Harvard University has rescinded admissions offers to at least 10 prospective members of this fall’s entering freshman class after the students traded sexually explicit and other offensive graphics and messages in a private Facebook group chat, The Harvard Crimson reported.
University officials declined to comment to the newspaper about the status of the admissions offers. The Crimson based its report on interviews with students who were members of a messaging group that members of the Class of 2021 set up in December to share memes about popular culture. Some of those students were also members of a smaller split-off group on which the more explicit messages were shared.
The admissions office emailed students in the second group in April, asking them to explain their contributions to the group. About a week later, at least 10 members of the group received letters informing them that their offers of admission had been withdrawn.
Both groups formed after entering students found one another through Harvard’s official Facebook group for the Class of 2021, set up by the admissions office. According to the Crimson, that group contains a notice warning members that Harvard “reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions, including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character.”