Harvard College has withdrawn the admissions offered to at least ten prospective members of the Class of 2021 after the students traded sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups in a private Facebook group chat, journalists reports.
A handful of admitted students formed the messaging group—titled, at one point, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens”—on Facebook in late December, according to two incoming freshmen.
The group used by the students to share 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.”
After discovering the existence and contents of the chat, Harvard administrators revoked admissions offers to at least ten participants in mid-April, according to several members of the group. University officials have previously said that Harvard’s decision to rescind a student’s offer is final.
The school has not publicly confirmed the move as it’s spokesperson, Rachael Dane said in a statement Saturday that the institution does not comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants.
However, the incident marks the second time in two years that Harvard has dealt with a situation where incoming freshmen exchanged offensive messages online, Harvard Crimson reported.
Last spring, some admitted members of the Class of 2020 traded jokes about race and mocked feminists in an unofficial class GroupMe chat, prompting Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 to issue a joint statement condemning the students’ actions.
It is noted in the institution’s policies that the Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behaviour that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character.