Students Lose Harvard Acceptance Over Facebook Posts

Bloomberg via Getty Images  FILE

Bloomberg via Getty Images FILE

At least 10 students who were accepted to Harvard College had their admissions offers rescinded over obscene memes and offensive comments they posted in a private Facebook group, the school newspaper reported. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child "piñata time", she went on. Nearly 15 years later, ten incoming students admitted to Harvard will be denied enrollment in the class of 2021 due to their behavior on the platform Zuckerberg's questionable website became - Facebook.

Cassandra Luca, an incoming Harvard freshman, told the student publication that soon after it was created, several members of "Harvard Memes for Elitist 1% Tweens" suggested "a more R-rated" meme group be formed.

Harvard has rescinded admissions offers from at least 10 students, according to The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper.

Colleges set up Facebook groups for incoming classes to get to know each other before school begins. And now they won't be able to say, "I parked my auto on Harvard Yard". The students in both groups met each other through an official Facebook group run by Harvard for newly admitted students. The email also asked students to write a statement on their involvement for review by the Admissions Committee, the Crimson reported.

It is unfortunate that I have to reach out about this situation.

After word got out about the group, admissions office administrators emailed its members, telling them they weren't invited to the school's annual event for admitted students and asking them to share what they'd posted.

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"A lot of students were excited about forming group chats with people who shared similar interests", she explained to the paper in an email.

"I appreciate humor, but there are so many topics that just should not be joked about", Jessica Zhang said.

Harvard's actions have raised the issues of free speech, with some people arguing that the students' Facebook posts should be protected free speech and others saying the university has a right to rescind the offers because the posts were offensive. Other students I've talked to, from Harvard and otherwise, all generally agree that it was the right action as well.

If this sounds familiar, that's because last spring some members of Harvard's Class of 2020 traded offensive jokes about race and feminism in a GroupMe chat.

The ultra-competitive school had a record number of applications this year hitting almost 40,000 - with only 2,056 students gaining acceptance.

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