Harvard University rescinded offers this week to at least ten incoming members of this fall’s freshman class after a group chat log including explicit memes was leaked to school administrators.
The chat group was allegedly called “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens” and formed in late December after letters of admission to the Ivy League institution had begun to roll out. A report by the Harvard Crimson revealed the explicit contents of the group chat which included jokes about finding children sexually arousing and others that were directed at specific minority groups.
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.”
The Crimson report suggests that many members of the group joined because they liked the idea of sharing memes with their future classmates. Many of the group’s members claim that the group chat started as lighthearted and innocent before more controversial material began to be posted.
“A lot of students were excited about forming group chats with people who shared similar interests,” said Jessica Zhang, an incoming freshman and a member of the group chat. “Someone posted about starting a chat for people who liked memes.”
A statement from the Harvard admissions committee that was sent to members of the chat group asked participants to explain their contribution to the group and “actions for discussion.”
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. 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.
All group members under review were asked to skip Harvard’s annual summer week of programming for incoming freshman, including those that ultimately retained their admissions offers.
Incoming freshman Cassandra Luca, who joined the first of the two offending group chats, expressed her disappointment that her potential classmates had their offers revoked for activity unrelated to the university.
“On the one hand, I think people can post whatever they want because they have the right to do that,” Luca claimed. “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.”
Harvard administrators claim that any rescinded admissions offers are final and cannot be challenged.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org