If gaining acceptance into Harvard College is one of the highest accomplishments in academics, is losing your admission one of the lowest? It likely feels that way for a group of students admitted into the class of 2021 who then lost their spots after founding a group chat plastered with racist and sexually explicit memes.
The Harvard Crimson reports that university officials were made aware of a private Facebook group entitled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens” – *deep sigh*. This group was an off-shoot of a larger one open to all incoming freshmen.
It was found that the group was home to images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust and even the deaths of children, one image referred to the hanging of a Mexican child as “piñata time.”
When school administrators were made aware, as many as 10 students’ admission was rescinded in mid-April. The members of the group were then asked to disclose every message from the group.
“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 Admissions Office’s email sent to the students. “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.”
Opinions of the administration’s decision is mixed among the incoming students. Some feel that there shouldn’t have been any disciplinary action given that the group wasn’t affiliated with Harvard. Others are more reasonable and understand that joking about subjects as tragic as the murder of children shouldn’t be allowed anywhere, especially one of the most esteemed institutions in the country.
This is actually the second incident of this nature to occur in two years. Last year, members of the incoming class of 2020 had a private GroupMe where they shared racist and sexist jokes. School administrators caught wind of it and released a statement condemning the group.
Perhaps taking away the admissions of students this time was an attempt to take a full measure after last year’s half-measure.