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Harvard withdraws 10 acceptances for ‘offensive’ memes in private group chat

June 27th, 2017

Harvard University revoked admission offers to ten incoming first-year students in mid-April, after University officials were notified of admitted students posting offensive memes in a private group chat on Facebook.  The images posted in this group were highly inappropriate, mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, child abuse and jokes related to race and ethnicity.  You may have read about this in the national press already.

In the past we’ve posted about colleges and universities using social media as an additional way to evaluate applicants.  Not only is it important to maintain a positive social media presence but it is a good reminder that even things discussed in “private” on the internet can become public.  We hope our students do not need this reminder because they live lives that respect others as well as themselves.  The students whose acceptances to Harvard were revoked have learned a difficult lesson:  poor judgment and thoughtless actions have real consequences.

Let’s all live each day as an embodiment of the person we aspire to be and the person we hope to share with others.  

Article published below by The Washington Post on June 5, 2017

Written by:  Samantha Schmidt

The Facebook messaging group was at one point titled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.”

It began when about 100 members of Harvard College’s incoming freshman class contacted each other through the university’s official Class of 2021 Facebook group. They created a messaging group where students could share memes about popular culture — a growing trend on the Internet among students at elite colleges.

But then, the exchanges took a dark turn, according to an article published in the Harvard Crimson on Sunday. Some of the group’s members decided to form an offshoot group in which students could share obscene, “R-rated” memes, a student told the Crimson. The founders of the messaging group demanded that students post provocative memes in the main group chat to gain admittance to the smaller group.

Read more at Washington Post >>

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