Clubs' Tensions Escalate

Republican Club, Alliance Feud

Tensions between the Harvard-Radcliffe Republican Alliance (HRRA) and the Harvard Republican Club (HRC) escalated yesterday as members of each organization accused the other of impropriety in a series of e-mail messages.

"We feel that it is finally necessary to respond to a number of the charges that have been leveled against us by [HRRA President] William [D.] Zerhouni ['98-'97] and other members of the HRRA executive board," the HRC executive board wrote in an e-mail letter addressed to the HRRA general membership early yesterday morning.

The Harvard-Radcliffe Republican Alliance was founded in February as a moderate alternative group after some Republican Club members disagreed with the results of last February's Republican Club election.

In e-mail messages provided to The Crimson by the Harvard Republican Club, Zerhouni, a former HRC member, accused the HRC leadership of "intolerance and bigotry."

"Mr. Zerhouni has proven himself an irresponsible and deceitful leader who is bent on excluding HRRA members who disagree with him," the HRC said in the message.


Zerhouni responded to the HRC's allegations yesterday with an e-mail message of his own.

"While the scurrilous charges made in that e-mail message do not deserve the dignity of a response... I felt it necessary to re-assure you, the membership of our organization, as to the integrity of this organization," he said.

Zerhouni said in a telephone interview yesterday that he believes that the HRC's letter was a "sour grapes attack" in an attempt to recover from dwindling membership and a lack of club activism.

"They see no way to compete with us except through attacks against me," Zerhouni said.

HRRA has more than 100 members, including about 40 paying and 60 associate members, according to Zerhouni.

The Harvard Republican Club has more than 60 dues-paying members, according to HRC Vice-President Brian E. Malone '96.

The Harvard Republican Club alleged that the Republican Alliance improperly conducted its recent elections, citing "serious procedural errors."

"The elections had to be annulled," according the HRC e-mail. "During the second election, the HRRA constitution was suspended at least once and was violated several times."

Zerhouni acknowledged that two elections took place. "We hadn't done everything constitutionally the first time," he said.

The HRC also accused Zerhouni of excluding HRRA members who did not agree with him on procedural matters.

"Mr. Zerhouni has begun a campaign of exclusion against members of the HRRA who disagree with him on issues of club management," the Republican Club said in its message.