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Fine Won't Seek Council Spot

Tired of `Unfair Attacks' in Press, Acting Vice Chair Calls It Quits

By Melissa Lee

Citing press reports that make him out to be "a monster," the Undergraduate Council's Acting Vice Chair Randall A. Fine '96 announced yesterday that he will not campaign for reelection to the council.

Fine's decision comes two weeks after The Crimson reported allegations that he acted unethically in using his position to secure a grant from a federal agency. It also precedes an investigative report about the grant controversy in The Harvard Salient which will be distributed Thursday, according to Curtis E. Gannon '94, the Salient's editor.

Fine denied the Salient article influenced his decision to withdraw from the North House race and said he cooperated with the writers.

Fine said he is not seeking re-election because he is tired of "people at this school thinking that I'm a monster" and because his "life has been played with like nothing since I was elected to the [council]."

He also said his decision was largely influenced by the negative press he has received about alleged scandals during his tenure as a council member.

The Crimson has reported charges against Fine which range from buying votes at the Republican Club elections last fall to acting unethically in keeping a council-administered grant application to the Environmental Protection Agency to himself. The latest allegations are that Fine violated the council's conflict of interest statute which says that members who are running for executive positions may not oversee the general elections.

Fine registered for the council elections on Sunday and already dropped campaign literature at the Jordan Terrace to kick off his reelection campaign. Though he has withdrawn from the election, Fine's name will appear on the council ballots. He said yesterday he will accept the seat if he is reelected.

"If I'm wrong about everything and if I do get elected--although I think there's no way in hell of that happening--I'll work my way back into [the press]," Fine said.

Fine said he plans to do another door drop today to declare that he is not seeking reelection.

Fine said he had entertained the thought of dropping out of the race before yesterday. In a letter received September 29 by Assistant Dean of Students Sarah Flatley, Fine wrote, "I am tired of being the subject of unfair attacks and allegations...It's time to stop thinking of ourselves and our resumes and start thinking about this place we call Harvard...I for one have had enough."

"I am taking my life back," Fine said last night. "I've had enough. I'm finished."

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