Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to at least ten anointed members of the Class of 2021 after it discovered that the prospective students traded sexually explicit memes and messages in a private Facebook group chat. Some of the memes apparently mocked and denigrated minority groups.
The admitted students had formed the messaging group, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens,”on Facebook in late December, 2016.
The members of the group sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, among other topis. Screenshots captured and obtained by the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, revealed that some messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines targeting ethnic or racial groups, like one that called hanging a Mexican child “piñata time.”
Harvard administrators were alerted to the existence and contents of the chat and sent the students an e-mail that read,
“The Admissions Committee was disappointed to learn that several students in a private group chat for the Class of 2021 were sending messages that contained offensive messages and graphics As we understand you were among the members contributing such material to this chat, we are asking that you submit a statement by tomorrow at noon to explain your contributions and actions for discussion with the Admissions Committee. It is unfortunate that I have to reach out about this situation.”
A week later, at least ten members of the meme chat group were sent letters from Harvard announcing that their admission offers were no longer valid, and that the decision was final.
“As a reminder, Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character.”
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