Harvard Withdraws Acceptance Offers For 10 Students Over Facebook Posts

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 
Image via Shutterstock

Social media factors into college admissions whether you like it or not

We are now living in a time where privilege and power–typically of the white variety–is at an insufferable level. With an endless news cycle full of Muslim travel bans, Mexican border walls, and old white men with their own HBO shows dropping racial slurs without blinking an eye, why should we be surprised that teenagers think nothing of following suit through their own behavior?

Recently, ten incoming freshman who were part of Harvard’s Class of 2021 Facebook group decided to break away from the mainstream group and form their own little degenerate den entitled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens” (criteria for membership: have no soul and own at least one RompHim).

How trite! Bet you can’t guess where this leads.

If you think the name alone is enough to make you lose your lunch, just go ahead and prepare yourself for what these future members of the most prestigious Ivy League community were up to. According to The Crimson, Harvard’s newspaper, students shared memes and images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children.

“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 reported.

Smart enough to get into Harvard, but not smart enough to realize that nothing online is private and your digital footprint lives forever. There’s also the terrible human detail.

The Crimson reports that once school administrators were notified of the group, they contacted the students involved and requested they disclose everything they shared as part of the group. Those contacted via email were asked to “submit a statement by tomorrow at noon to explain your contributions and actions for discussion with the Admissions Committee.”

Soon after, ten students were told their admission was revoked as a result of their online actions. Harvard is a private institution that reserves the right to remove students who don’t demonstrate action consistent with their mission or community values. Which is typically code for “we want to avoid a PR nightmare,” but at least they took action.

One more time for the people in the back just for the heck of it: “free speech” is not synonymous with “free from consequences.”

Needless to say, Twitter has been having a field day over the rescinded admissions offers:

This is so accurate it hurts. Buh-bye though!

Welcome to college during peak digital age.

If you haven’t watched The Hunting Ground documentary on campus sexual assault (featuring…drumroll… yep, you guessed it, Harvard) on Netflix yet, do it now. It’s important to note that this is also not the first time Harvard has had problems with student harassment in online chats.

But really, could you imagine being the parents of one of these students? “Actually, Todd won’t be going to Harvard after all because it turns out I raised a wannabe Nazi” probably won’t go over too well during a summer barbecue. Hopefully this initiates a greater dialogue regarding how much parenting should go into your teenager’s online life.

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