Ten students accepted to Harvard have had those acceptances withdrawn for posting offensive memes in a private Facebook messaging group.
An offshoot of the university’s official Class of 2021 Facebook group, members in the group called “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens” allegedly “mocked sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children,” according to The Harvard Crimson. Some targeted specific racial or ethnic groups.
The private group was formed in December, and students were required to post provocative messages in a larger messaging group before being admitted to join the smaller one, the Crimson reported.
In mid-April, Harvard administrators asked students who posted offensive memes to send copies of everything they posted to the Admissions Committee, and later asked students to explain their actions. Students also were told their status as admitted students was under review and they were asked not to come to an accepted students weekend at the end of April, the Crimson reported.
At least 10 group members got letters the next week stating their offers of admission were being rescinded.
“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,” a description for the official Facebook group for the Class of 2021 reads.
Harvard accepted only 5.2 percent of the nearly 40,000 applications it received for fall admission, and 84 percent of those accepted students took the offer, the Crimson reported. It was one of the highest yield rates in years.
Twitter users who commented about the news were typically supportive of Harvard’s decision.
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