At least 10 incoming Harvard University students joining the Class of 2021 found themselves without a school in mid-April, after the university rescinded their admissions due to a number of racist and sexually explicit memes posted to a Facebook group chat.
An incoming Harvard freshman who asked to remain anonymous told BuzzFeed News that he started the "bourgeois teens" group that ultimately led to the private, more "wild" meme messaging thread, called "General Fuckups."
The Harvard Crimson reports that “In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. 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.”
Cassandra Luca ’21, who joined the first meme group but not the second said the founders of the “dark” group chat demanded that students post provocative memes in the larger messaging group before allowing them to join the splinter group.
This incident marks the second time in two years that Harvard has dealt with a situation where incoming freshmen exchanged offensive messages online.
“Harvard College and the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid were troubled and disappointed to see a conversation that included graphics with offensive themes,” the Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana said.