Harvard University has revoked admissions from at least 10 students who were due to join the school after they shared offensive memes and messages online.
A number of students due to start in the upcoming academic year were found to have traded photos online that mocked sexual assault, ethnic minorities and the Holocaust, the university’s newspaper The Harvard Crimson reports.
An initial Facebook chat including around 100 students of the Class of 2021 had been set up in December, in which student exchanged lighthearted memes with one another.
However, some students suggested creating a more “R-rated” chat – at one point named “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens” – where they sent each other a number of offensive images, including one that referred to the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child as “pinata time”.
After the Facebook chat was brought to the attention of Harvard University, the admissions office contacted the students involved asking them to disclose every photo shared and explain why it was posted.
They advised the students they shouldn’t attend Harvard’s freshmen visiting event in April while they reviewed their admissions, and a week later revoked the acceptance offers of 10 students.
Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane declined to comment, saying Harvard doesn’t discuss the admissions status of individual applicants.