Harvard has rescinded offers of admission from at least 10 potential students after they were found to have posted “sexually explicit” and offensive memes in a private Facebook chat, according to a report from The Harvard Crimson.
The group was apparently an offshoot of a general Facebook chat for prospective members of the Class of 2021. To snag an invite to the “R-rated” chat, members had to post offensive or graphic memes or messages in the general chat.
At one point, the Crimson reports, the offshoot was called “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.” Crimson reporter Hannah Natanson writes:
In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. Some of the messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines directed at specific ethnic or racial groups. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child “piñata time.”
Apparently Harvard administrators caught wind of the group chat in April. The admissions committee reportedly sent emails to members of the group asking them to disclose every image they sent in the chat and submit a statement explaining their actions. Eventually the admissions committee decided to rescind the admissions of at least 10 students involved in the group.
The Crimson points out that administrators also ran into similar issues with the Class of 2020. Prospective students last year posted “racially charged jokes” and other offensive messages in a GroupMe chat. Those messages did not lead to disciplinary action.
Administrators told the Crimson they don’t comment on individual applicants, but in the official Class of 2021 Facebook group, it apparently says the admissions committee can rescind an offer “if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character.”