Harvard Yanks Acceptance Letters After Student Posts
Incoming freshmen can no longer attend after online comments
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2017 9:44 AM CDT
Harvard withdrew acceptances for at least 10 students, reportedly for offensive posts in a private chat group.   (Getty Images/jorgeantonio)

(Newser) – At least 10 students lost their spots at Harvard before the first day of class after they exchanged offensive messages in a private Facebook group, the Harvard Crimson reports. College officials told the incoming freshmen they were no longer welcome after getting wind of the messages and memes in a chat group once called "Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens." The posts included sexually explicit memes and posts that called child sexual abuse arousing and mocked the Holocaust and minorities, per the Crimson, which obtained screenshots of the posts (but didn't publish them). One post dubbed a hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child "piñata time." The rogue chat sprang from a larger group of 100 students who began exchanging popular memes in December on Harvard's official Class of 2021 Facebook page.

Jessica Zhang tells the Crimson prospective students like her "were excited about forming group chats with people who shared similar interests." But the mostly "lighthearted" messages, as Zhang put it, gave way to suggestions for a "more R-rated" meme" that spurred the "dark" group, per student Cassandra Luca, who added "it was people doing stupid stuff." Harvard officials who discovered the posts in mid-April took a harder line and revoked at least 10 admission offers, per the Crimson. The college reserves the right to rescind admission if a prospective student "engages or has engaged in behavior that brings into question their honesty, maturity, or moral character," a Harvard rep tells the Washington Post. In September, 2,056 freshmen will begin classes at the elite college; 39,506 students applied. (Those incoming students include Malia Obama.)

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