar
“Almost impossible to think of anyone more suited for this”
Irvine Welsh, Author of Trainspotting
Aamer Anwar: Human Rights Lawyer
Aamer Anwar is a prominent Glasgow based lawyer with his own criminal defence practice. Brought up in Liverpool, Aamer came to study engineering at our University in 1986 but ultimately graduated with an MA Hons in Social Sciences in 1994.
In 1995 he made legal history in a successful civil action against Strathclyde Police for a racist attack on himself in Ashton Lane following a student occupation in 1991. He was told “this is what happens to black boys with big mouth” as his teeth were smashed out.
For nearly three decades Aamer has had a record of fighting for human rights and justice, campaigning for the closure of Dungavel Detention Centre, playing a leading role in the Stop the War Coalition, the TIE campaign and, fighting against Islamophobia and extremism. Over the last 20 months he has acted for the family of Sheku Bayoh who died in police custody.
A lawyer since 2000, he has been instructed in some of Scotland’s highest profile cases. His unrelenting campaign for murdered waiter Surjit Chhokar finally secured justice for the family 17 years later. In 2016 he himself faced death threats after he bravely spoke out against religious extremism following the death of Shawlands shopkeeper Asad Shah.
Aamer Anwar was once described by the Scotland on Sunday as “taking on the big guns of the legal system in the best tradition of the feisty lawyer, a fighter for society’s under dogs” As a tireless advocate of civil liberties for over 25 years, Aamer has been fearless, setting parameters in the justice and equality debate. In 2016 Aamer was award Solicitor of Year in the Law Awards of Scotland.
A working rector for Glasgow
It is the role of the rector to represent students on the University Court.
For the last three years students haven’t had that voice. If elected Aamer would:
- Hold fortnightly surgeries on campus to let students raise important issues effecting them
- Involve himself fully with the management of the University to the benefit of the student population. Something only a local, working Rector would be able to do
A champion for mental health
Mental Health provision at Glasgow University is some of the worst in Scotland, with long waiting lists and understaffed departments.
Aamer recognises that this is an important issue for many students and that mental health issues are an under- recognised issue that can affect anyone.
If elected Aamer would:
- lobby to increase funding and staffing for these services work with the existing services to help improve access to those who need them
- work with the existing services to help improve access to those who need them
Support for EU Students
Following the recent referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU the status of Glasgow’s numerous and valued EU students has been placed in jeopardy. Aamer fully believes that it is in the interests of not only the students, but the University and community, to allow these talented and valued students to remain with us in Glasgow and Scotland.
Should Aamer be elected he will:
- Highlight the needs of these students at every opportunity
- Feed in to the University’s representations to the Government on Article 50 Negotiations
- Lobby the Scottish Government to ensure such concerns are highlighted by them to ensure concessions are made
Rent control for the West End
One of the most pressing issues for many students living in the West End is the cost of rent.
Aamer said- “With rents in the West End rocketing by up to 10% each year students are being driven further in debt and insecure accommodation, the only way this can be tackled is if the West End is finally designated a rent control area.”
If elected Aamer will :
- lobby the University to call on Glasgow City Council to use its powers to designate the West End a Rent control area
- lobby the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament for a national system of rent controls which would deal with a housing crisis which forces our students into unaffordable and insecure accommodation.
Glasgow University has a proud tradition of electing rectors in solidarity with international struggles. Glasgow University has stood with the anti apartheid struggle, against nuclear proliferation, and against insidious state surveillance. Glasgow Students have risen to the challenge before.
They have a chance to do so again.
Brace Belden is an ordinary man, a florist before he left America to join the YPG and fight Da’esh. We nominated Brace Belden as an example of those fighting in Syria to build an egalitarian, socialist, and feminist society in Rojava. This is not a protest candidature. Our campaign is to raise international awareness and consciousness of the struggle there against Da’esh [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria], as well as to highlight the successes of Rojava – the creation of a democratic state in the Middle East based on the principles of self-management. A society in which refugees are welcome, regardless of where they are fleeing from.
This University is becoming a degree conveyor belt, leaving little time or money for education. Almost half of all teaching staff are on temporary contracts. When the SRC Bus drivers were revealed to be on Zero Hours Contracts, there was an outrage. Instead of giving these workers the full time contracts they deserve, the University refused to cough up extra money and the SRC cancelled the buses. And yet – the University Administration still plans to raise fees on students from the rest of the UK, and outside the EU. Brace is a left wing activist, not just a soldier, and as such his election would represent dissatisfaction with the increasing marketisation of education. By electing Brace, we can send a clear anti-cuts, anti-fees, anti-casualisation message to a University Administration bent on ignoring us.
The election of Brace Belden would show that Glasgow University rejects the reactionary politics of the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos, and refuses to be drawn into the managerial politics of the sort the University administration wants us to be content with. If we want radical and positive change on campus, students will have to create it ourselves, rather than expect it to be bestowed upon us from above. We should recall that it was a student-led campaign which forced Glasgow to become the first university in the U.K to divest from fossil fuels.
There is no better way to demonstrate our disgust at the rising tide of far right politics and rhetoric, than electing an internationalist and socialist. A man whose unquestionable bravery lead him to work for the liberation of people who lived thousands of miles away. We cannot underestimate the importance of defeating the far right in these elections. Brace stands against far right, anti refugee politics, not just in words, but deeds.
- Stand with Rojava and the YPG against ISIS
- Stand with refugees, and against rise of the far right
- Stand with university staff against temporary contracts and pay freezes
- Reject the university’s tokenism and change Glasgow from the bottom up.
Vote Brace Belden.
Glasgow University needs a working Rector now! This role is too important to leave functionally absent for another three years. The University is about to begin a massive redevelopment of the Gilmorehill campus, grapple with the uncertainty of Brexit, and it is positioning itself to grow in numbers. In this rather in-between and uncertain time in the life of the University I will fight to make sure every student now is fully supported by the University in their life and work at this world class place.
I am running for rector to give current Glasgow University students a candidate who is as close to being a student as you can get and well suited to undertake the duties of a working rector. I am aware of what is happening on campus because I have been a student here for the last four years and have stayed involved with many societies as well as listened to the issues of students still studying.
For the next three years I will match the energy, passion, and effort that the students of Glasgow University put into their time here whilst sitting on the University Court! I will continue to work alongside the fantastic student unions, sports association, SRC, a wide range of student societies, and any individual who needs assistance whilst at University!
The student body needs someone who will put just as much effort and passion into the role of rector as they put into their studies! A vote for Duncan Logie is a vote for a Rector who knows what it’s like to study at Glasgow University in these times. Vote for Duncan Logie because the student body needs a dedicated, hard working, and recent alumnus now!
As a working rector I promise to:
- Hold two surgeries per month on a Wednesday and Friday afternoon at the Gilmorehill campus.
- Hold one surgery per month at the Crichton Campus.
- Attend all meetings of the University Court
- Protect the future of the QMU and GUU.
- Pressure the University to provide world class teaching facilities to every student during campus redevelopment.
- Lobby the UK government to reduce tuition fees.
- Allow students to run for rector again.
- Maintain a close working relationship with the SRC executive for a robust representation of all students and add support for the 5 year strategic plan.
Never has the role of Rector been more important. The University of Glasgow is going through major changes at the moment, with key votes on tuition fee increases within a matter of weeks. The campus redevelopment represents a unique opportunity to ensure that students will always come first.
Until now, however, much of the debate has been surrounding Milo Yiannopoulos’s candidacy. His past statements are not acceptable in any environment. Free speech is not an entitlement to say what you want, when you want to. It demands respect. However, he has been democratically nominated by students, and the continued engagement with his campaign only feeds the storm around it. We should focus on our different visions and arguments for the University, exposing the lack of detail that he, and many other candidates, are showing.
There are major issues that affect current students that we must address as a matter of urgency. The chronic lack of study spaces must be rectified. Funding for student initiatives is extremely difficult to find, if you don’t have the right contacts. The mental health service, in its current form, fails all students that are dealing from mental health problems. Stigma around mental health and disability remains strong. As a recent graduate of the University of Glasgow, I have working knowledge and plenty of experience that make me uniquely qualified to be the working Rector of all students.
I pledge to, from day one, be the ears and voice of the students of the University of Glasgow. My manifesto has been built around the concerns many students have brought to me, but this is a starting point, not the end. A Rector is to represent the views of the students, not his or her personal views. My weekly meetings with students will ensure that no one is left without a voice within the University Court, and that everyone’s concerns will be listened to.
The position of Rector has never been more important. We need a Rector that will be able to hit the ground running, with an inside knowledge of how the University works, how to navigate these stormy waters, but without bringing self-interests or external conflicts. We need a working Rector, for all.
I. I pledge to be a working Rector, for all.
As Rector, I promise to honour the following:
A) I will, on a monthly basis, hold meetings on campus, to meet with students to listen to their concerns and bring them to the University.
B) Each week, I will be hosting Skype sessions with students; however, I will always be reachable outside the planned meetings, if anything urgent happens.
C) Every second month I will be hosting student-Rectorial meetings and events at our Dumfries Campus, to ensure that the voices of the whole student body will be represented.
D) On a monthly basis, I will meet with the leaders of the Student Representative Council, the Glasgow University Union, the Queen Margaret Union and Glasgow University Sports Association to coordinate and strengthen the student voices on campus, as well as bringing up concerns from the weekly meetings.
E) On a quarterly basis, I will be meeting with the many student societies on campus, to ensure that not only their voices and concerns are heard, but also support them through the Rectorial Engagement Fund.
F) To increase transparency, I will send every student regular updates of how our work is progressing, including reports and thoughts from the University Court meetings, in order to make the process much more transparent and accessible to all.
I. As Rector, I will work for the reform and improvement of the mental health services.
Mental health is an issue that are very close to me. We live in a world where all we see is the success of our peers, with exotic travel, scholarship, internships – you name it. The story that never is told is the struggle behind the success. All Rectorial candidates have stated how important mental health is, and the issue seems to be a buzzword in elections, however, my relationship with the mental health service is much more personal.
I rarely speak of it, but I suffer from an eating disorder, with the body distortion that you commonly see coupled with many eating disorders. Whilst it is under control most of the time, it is a continuous fight between my conscious self and the ‘other John’. I tried to reach out to the mental health service, after having built up the courage to not only accept that I need help, but also to admit that I was not strong enough to do it on my own. When I finally did, I was told that I would have to wait in line for three months.
For me, waiting those three months allowed my eating disorder to get much worse and I felt that I lost control. After the three months, I was told we had eight sessions to sort out a problem that I have had for years. If we couldn’t ‘fix it’, I was advised to self-refer to the service again for more help. In plain English, three more months of waiting for another eight sessions. Yes, I got some tools to ensure that my eating disorder and my distorted body image wouldn’t take over, but the underlying problem remains. In the meantime I managed to graduate and with the marks I wanted, despite all this.
My story, however, does not end here. Throughout my entire time as a student at Glasgow, I have been suffering from near-chronic migraines and a gastrointestinal disorder, both of which causing almost constant severe pain and fatigue. The feeling of wanting to give up is really part of everyday life. Having previously been told it is ‘all in my head’, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of talking to the University and seeking any help. Guilt was a common feeling, where asking for help felt wrong, when others would be suffering even more than me. We need to speak up more about disabilities, regardless of their nature. But we need to challenge the social stigma that is connected to disability and mental health, as it has a detrimental effect not only on my life, but on many others as well.
Many of my fellow Rectorial candidates have never used the GU Mental Health service or disability service in its current form. On the back of my personal experiences, I pledge the following:
1) I will fight to ensure that more money is being allocated to the mental health service, working with the Scottish Parliament, great NGOs like BEAT, SANE & MIND as well as local authorities and the University.
2) I will create an annual Mental Health Appeal to be sent out to our network of alumni, to raise additional funding for the mental health service, as well as individual mental health projects on campus. I will also work with the University, the student bodies and NGOs on more fundraising campaigns, dedicated to fighting mental health issues on campus.
3) The waiting times are inexcusable. Having to wait three months when you suffer from mental health problems might have irreparable impacts on your studies, let alone your life. Whilst further funding is desperately needed and I will fight for every penny we can get, throwing more money at a problem and hoping that it will go away is a schoolboy error. I will therefore launch a review into the mental health service at GU, to look at how it can be restructured to work for us, the people suffering from mental health problems.
4) Launch a review of how to make the drop-in consultation system work. Currently, if you need to get counselling, you have to sign up on the day. This system, however, is broken. I have personally tried on countless occasions to get an appointment, only to find out that at 9:05 that all slots for the day are gone, with no possibility to book for the next day. This is unacceptable and must be changed. However, making rash campaign promises is not the way forward, and this drop-in consultation system will be part of a larger mental health review.
5) I will work with the SRC, the mental health service and the NHS on ensuring that there is capability for trained instructors of Mental Health First Aid can be available on campus, to provide training and aid.
6) Within the first month of the election, I will convene a meeting with mental health charities, the SRC, the student unions, GUSA, the University, the mental health service and relevant local councils to discuss what actions should be taken to ensure that the mental health problems at Glasgow University can be managed, until a more long-term solution can be put in place.
7) I will campaign for the University Court to release short term funding to free up more spaces for on-the-day counselling, or alternatively, for the recruitment of more staff.
8) I will work closely with the Mental Health Equality Officer to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions around mental health problems.
9) As Rector, I will work tirelessly to improve the disability services, as well as work against the stigmatisation many of us using the service can feel. I will work closely with the SRC’s Disability Officer, the Disabled Students Network and the University to ensure that the disability services works for all, regardless of personal circumstances. I will also work to increase the awareness on the effects suffering from long term conditions on mental health, and make sure that adequate support is available.
10) As Rector, I will campaign against the social stigma that surrounds disability.
II. As the only non-British EU citizen running for Rector, I have truly understood the implications Brexit will have on EU students.
As the only non-British EU citizen running for Rector, I truly understand the implications Brexit will have on EU students. Brexit will, regardless of what may come, significantly impact our lives.
Many of my fellow candidates have stated that they will fight for the rights of EU citizens, however, this means nothing. At the end of the day, they do not risk having to leave the place many of us call home. As a Swede, I run that risk, and I share the many concerns and fears that my fellow Europeans feel.
I pledge, from day one, to work tirelessly with the University, the SRC, the student Unions to ensure that our rights will not be removed or infringed upon. I will also ensure that the student voices are heard in Westminster where, at the end of the day, our future might well be determined. I will fight for the rights of every single EU student currently in Glasgow, but also ensure that Glasgow will remain highly attractive for EU (and indeed, international!) students yet to come.
Fees, campus redevelopment & the environment:
I. As Rector, I will be fighting against any increase in tuition fees.
In May 2017 University Court will be advised by the Marketing, Recruitment and International Office (MRIO) on the benefits and drawbacks of raising rest of UK (rUK) tuition fees from 3 to 4 years. Should this fee rise take place, rUK fees would rise from £27,750 to £37,000. At the same time, costs for international students have remained static, raising the question of whether or not this raise is truly necessary.
This is utterly unacceptable, and if University Court is advised to increase fees, I will be voting against this proposal, particularly on the back of the £250 per year tuition fee rise introduced at the beginning of this academic year by the University without any consultation with the SRC executive. I will echo and enhance any specific comments the SRC executive wish to make at Court or to the University senior management on the matter.
II. As Rector, I will work to ensure that students are at the very heart of the redevelopment.
The campus redevelopment offers an excellent opportunity to address many of the problems students face on a day-to-day basis. The new learning and teaching hub, for instance, could potentially help to address problems around lack of study places, but we must ensure that this will not simply become a spin-off machine, where students are pushed to the sidelines.
I will ensure that students have a very strong voice on the University Court that ensures that students are always at the heart of the redevelopment. I will work with students, societies, the student bodies and management to ensure that when the redevelopment is finished, no more of the issues around space will remain.
III. As Rector, I will ensure that the redevelopment will not lead to the neglect of current problems, for current students.
Whilst the redevelopment of the University is excellent news for Glasgow, there is a risk that the many issues that students today faces are neglected by the university management. Many that are students today will never be able to use the new facilities, but will instead study on a massive construction site. We need to ensure that the disruption is at a minimum level.
A) To ensure that the University of Glasgow will increase its focus on the quality of teaching and feedback. Many students (including myself!) feel that the quality of our education is not as good as it could be, failing to not only equip us with useful skills and knowledge for a life outside university. Feedback in many cases is two lines and rarely offering any reflections that are helpful moving forward. I will work with senior management and the heads of the colleges to rectify these problems.
B) To work for more study spaces to be made available across campus, not only during exams period.
C) To ensure that the Library, at least during the exams and dissertation deadline periods, will remain open 24/7.
IV. As Rector, I will ensure that environment is a high priority in all decisions, to start to improve Glasgow’s shambolic environmental track record.
The University of Glasgow is by conventional rankings, world-leading. When it comes to environmental performance however, we are failing dismally. Being ranked 129th in the UK on environmental performance and policy is simply unacceptable.
Climate change is THE scientific and social challenge of our generation. The severity and magnitude of the challenge needs to be reflected across our University. I pledge to work very closely with the University, the SRC as well as Glasgow City Council and to utilise upon my previous experience as an adviser on environmental policy in the Scottish Parliament to ensure reform and drastic improvement in environmental performance and policy.
A) I will be campaigning for a change to low-carbon fuel sources, as soon as it is possible. The move towards more CHP for heat and electricity is positive, but more action is required.
B) In regards to the food served at the University a lot has to change. I will work with the SRC and the University to create a sustainable food policy, to ensure that the food is both ethically and environmentally sustainable by, for instance, ensure that any fish served has MSC certification.
D) As Rector, I will work to ensure that more support could be offered to ensuring we use more local food which is a small action but with significant impact. I will support and work to promote initiatives like the Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team’s (GUEST) organic cafe.
E) The University of Glasgow is not accredited to an externally verified environmental management system (EMS). This undermines transparency and trust in the University’s environmental work. I will campaign, alongside with the SRC and other interested organisations, for the University to submit itself to external environmental audits, to give students a much clearer view of the environmental progress Glasgow is (not) making.
I. The creation of the ‘Rectorial Engagement Fund’.
The University of Glasgow is amongst the wealthiest in the United Kingdom, yet securing funding for student-led projects is often incredibly difficult and relying on contacts. This is stopping many students from transferring their theoretical knowledge into the real world, limiting not only their career prospects, but more importantly, the impact their ideas can have on the wider community. Ultimately, it should not be a question of one’s personal financial background that decides who can engage, and who cannot.
As Rector, I therefore pledge to create a ‘Rectorial Engagement Fund’, dedicated solely to undergraduate, non-PhD postgraduate students and to a limited degree, student societies. This fund will be used to fund outreach projects, in order to provide the financial means for projects to be realised. Examples of projects are: I will be working with a number of stakeholders, both inside the University, the SRC, as well as with external companies and organisation to secure funding. The ‘Rectorial Engagement Fund’ will allow for students, regardless of financial background, to realise their ambitions.
II. Launching a university-wide campaign to create internship modules as part of the course selection.
The University of Glasgow, as a leading university in the UK and the world, has an incredible network of contact and alumni. This network, however, is far from being used to the best of its capacity. With many students being forced to juggle personal finances (and the need to work to support their studies) and their degrees, being able to find time to pursue work relevant to one’s interest might be very difficult. This, essentially, risks becoming an issue of social justice, where better-off students might be able to undertake unpaid internships and therefore gains a competitive edge. This is problematic, however, as it also presents a lost opportunity to transfer theoretical knowledge to the real world.
As Rector, I will launch a campaign to rectify this injustice. I will work with the University to create pilot schemes of internship modules as a part of the course curriculum. By setting aside time in the schedule for a one day/week internship placement across the four Colleges the students would get an opportunity to take their theoretical knowledge and apply it in real-life situations. This would not only enhance employability prospects, but also allow for further engagement between the student body, their degrees and civil society. By making this a credit-awarding module, students that otherwise might be unable to undertake an internship due to financial aspects will be able to further realise their fullest potential.
Hi! My name is JJ Tease (Jonathan ‘JJ’ Tease on the ballot) and I am running for the position of the University of Glasgow Rector. I graduated from the university last summer with a MA in History, and since then have lived and worked in the West End of the city. During my time at the university, I was involved with a range of extracurricular activities, including Glasgow University Student Television, Kelvin Ensemble, Hockey, the Daft Friday committee and two years as a Fresher Helper for the GUU, allowing me to meet many different people from the university community.
I strongly believe the university needs a working rector who is available to meet with students on campus, to effectively represent their views and fight for their causes on the university court. Though I may not have the same political acumen as many of the other candidates, I believe that what I lack in that sense, I make up for in my up-to-date knowledge of exactly what is wrong with this university and how it is failing the students in several different ways.
The following points are part of my manifesto for what I will fight for if I am elected rector, which I will go into more detail about over the coming days
#1: MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
• Overhaul of counselling services. Services are understaffed with some students having to wait up to 10 weeks for an initial assessment and up to a further 3 months after that, with only 6 appointments being guaranteed at a time. This is unacceptable. No one should feel like they have no one to talk to or make the decision to leave university due to an ineffective counselling service. I will fight to make the university look into ways that this can be quickly improved, such as providing multiple booking slots in a day so everyone has the chance to book one.
• Simplify the Good Cause Regulations. Good Cause regulations have only recently been adjusted to include mental illness, however you are required to register with the Disability Services and provide proof from your doctor of a long standing illness, with these letters costing up to £25 which some students may not be able to spend. This whole process can add an extra level of stress to the student, and I will push for the university to improve how the Good Cause system is organised.
• School Welfare officers. Provide each school with a trained welfare officer to give advice and support to students who are anxious or stressed, or to support them when applying for the Good Cause scheme. During my time at university I often felt that I had no one I could talk to about certain issues, meaning we should have more visible welfare representatives on campus.
• Promote peer and support groups for all times of Mental Health issues, which could help relieve some of the stress on the Counselling system.
• Improve advertising for services such as nightline. This is a fantastic service and could also be used more effectively to relieve stress on the counselling system.
• Alcohol Abuse support. Provide more information about alcohol support groups for students, and provide information in freshers packs about how to spot the signs of alcohol abuse. A lot of students suffer from issues with alcohol, and there needs to be stronger support for those that do.
#2: STUDENT BODIES
• Improve funding for the student unions. The GUU and QMU are vital parts of student life on campus, and yet the university is allowing the QMU to struggle financially, putting a strain on their services and threatening the distinctiveness of having two unions on campus. I will work with the unions to try and increase the financial support provided by the university.
• Freeze gym fees and free up Wednesday afternoons. When I joined the university in 2012, a year’s membership for the gym cost just £50, and was one of the cheapest in the country. Though the modernisation of the gym has been fantastic, it is worrying that the gym fees have been rising every year. I will work with GUSA to try and find a way to freeze the gym fees before prices get unattainable for some students. As well as that, students have been asking for years for Wednesday afternoons to be free for sport, yet the university has consistently not listened to these requests. I will fight for Wednesday afternoons to be made free for sport.
• Gender Neutral Facilities. There should be more gender neutral facilities on campus.
• Student Involvement. I will work with each of the student bodies to support their efforts to increase student involvement from those who are less well represented on campus.
#3: WELFARE AND CAMPAIGNS
• Free/Reduced Price Sanitary Products on campus. This has already been started by some other universities and has positive feedback. To pay for this idea, I could use the position of rector to look for Glasgow companies willing to sponsor this idea.
• Rector support for campaigns. The rector is an extremely high profile figure in the university, and therefore their support for campaigns can be helpful. I will support the efforts of the Let’s Talk campaign, Light Up Kelvin Way campaign, mandatory welfare sessions for Freshers Helpers, and the campaigns of the LGBTQIA+ society, as well as any others that are brought to my attention.
• ‘Get Home Safe’ policy. After speaking to current students, it is clear that there are still major concerns about student safety following campus club nights. I will work with the student bodies to try and find a way that there can be a space on campus for up to an hour following student nights, where people who need a place to phone a taxi, or just wait for some friends, have a well-advertised place where they can go.
#4: TUITION FEES
• I will fight against any attempts to raise Tuition Fees
Thank you for reading. Although it is ambitious, I believe that by having a working rector who understands the problems students are currently facing, along with my passion to improve this university for the students, will make these aims achievable. Also I want to get free chips on campus on a Friday.
Vote Jonathan ‘JJ’ Tease #1 Rector on the 20th and 21st March!
Lady Hazel Cosgrove graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1966. She went on to pursue an illustrious career of legal ‘firsts’; the first female sheriff in Glasgow, the first female Senator of the College of Justice and the first female to be appointed to the Inner House of the Court of Session. She now seeks to add another ‘first’ to her repertoire: the first active, female Rector of her alma mater.
Lady Cosgrove has five key pledges:
- To ensure gender equality on campus. The University has taken great leaps in securing gender equality, but the work is far from done. Lady Cosgrove would seek to work with the University’s Gender Equality Steering Group, and to promote equality within UofG at all levels.
- To improve student employability by mobilising the alumni network across all four Colleges. Lady Cosgrove would work with the Careers Service and Alumni Office to promote ‘The Network’, the University’s employment-orientated social networking site.
- To promote the use of sustainable fuels and materials at the University. Lady Cosgrove is supportive of the University’s pledge to divest from fossil fuels. However, she understands that this is not an instantaneous process. As Rector, she would seek to ensure that the University adheres to its promise to fully divest, and to catalyse this process by exerting pressure where appropriate.
- To increase the volume of study spaces available to students. The University is entering an exciting phase of campus redevelopment. Lady Cosgrove is well-placed to oversee this development and to ensure that the student voice is heard throughout. A key priority should be the expansion of student study facilities on campus.
- To advocate for the rights of student refugees and asylum seekers. As a grandchild of immigrants who sought refuge in Scotland, Lady Cosgrove shall fiercely defend the rights of student refugees and Asylum seekers. She shall seek to ensure that good quality advice, support and guidance is at the disposal of these students.
As a former Chair of the Mental Welfare Commission, she is well placed to advise the University on how its mental health services be improved and advocate on students’ behalf. Finally, as a progressive and inclusive candidate, Lady Cosgrove will strive to ensure the protection of diversity and tolerance on campus – something she feels particularly strongly about.
Students, do you like doing what you want, saying what you want, and having a good time? Of course you do. You’re in Glasgow. Unfortunately, there are no shortage of university administrators, politicians, and loopy activists who want to tell you what to do. If you’re having too much fun, it’ll be denounced as “lad culture.” If your words and ideas are too controversial, they’ll be denounced as “hate speech.” Professors, administrators, and activists alike will tell you that your feelings are all-important; that you must be coddled during your time at university, and kept safe from dangerous ideas. That’s not what university is about.
I’m Milo Yiannopoulos, and I’ve spent the last year visiting more university campuses than any of my opponents. I’ve seen what keeps the system of safe spaces and censorship alive, and I know how to bring it down – in fabulous style. If you’re sick of the stereotypes about pampered, easily-offended students, let’s take a stand against it. By electing me as your Rector, you will gain an intractable ally against conformity, censorship, and coddling. Together, we’ll make the University of Glasgow stand out as a haven of free speech and dangerous, exciting, forbidden ideas. Together, we’ll Make the University of Glasgow Great Again.
MILO’S TEN COMMANDMENTS
In addition to being the most snazzily-dressed Rector in history, I pledge the following during my three-year term.
- I will pressure the university to implement the “Chicago Principles of Free Expression,” thus safeguarding free debate and deliberation
The Chicago Principles on Free Expression are widely considered by campaigners to be the gold standard in defending free speech on campus. Initially published by the University of Chicago, they have since been endorsed by many other institutions of higher education. As Rector, I would lead a campaign for the University of Glasgow to endorse these principles.
- I will create a hotline for easy reporting of censorship and calls to violent action
As someone with a bigger platform than some cable news shows, many print publications, and your mom, I have a lot of clout. I will establish a procedure for reporting instances of censorship on campus, and call out any such instances that are reported, whether it’s a “safe space,” intimidation of dissident voices, or the banning of a controversial speaker.
- I will fund a £10,000 grant for pupils from the most disadvantaged group in Higher Education – white working class males.
Research from UCAS has shown that white working-class boys in the United Kingdom are now the most disadvantaged group in higher education. Fewer white working-class boys enter university in the U.K. than any other group, yet white men are still denounced by activists as “privileged” and “oppressors.” I have already set up a fund to address this problem in the United States. If elected Rector, I will set up a £10,000 fund specifically for the University of Glasgow, to assist two white-working class male applicants to the University per year.
- I will personally organise International Men’s Day on campus
Men, especially young men, have become one of the most disadvantaged groups in society, yet universities – obsessed with diversity and feminism – rarely address this. In addition to the education gap mentioned above, men are more likely than women to die young, are more likely to get sick or depressed, and male suicide is at epidemic proportions. I will personally organise speaker events and workshops around International Men’s Day, to raise awareness of these problems.
- I will petition the council and the university to take down the Boyd Orr Building, and Make Glasgow University Beautiful Again
It is truly ghastly. Boyd Orr deserves a better namesake.
- Those revolving doors in the library have got to go too
How much are they even paying these architects? I mean really. As a gay man, I consider this flagrant disregard for aesthetics to be a personal insult against my culture.
- I will support the University of Glasgow’s Masterplan to improve teaching and research facilities on campus.
OK, back to the serious pledges.
- I will force Eduroam to improve the quality of internet coverage at the university
Don’t think I won’t do it. I founded and ran The Kernel, the most feared tech news website in Britain. Eduroam has been foisting sub-standard internet on you for far too long. Students should not have to wait 10 minutes for my latest Instagram post to load!
- I will take a personal stand against antagonist groups in the university who seek to militarise and divide on campus – GU Feminist Society , Isabella Elder Feminist society
Identity politics, whether it’s the militant feminist left or the white nationalist right, is a disease. It divides communities, it breeds censorship, and it shuts people off from diverse opinions. I’m not going to shut anyone down – but I am going to call them out. Repeatedly. White nationalists and feminists both hate me, so I must be doing something right.
- Regular visits to campus
I’m not going to be a lame-duck Rector who accepts the prestigious title but takes no involvement in campus life. I pledge to visit Glasgow a minimum of three times a year, and hold events and surgeries to listen to student feedback. I will also dedicate a full-time member of my staff to my responsibilities as Rector, ensuring that there is a constant line of communication with the student body.
Nothing will annoy your professors and administrators more than electing me – not least because I plan to fulfil the duties of Rector thoroughly and responsibly.
Leftists will tell you I’m a Nazi. Nazis will tell you I’m a degenerate. Globalists and old-school conservatives will tell you I’m some combination of both. What I really am is a champion of free speech and a fearless advocate for the people I’m responsible for. If elected, I will stop at nothing to ensure that the University of Glasgow becomes an oasis of freedom, boldness, and excellence in a sea of mediocrity.
I would like to address two fundamental issues in this Manifesto: First, why my candidacy for Rector might be considered by U Glasgow students; Second, how I would make the position work as an absentee candidate.
1. Why should my candidacy for Rector be considered?
There are symbolic and practical reasons – each, perhaps, of equivalent import.
Symbolically: Recent U Glasgow Rectors have been chosen, in part, for what they stand for. This is particularly evident in the choice of such people as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Edward Snowden. It appears that U Glasgow students have often taken the opportunity to demonstrate support for the philosophical or political positions held by their candidate of choice, as well as to benefit by the publicity or notoriety or fame characterizing such individuals. My candidacy has been put forth, in part, for such symbolic reasons: My well-publicized stance on the moral primacy of free speech, in tandem with the increasingly well-known psychological and philosophical content of my university lectures, widely distributed and available online. Free speech is, in my opinion, the mechanism by which civilized people identify the problems that best them as individuals and as social beings, exchange opinions about solutions to those problems, and reach peaceful and productive consensus. Free speech offers, as well, the best protection possible to those less-well served, for whatever reasons, by the currently extant solutions to life’s problems instantiated in present-day customs, norms and policies. For both these reasons, its protection should be of primary concern to students, who rely entirely on free speech to express their concerns and seek their redress. U Glasgow students might consider this and therefore conclude that a strong advocate for free speech might constitute an appropriate candidate for their rector. The position I have taken is not shallowly defended, either, nor merely expressed for the sake of the controversy it has unexpectedly produced: the more than 500 hours of lectures that I have placed online detail my decades-long investigations into the neuropsychological, evolutionary and historical development of the idea of the primacy of free speech, and the public response to this content indicates intense and widespread demand for, approval of and psychological benefit from my arguments.
Practically: I have extensive experience as a university professor, intensely concerned with my students’ intellectual and moral development, but also bring to the position of Rector deep practical problem-solving knowledge garnered through tens of thousands of hours of clinical, consulting and business practice. As a clinical psychologist and consultant, I have helped hundreds of people, students included, work through the deepest problems of their lives, standing by them while they confront sickness, betrayal and death. Together, we have addressed the problems besetting their intimate relationships, healed the rifts in their families, developed career-enhancing strategies spanning decades, and developed and implemented plans to make the surrounding community stronger. I will bring this knowledge to bear on the problem of improving student experience at U Glasgow. A case in point: with my colleagues, I have developed a series of online writing programs to aid individuals in their psychological development (selfauthoring.com). The Future Authoring Program, one of the offerings at that site, has now been used by thousands of university students, mostly in the Netherlands and in Canada. The Future Authoring Program helps people develop a vision – both of the future they would like to bring into being, and the future they would like to avoid – and to formulate a well-articulated, detailed plan of implementation of that vision. National Public Radio in the US produced a good overview: https://n.pr/1CKaB3j . University students who use Future Authoring to plan their lives experience a twenty-five percent improvement in their academic performance, and an equivalent decrease in the probability of dropping out.
At the University of Glasgow, as at many institutions of higher learning, many people are concerned about the mental health of students, particularly in the first year, when failure and drop-out are most likely. I will work on developing early-stage intervention programs, available widely, online, for U Glasgow students (with an eye to making them available to university students everywhere). I can envision, for example, an online program that will help first year students map the requirements of their classes to a calendar and plan their study and writing schedules. I am currently developing an online program designed to help students learn to write. An early version, in Word doc form, is available here: http://jordanbpeterson.com/docs/430_docs/Template.docx . I would like to produce another to aid students in negotiating their living environments with their room-mates, as well. It would be very good to employ some of these interventions at U Glasgow, in their early stages of development, so that they can be rapidly prototyped and implemented and then made widely available. I would be happy to work with those who already offer mental health services at the university to do so.
2. How will I make myself available as an absentee rector?
a) I will set aside time each week so that University of Glasgow students can reach me by Skype. I see people all over the world, each week, using that technology, so I know it works effectively and easily.
b) I will set up Q and A periods with interested groups of students who have common concerns using Reddit and YouTube, which allows for the establishment of virtual town halls where any number of issues can be raised and discussed. One of the advantages of doing so electronically is the establishment of a permanent video record, which can be released for wide public consumption. That allows for issues that are of particular important to University of Glasgow students, but also of concern to their peers throughout the world, to receive much broader attention than might otherwise be possible.
c) I will travel to Glasgow, happily, for those occasions where in person attendance is necessary, advantageous and desirable. I presume that will happen three or four times a year. I’m looking forward to that; I would like to get to know the city and the University, and my wife, who would travel with me, feels the same way. I can determine with those who are supporting my candidacy when such visits would be of most use.
It seems possible that this set of solutions might at least neutralize the potential disadvantage of an absentee rector or even (in the case of (a) and (b)) turn it into a positive advantage.
In conclusion, I consider it an honour to have received this nomination, and thank you all for considering my candidacy.
Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable is a former MP and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. In government, his position was also responsible for universities, colleges and scientific research, making him uniquely insightful in this aspect. During his career, he has had a particularly impressive record in politics, being a strong advocate for diversity and equality. He helped repeal many outdated laws against the LGBT+ community, encouraged equality for women in their professions and stood up to Rupert Murdoch’s media control. He has also been a significant force in stopping climate change, helping to produce the Brundtland Report which launched the concept of ‘sustainable development’ and authoring the first intergovernmental reforms on climate change. Vince has strong roots in Glasgow, describing the years he spent here as ‘amongst the most fulfilling of my professional life.’ As a former lecturer in the Adam Smith Building for economics, he also acquired his PhD and raised a family in Great George Street. This was also the city where he began his long standing political career, standing for election in Hillhead before becoming a City Councillor for Maryhill. When in Council, Vince played a major role in reshaping the City’s priorities towards refurbishment of tenement properties and cancelling inner city motorways by supporting public transport such as the subway. He also lead a movement to welcome and settle Ugandan migrants in Scotland amid racial tensions. Vince is a well known author, with best selling books, ‘The Storm’ and ‘After the Storm’, detailing the global financial crisis. A seasoned ballroom dancer, he even appeared on the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, scoring 36/40 (10 from Len!). Currently, Vince is actively involved in a variety of charities, in particular relating to social care, mental illness and overseas development, as well as being the chairman of a leading social enterprise.
- To be a working Rector, representing all students
- Pursing gender equality on campus
- Pursuing mental health
- Working with Glasgow City Council to meet demand for student study space and accommodation concerns
- To ensure student’s concerns regarding Brexit are heard and met
After 3 years of having a Rector in absentia, the University needs a strong, active Rector ready to meet challenging demands the University of Glasgow faces over the next three years. With the Campus Masterplan recently being approved, and the future of programmes like ERASMUS uncertain, I will work hard to make sure the student’s voice is being heard in such matters. Not only will I be in regular attendance at Court meetings, but I pledge to hold town hall meetings with students and regular advice surgeries in both Glasgow and Dumfries. This is based on my successful use of these when I was an MP and will ensure I pick up on students concerns and problems.
One of my main priorities as Rector will be pursuing gender equality, primarily by getting the University to prioritise schemes to encourage young women to enter STEM subjects. The gender gap as it stands in such subjects is unacceptable, and drawing on my governmental work to ensure women are properly represented at the top of their professions, I will seek to reduce this. One way in which I hope to do this is to work with local schools and Glasgow alumni to inspire women to pursue STEM careers.
Currently, Glasgow has a very poor record for mental health services, which are underfunded and understaffed. I am proposing a more ambitious approach to mental health, pressing university authorities to ensure early appointments for those with early symptoms and anxiety concerns, as well as better funding. In addition, I am seeking to establish a ‘buddy’ system whereby older students give 1:1 support to assigned freshers, to make their transition into university life smoother and less overwhelming. This I hope will reduce the onset of mental health issues when starting university.
I have a twofold approach in addressing pressing student concerns over a lack of affordable housing and study space. By working with the City Council on a partnership arrangement, I will encourage better shared use of city libraries in order to reduce the strain on University study areas, as well as encouraging the Council to develop ‘hard to sell’ housing into more affordable accommodation. In the long term, I will be a strong advocate to make sure both these needs are at the forefront of decision making for the Campus Masterplan, and they are both adequately provided.
As a prominent member of the Remain campaign for the European Union referendum, I am the most suitable candidate for ensuring student voice is properly heard on Brexit issues relating to Universities and overseas students. Especially, I will campaign to preserve and protect Horizon research funding, as well as ensuring European staff and international students are not constrained under new regulations.
- Be a voice for students
- Fight to end sexual harassment on campus
- Make QMU Nachos Great Again
- Ensure EU and other international students feel welcome and included in the student community
- Use rector address to call Milo Yiannopoulos a bawbag
- Improve mental health services for students
- Call Milo a bawbag to his face at every opportunity I get
- Make GUU Nachos Great Again
- Ensure students at the Dumfries campus receive the same quality of experience as students at the main campus (more/better nachos)
- Tweet daily about Milo being a bawbag
- Hold regular Rector surgeries for students to raise issues directly
- Tweet only rarely about lasagne
- Listen to what students have to say and reflect their concerns to University Management
- Keep an official “Rectoral Bawbag List” which will be kept up to date with who’s been a bawbag on campus or to the university or students
- Make SRC nachos
Vote Thomas Hind #1 Rector