Harvard Rescinds Ten Acceptances Over Hateful Memes

Get into an Ivy League school: Check.

Get kicked out before you even start your first class: Also, check.

Harvard University has rescinded acceptance offers to at least 10 incoming freshmen after administrators discovered that the students were sharing inappropriate memes in a Facebook group, according to The Harvard Crimson student newspaper.

The Facebook group was at one point titled, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens” and was a branch of the Harvard College Class of 2021 Facebook group.

Like the majority of jokes amongst young adults, they started off harmless. Just benign bantering amongst peers excited to start at one of the most prestigious schools to date. Unfortunately, this was a joke that went too far. The Harvard Crimson wrote, “In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children.”

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.”

The decision of rescinding their acceptance letters was made final in April, when the incoming freshman in question were told not to attend the accepted students day because their attendance was inconclusive. University officials have previously said that Harvard’s decision to rescind a student’s offer is final.

Photo by Darren McCollester/Newsmakers.

An email sent by the Harvard admissions office to the students whose offers were rescinded said, “The Admissions Committee was disappointed to learn that several students in a private group chat for the class of 2021 were sending messages that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.” The email added, “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,” the email was obtained by the Crimson.

Harvard University administrators took a step towards upholding the strict standards and guidelines the university has always answered to. Despite their recent hiccup, Harvard admitted 5.2% of applicants to the class of 2021, accepting 2,056 of the nearly 40,000 total applicants, according to the university.

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