Harvard withdraws offers to 10 students for posting offensive material online

The students had uploaded 'obscene memes' to a Facebook group run by the college's admissions office

Harvard withdraws offers to 10 students for posting offensive material online

The statue of John Harvard that stands on the Cambridge campus [Pixabay]

Ten people accepted to one of the United States most prestigious universities have had their offers rescinded after Harvard authorities were alerted that the incoming students had posted offensive memes in a private Facebook group.

The students had uploaded images mocking child abuse, sexual assault, paedophilia, and the Holocaust to a messaging group referred to as ‘Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.’

The group initially started with pop culture memes, seemingly something increasingly popular among Ivy League students, before a splinter group took things in an ‘obscene’ direction.

According to the Crimson, one of the Massachusetts college’s student publications, founders of the splinter group egged on others to gain admittance by posting offensive material in the main group thread. After gaining access to the “R-rated” area, the students then started posting jokes at the expense of ethnic minorities.

One message “called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child ‘piñata time,’” according to the Crimson.

Soon after the group was formed, Harvard administrators were alerted to the offensive material, starting an internal investigation that asked the students involved to explain their role in the group. A week later, “at least 10” of the group members were informed their offer to attend the college had been withdrawn.

According to the Harvard admissions office, more than 39,500 students completed the application process, with only 2,056 offered places in the class of 2021. Some 84% of those offered places for the forthcoming academic year accepted the offer, one of the highest rates in several decades.

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