A group of students have lost their chance to attend one of the most prestigious schools in the world—all because they decided to post stupid memes.
According to the Washington Post, Harvard University has rescinded the acceptance offers of at least 10 incoming freshmen who allegedly shared sexually explicit, violent, and racist memes. It reportedly began after some students connected on Harvard’s official Class of 2021 Facebook page. About 100 people participated in a private message where they exchanged memes; however, some students decided to create an offshoot messaging group called “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens,” which, as the title suggests, included posts many would consider obscene.
According to message screenshots obtained by The Harvard Crimson, some of the memes mocked sexual assault, children’s death, and the Holocaust. One post reportedly “called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child ‘piñata time,’” while another stated “abusing children was sexually arousing.”
Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane would not confirm the report. In a statement sent to the Post, she wrote: “We do not comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants." However, several members of the group chat told The Crimson the school had revoked at least 10 admissions offers in mid-April. The administrators reportedly contacted members of the offshoot messaging group and requested every image they had contributed. One of the students who was affected spoke to the publication on conditions of anonymity.
“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,” reads a copy of the Harvard Admissions Office’s email obtained by The Crimson. “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.”
Incoming freshman Cassandra Luca, who did not participate in the “R-rated” group, said she was torn on the school’s decision to revoke admissions.
“On the one hand, I think people can post whatever they want because they have the right to do that,” Luca told The Crimson. “I don’t think the school should have gone in and rescinded some offers because it wasn’t Harvard-affiliated, it was people doing stupid stuff.”
The official Class of 2021 Facebook page is managed by Harvard’s Admissions Office. The page also includes this disclaimer:
“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.”