Students Voice Views On Harding

The Harvard verdict, culled through dining hall interviews and with a substantial margin of error, is in.

Most students say Tonya Harding should definitely not represent the United States in the 1994 Winter Olympics, which begin this weekend.

"There is no way they should let her compete," says Lori A. Lepak '97. "I think the evidence is pretty suggestive. It does not make sense to allow her to compete when the evidence indicates that she is probably guilty."

Harding is accused of collaborating in planning an attack last month which left Olympic rival Nancy Kerrigan severly injured before the American team trials.

"Harding should not be skating in the Olympics," says Meredith F. Alexander `96. "Even if she's cleared of formalcharges, what she did was not `sportsmanilike.'She has already admitted to doing things beyondwhat I would consider fair play."

Harding, who has been asked by the Olympiccommittee to answer charges that she has violatedstandards of ethics, fairness, and sportsmanship,sought yesterday to delay the hearings while sheprepares her defense.

"There is enough evidence to indicate that sheis involved," says Seth G.F. Diehl `97, "I thinkit's pretty clear that she should not have theopportunity to compete."

But other students put due process above theapparent circumstances of the case.

"She should be allowed to compete," saysAnn-Marie Sevecsik `97. "In the interest of `dueprocess,' they can't make any judgements on heryet. She can be stripped away of her title laterif the allegations prove true."

Not true, according to other factions in theHarvard Harding-Kerrigan debate.

"At this point, [Harding] has no right to `dueprocess.' She's subject to the rules of the UnitedStates Figure Skating Federation," says Lawren M.Smithline `94. "She should have been moreforthright about any involvement right away."

No student interviewed claimed to be too busyshopping courses or reading syllabi to know thecircumstances of the case.

In fact, area vendors say publications withHarding or Kerrigan on the cover are a sure sell.

"They've been selling like crazy," says an Outof Town News employee. "People, SportsIllustrated, Newsweek, even TV Guide, I don't knowwhy, I'm kind of sick of it myself."

The Kerrigan Courage: Nancy's Story, anew paperback by Randi Reisfeld about the life ofthe skater, has been "selling well since it camein," according to Amanda Clarke, an employee atthe Harvard Book Store.

So why are such magazines and books sellingbetter than, say, the Social Analysis 10sourcebook?

"I think a lot of it has to do with the factthat this area is Nancy Kerrigan's hometown," saysPaul D. Hodgdon `97. "There are lots of moreimportant things to talk about, but people aroundhere tend to have a very pro-Kerrigan stance.