Surviving the UofG Rector Race
On 21 March, Human Rights Lawyer Aamer Anwar was announced as the new UofG rector. However, this year’s race for rector was not without controversy. The first call for nominations went out but none were received. The deadline was extended and this time, there were 12 nominations. Which gave us the highest number of candidates in recent years.
One candidate in particular, alt-right speaker and writer Milo Yiannopoulos, garnered a lot of negative attention. We saw an influx of tweets and comments but decided not to engage with them. As this was a student election, we felt it was important to keep our social media coverage factual and felt it was not our place to enter into conversations about the candidates.
During the campaign
In the fortnight of election campaigning we kept our focus on factual and informative coverage. Including posts on how and when to vote, signposting to more information on the candidates and live coverage of hustings. Everything we posted during that time, including posts unrelated to the election, was meet with many comments about the candidates. We knew we were going to have to ride this wave, so although we removed a few hateful comments, we let the majority of discussion on our page continue.
We decided to make the most of all the attention UofG had received during the election campaign by covering the results announcement live across all our channels.
Our tweet announcing Aamer Anwar as the new rector was one of our top tweets of the month, with 244 retweets and 430 likes and a video of the announcement was viewed more than 30K times on facebook. The snapchat story from the night had more than 50K total views.
It was a bit of a relief when the whole thing was over but it was great to get lots of engagement and positive message on result night.
Congratulations to the new UofG Rector!